Heimbach, Rutledge lead Loggers to historic Senior Day win

Heimbach, Rutledge lead Loggers to historic Senior Day win

TACOMA, Washington – Another Saturday, and another historic game for the Puget Sound football team.

The Loggers (6-3, 4-2 NWC) celebrated Senior Day by beating Willamette, 56-14, in Baker Stadium Saturday afternoon. The home-finale win clinches Puget Sound's first undefeated home season (6-0) since 1986.

The 2019 Loggers are no strangers to reaching milestones. Last week at Pacific (Nov. 2), AJ Johnson set the Puget Sound record for most receiving yards in a game (280). During that same game, Duncan Varela became the first Logger in 11 years to rush for four touchdowns. The week before that, the Loggers beat Whitworth (Oct. 26) for the first time in 24 years.

Against Willamette (1-7, 0-6 NWC), the Loggers got on the board less than a minute into the game when a bad snap resulted in a safety in favor of Puget Sound. Murdock Rutledge provided the game's first touchdown with a nine-yard run, and Collin Heimbach caught two of his four touchdowns before the end of the first quarter.

Heimbach finished the game with 152 receiving yards on six catches. His 709 receiving yards this season is third in the Northwest Conference. The only two players ahead of him are senior teammates Jewell Day (940) and AJ Johnson (996).

Day had 129 receiving yards against the Bearcats, including an 80-yard touchdown reception from Rutledge in the second quarter. Johnson finished with 68 receiving yards and a touchdown.

Rutledge totaled 268 yards through the air, and he threw for six touchdowns. Duncan Varela came away with the first 100-yard rushing game of his career by reaching 136 yards on just 18 carries.

Heimbach didn't just dominate on offense. He picked off two passes, including one in the end zone, while playing defense. Jason Clayton also came up with two picks, which now gives him a conference-leading four interceptions for the season. In all, Puget Sound forced Willamette into six turnovers.

Before the start of the game against Willamette, Puget Sound celebrated 12 seniors and their loved ones: Nik BernhardtJason ClaytonNathan CoopriderJewell DayEthan GoldizenCollin HeimbachAJ JohnsonIsaiah MartinezBrody PearmanKeanu SongcuanAaron Thompson, and Michael Zabran.

The Loggers conclude the 2019 season at Lewis & Clark Saturday, Nov. 16, with a 1 p.m. kickoff.