Central Washington scored its first win of the season against DI-A competition Saturday, beating Santa Clara 61-5 in Santa Clara, Calif. The Wildcats are playing as a DI-A independent this season, so each match against DI-A competition counts towards their playoff resume.
Central Washington ran in 10 tries on the day, four of which were scored by lock Sean Wanigasekera.
“He did some great work in the air in the lineout. That was as dominant piece for us and he really sets the tempo for that,” Central coach Bob Ford said of Wanigasekera.
Center Tanner Barnes also had a good performance and scored a try of his own. So did freshman 7s standout Shelby Williams. And Bowling Green transfer Max Narewski slotted three conversions and a penalty in his 15s debut for the Wildcats.
2-0 after wins over Santa Clara and Oregon State, Central shoots for 3-0 next week against Sacramento State. Sac State, like Santa Clara, belongs to the DI-A California Conference. The fixture gives Central another chance to iron its systems out before the schedule gets tougher against the likes of Western Washington, Saint Mary’s and Cal Poly later on.
“We’re really trying to play a pretty expansive game. That’s kind of what we’re always trying to aspire to,” said Ford.
“We’re still not quite getting some of the work done at the tackle contest in order to create that quick ball at times. When we do, that really opens up a lot of options for us, and so we’re focused on that area of our game. Today we did fairly well at that.”
Along with the tetra-trick for Wanigasekera, Jacob Bates, Aladdin Schirmer, Josh Bower, Tanner Barnes, Doug McKinley and Williams scored tries. Narewski added three conversions and a penalty, while Alex Reher added one conversion.