1997 Linfield vs. Willamette football game

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1997 Linfield vs. Willamette
First Female Athlete to Play and Score
1 2 3 4 Total
Linfield 0 0 0 0 0
Willamette 7 7 3 10 27
Date October 18, 1997
Season 1997
Stadium McCulloch Stadium
Location Salem, Oregon
Attendance 3,600[1]

The 1997 Linfield vs. Willamette football game was a college football game between the Linfield Wildcats and the Willamette Bearcats played on October 18, 1997. The game was played at McCulloch Stadium in Salem, Oregon. Willamette won the game by a score of 27 to 0. During the game, Liz Heaston became the first woman to play and score in a college football game.[2][better source needed]

Game play[edit]

Willamette's Rich Rideout ran a 5 yard touchdown in the first quarter, but it was in the second quarter after Ardell Bailey scored on a 2 yard carry that Heaston took the field and kicked her first of two extra points with 57 seconds left in the first half.

The only points in the third quarter were from Gordo Thompson's field goal, but in the fourth quarter quarterback Chuck Pinkerton completed a nine-yard pass to Kyle Carlson for a touchdown. Heaston kicked her second extra point in the fourth quarter, and the final score was 27–0.[3]


Willamette finished the regular season undefeated and advanced to the 1997 NAIA National Championship, losing to Findlay.[4] The next year, Willamette left the NAIA to join the NCAA Division III, along with the rest of the members schools of the Northwest Conference at that time.[5]

Prior to this game, female athletes at Duke and Louisville had come close to playing in a game but did not.[6] In 2001, Ashley Martin became the second female athlete to score in a college football game, this time in the NCAA. In 2003, Katie Hnida became the first female athlete to score in a Division I-A bowl game.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Trimble, Jamie (August 20, 2007). "Alumni Spotlight: Liz Heaston '99 Gets Kicks in more than One Sport". Willamette University Athletics. Retrieved April 21, 2011. 
  2. ^ Ley, Bob (October 15, 2000). "Page 2-Outside the Lines: Heather Sue Mercer suit". ESPN.com. Retrieved April 19, 2011. 
  3. ^ "Woman Kicks Two Extra Points for Willamette". Eugene Register-Guard. October 19, 1997. Retrieved April 20, 2011. 
  4. ^ DeLassus, David. "Willamette Game-by-Game Results (1995–1999)". College Football Data Warehouse. Retrieved April 20, 2011. 
  5. ^ DeLassus, David. "Willamette Bearcats". College Football Data Warehouse. Retrieved April 20, 2011. 
  6. ^ "Woman Kicks Extra Points". New York Times. October 20, 1997. Retrieved April 20, 2011.