Around the Region
Lutes hope for better luck second time around
|Jordan Patterson led Pacific
Lutheran with seven solo tackles in the Lutes' first meeting with
PLU athletics photo by Tim Morgan
The Pacific Lutheran football team suffered a shutout loss to Linfield when the Northwest Conference rivals met way back in Week 4.
The Lutes have not lost since that game, and are hoping for better results when they square off with second-ranked Linfield in the first round the NCAA Division III playoffs Saturday.
“We’re very, very excited to be in the playoffs No. 1, and very, very excited to go down and play Linfield again,” said PLU head coach Scott Westering, who has led the No. 13 Lutes to an 8-1 overall record.
“It’s a great opportunity to challenge you to be the best that you can be,” he added. “We know they’re a great team and they’re playing very well and they’re going to be well coach.”
Senior linebacker Jordan Patterson and the Pacific Lutheran defense are looking to contain Josh Yoder and the Linfield offense for four quarters.
“We’re definitely excited to get another shot,” said Patterson, who leads the team with 72 total tackles, including 15.5 for a loss. “Each game we play, we have an opportunity to get better. And we’re going to be a better PLU team than the first time that we played them this year. So it should be a really great game.”
He said the Lutes have to focus on finishing the game strong. Last time the teams met, Linfield held a 7-0 lead after three quarters, but extended that to a 29-0 victory.
Pacific Lutheran will have to slow down Josh Yoder, who is dangerous passing the ball as well as running. The Lutes hope while they slow down Yoder, their own dual-threat quarterback Dalton Ritchey can make plays with the ball.
“When you have a quarterback that can do what Josh Yoder does or what Dalton Ritchey does with their legs, that changes the whole dynamic of how you play defense and how you have to play defense,” Westering said.
The senior linebacker, who has an interception and a fumble recovery to go with four quarterback sacks, will be a key component to slowing down the Wildcats.
“He’s kind of a smiling assassin kind of guy. On the sidelines, he’s a soft-spoken, smiling kind of guy. Then when he crosses the chalk, he goes and plays the game,” Westering said. “He loves to play the game of football. He’s a physical train wreck, and loves that aspect of football. And yet does a great job of leading and playing the style of football we play at PLU.”
The Lutes are coming off a bye in the final week of the regular season. Westering said the week off has given his players an opportunity to heal up and get ready for the second season.
“To have a bye as the season ended was great for us to take a breath and...
Josh Smith covers high school and Division III athletics for the Daily Jefferson County Union in Fort Atkinson, Wis. He has won multiple awards for reporting and photography and contributes to multiple publications in addition to his duties at the Daily Union, including D3football.com beginning in 2012. He graduated from UW-Whitewater with a degree in print journalism.
2011-12 columns: Jason Galleske
2010: Tim Walsh
2003-09: Adam Johnson
1999-2000: Don Stoner
Lutes hope for better luck second time around
“We’re definitely excited to get another shot,” said senior Jordan Patterson....
One goal left for Saints
This season has been like a track race for Tyler Harper and St. Scholastica. The Saints stumbled...
Warhawks: Back on track
Jake Kumerow and UW-W have a new focus and appear to be back on track to reach the playoffs after...
Lockdown defense keys 'Cats
The Wildcats have held opponents under 10 points per game, helping the team race out to a 6-0 start...
Spartans pass a big test
Dubuque wants to be where it was in 2011 – atop the IIAC standings. After Saturday's win vs....
Bethel brothers bring the chemistry
So often, football players describe their relationships with teammates like that of brothers. At...
Platteville Pioneers pushed by prolific passing
UW-Platteville was tabbed to win this year’s conference title. At the clip that the Pioneers&r...
It can all end in a flash
If there is one thing Manny Gamble would like other football players to remember it’s to...
Taking center stage
Whitworth's Bryan Peterson should have no problem performing on a big stage. That’s because...
Norton gives back as he recovers from neck injury
Luther football player Chris Norton suffered a spinal cord injury in a game in October 2010. Given...
Hussey clicking on both ends for Pomona-Pitzer
Duncan Hussey wasn't satisfied with just playing defensive back for Pomona-Pitzer, and it turned out...
Games to watch for 2013
As the 2013 season nears, there are a number of games that stand out on the schedule – many of...
Getting second life
There's no self-delusion required at Bethel, where the Royals made the playoffs. And at Pacific...
St. Scholastica wiser second time around
Last year, when St. Scholastica won the UMAC's first-ever football automatic bid to the Division III...