Football Team excels against Puget Sound, Willamette

Courtesy of Lewis and Clark

On Saturday Nov. 4, an Oregon day like any other, Lewis & Clark’s football team won 66-24 against the University of Puget Sound (UPS). In short, we crushed them. This victory represented growth for the team, as the Puget Sound Loggers saw their team’s frst pre-season loss.

UPS and LC have had a long history of being neck in neck. From 2006 through this year, LC has had ten wins and nine losses against UPS. This game marked the win with the largest point margin between the teams.

Mateo Maehara ’27,a wide receiver, spoke about the energy coming into the game. “We played this team the frst week of the season during preseason and we had a really tight game. It was super competitive and we ended up losing by four points so  that on top of wanting to win every week gave us a little extra motivation, a little extra spark to really play our best and get a win,” Maehara said.

Maehara then responded to how UPS played against LC. “They struggled. Part of the reason for that was how prepared our team was in practice. Coaches did a really great job of game planning and watching flm and fguring out what we needed to improve on,” Maehara said.

The game had plenty of highlights, such as Elijah Mcgee ’24 rushing 117 and scoring a touchdown in addition to his defensive contributions. Huero Lopez ’24 forced a fumble on defense, Thomas Reagan ’26 successfully intercepted on defense and Elijah Washington came in with a whopping fve touchdowns. “This year there has been a lot going on as far as big wins against teams that we have been working to beat,” Maehara said.

That there has, as this past Saturday, Nov. 11, the LC football team beat Willamette 63-13 in the Northwest Conference (NWC), securing third place in a tie with Pacifc Lutheran University. This set multiple records: It was LC’s frst top four placing in the NWC since 2012, the frst ever .500 record and the sixth win in a row for the Wagon Wheel Rivalry Game.

If you have ever walked through the lobby of Pamplin Sports Center and seen a large wooden wagon wheel, this is where it originates. The wheel acts as a traveling trophy passed between Willamette and LC, giving extra motivation for each school to retain the wheel.

Beyond being a successful game toclose out the season, it was also Senior Day, which added an auspicious air to the experience. Linebacker Will Powell ’24 was one of the seniors who
was celebrated.

“There was a lot of emotion surrounding the entire day leading up to the game on senior night,” Powell
said. “It was a very charged game, the crowd was packed and energetic and the team was emotionally charged. Beating Puget Sound in such a dominant fashion was amazing, but my favorite moment was something we did as a team beforehand.”

Powell described the congratulatory events that ensued.

“After lunch, the entire team and all of the seniors’ families met in the Council Chambers to hear the seniors be honored and have a teammate speak about them and their impact on the team,” Powell said. “My favorite moment was hearing all of the different stories shared in that moment and the love poured out for all of those whose times here are coming to an end.”

Maehara also pointed to the heartwarming aspects of the day.
“It was defnitely a sentimental time, because y’know, you had over dozen guys who put their heart and soul into this game that have been lucky to play in college,” Maehara said. “Everything has to come to an end at some point, and for most of us, we were given another chance to play in college, and once college is over you have to step away from it.”

As a freshman, Maehara anticipated the bittersweet feeling of ending a final season after so many years of dedication.

“Having to step away from a game you’ve been playing ever since you walked is pretty emotional,” Maehara said. “But it’s kind of cool that it happened and you get to share that moment with people you care about.”

Powell reflected on the parts of his football career he will carry with him as he moves forward.
“I will cherish the experience of spending time with the team each day, on the feld, in meetings, in the weight room, and in life,” Powell said.

With such a groundbreaking season under the team’s belt, the players express appreciation for the sport they pour so much time into.
“Football is a very fun game and I say that the buzz and energy of the crowd in attendance absolutely elevates the atmosphere of the game for everybody in attendance. When I look and see the stands full, I feel even more obligated to produce a good product on the field that those attending will appreciate. I hope that the campus only continues to grow in their interest for the games,” Powell said.

The interview with Mahaeha ended with just one question: “Roll Pios?
“Roll pios!” Maehara responded.

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