Pacific University Football Weekly Notebook - 9/27/10

More news about: Pacific

Game No. 3/Away Game No. 2
Sat., Oct. 2, 1:45 p.m., Griswold Stadium, Portland, Ore.
Live Audio Webcast: www.goboxers.com
Live Video (Fee): client.stretchinternet.com/client/lclark.portal#
Audio replay Monday night, 7 p.m., on KUIK-AM (1360)

For the first time since the Northwest Conference stopped sponsoring football following the 1984 season, the Pacific football team prepares to play their first conference game in 27 years this weekend.  The Boxers are on the road as Lewis & Clark welcomes Pacific for their homecoming.  Both teams will be looking for their first league win of the year, while the Boxers will be looking for their first win of the season.

• In front of an electric crowd witnessing Pacific's first home game in 19 years, Pacific found themsleves challenged by a solid Claremont-Mudd-Scripps squad.  The Stags amassed 332 yards of total offense and 171 yards on the ground to beat the Boxers 37-9.

• Davis Jacobs had the first home score for the reinstated program, connecting on a 25-yard run in the second quarter in the loss.

• The Boxers continue to be strong in the air, passing for 171 yards against Claremont.  Pacific enters the week as the second best passing offense in the NWC, averaging 259 yards per game.  Quarterback P.J. Minaya ranks seventh in the NWC in passing efficiency, while starter T.C. Campbell ranks eighth.

• Jon Lee connected on his fifth consecutive field goal, hitting a season-long 42 yarder in the second quarter against Claremont.  Lee enters the week as the top field goal kicker in the conference and ranks fifth in the NWC in scoring.  He ranks first among NCAA Division III kickers with 2.50 field goals made per game.

• Spencer Bell was selected as the NWC Special Teams Student-Athlete of the Week for the week of Sept. 20 after kicking five times, averaging 43.8 yards per punt.  Bell had a long punt of 50 yards against Claremont.

• Saturday's game will be the first Northwest Conference game for the Boxers since 1984.  Pacific lost their last NWC game before joining the Columbia Football Association, 34-19, to Lewis & Clark.

Location: Portland, Ore.
Enrollment: 1,999
Colors: Orange & Black
Nickname: Pioneers
Conference: Northwest
Stadium: Griswold Stadium (3,600, FieldTurf)
President: Jane Atkinson
Athletic Director: Clark Yeager
Head Coach: Chris Sulages (Weber State 1995)
Sulages' Record At L&C: 3-33/5 Years
Sulages' Record Overall: 3-33/5 Years
2009 Record: 2-7    NWC Record: 1-5 (6th)
All-Time Series: Lewis & Clark leads 31-28-4
Last Meeting: Lewis & Clark won 32-13 at Forest Grove on Sept. 21, 1991

ABOUT THE COACH: Chris Sulages is in his fifth season as Lewis & Clark head coach, taking over the program after two seasons as offensive line coach and recruiting coordinator.  Sulages has been successful in leading the Pioneers back to some success after a long stretch of futility, which included their first NWC win last season in six years.  Sulages came to L&C from Cal State Northridge, where he spent two seasons as the Matadors' recruiting coordinator, offensive line and tight ends coach.  Sulages has also coached with Occidental, Univ. of San Diego and Weber State.

Lewis & Clark leads the all-time series 31-28-4.  Lewis & Clark beat the Boxers in the team's last meeting, 32-13, in Forest Grove on Sept. 21, 1991.  

In the first NWC game of the season, Lewis & Clark put up 297 yards in total offense in taking a 38-20 loss at Whitworth.  The Pioneers netted 184 yards rushing and saw quarterback Keith Welch pass for 113 yards while completing 15 of 27.  L&C was down 10-3 early in the second quarter before tying the game of 13-yard rushing touchdown by Welch.  The Pirates took advnatage of a quick drive and a three-and-out to go up 24-13 and would build as much as a 31-13 lead in the third quarter.  Welch also led the Pioneers in rushing, carriying 16 times for 98 yards.


• Lewis & Clark will aim for just their second NWC win since Sept. 27, 2003, and hope to get it against Pacific at homecoming.  The Pioneers ended a six-year conference winless drought on Nov. 14, 2009, beating Puget Sound 30-27.

• Lewis & Clark was picked to finish sixth in the NWC, finishing one point ahead of upstart Pacific in the preseason coaches poll.  The Pioneers return three Honorable Mention All-NWC selections from last year in linebacker Louis Baltazar, tight end Shawn Evans, defensive back Chris Kelly and quarterback Tucker Lawrence.

• Entering the week, Lewis & Clark ranks second in the NWC in scoring offense, averaging 24.7 points per game and leads the league in rushing offense at 282 yards per game.  Conversely, the Pioneers rank last in scoring defense, allowing 47 points per game.  Keith Welch is among the league's leading rushers, ranking second with 119.3 yards per game.  Joevente Mayes is the league's third leading rusher at 116.7 yards per game.  Logan Kotzian's 136.3 all-purpose yards per game ranks third in the NWC.

• Lewis & Clark has won three of the last four meetings between the two teams.  The string was broken up by a 22-22 tie in Portland on Oct. 27, 1990 that saw Pacific's Al Navarro set a NAIA record with 53 carries.

TWO WEEKS, TWO TOP NWC SPECIAL TEAMERS: In the first two games of the reinstated program, the Boxers have managed to net two Northwest Conference awards for Special Teams Student-Athlete of the Week.  This time, punter Spencer Bell (Fr., Gresham, Ore.) earned the honor for his efforts in the Sept. 18 game against Claremont-Mudd-Scripps.  Bell punted five times for 184 yards, averaging 36.8 yards per punt.  The string included his second 50-yard punt of the season that buried Claremont deep in their own territory in the third quarter.  Bell's sure foot has allowed him to rank as the top punter in the NWC  and 36th nationally among NCAA Division III punters with an average 38.9 yards per punt.

LEE LEADS NATION IN FIELD GOALS: The legend that has become of the soccer player turned kicker Jon Lee (Sr., Kahalu'u, Hawaii) continues to grow.  The senior enters the week as the No. 1 field goal kicker in the nation at the NCAA Division III level, averaging 2.50 field goals per game.  Lee has made all five of his attempts in two games.  After hitting four field goals against Puget Sound on Sept. 4, he added a season-long 42-yarder in his only attempt against Claremont-Mudd-Scripps on Sept. 18.  In addition, Lee ranks tied for 84th nationally in scoring with eight points per game and lead the conference in field goals, kick scoring and field goal percentage.

EFFICIENT IN THE AIR: Despite playing a minimum of three quarterbacks in each of their first two games, the Boxers are finding a lot to like in their passing game.  Pacific enters the week ranked second in passing offense, averaging 259 yards per game.  In addition, the Boxers rank 81st nationally in passing efficiency at 134.6.  The two men who appear to have the inside track on starting duties for the rest of the season are among the most accurate passers in the league.  T.C. Campbell (Fr., Kaimuki, Hawaii) ranks fifth in the NWC passing efficiency at 134.0, completing 8 of 17 for 176 yards.  He also ranks eighth in the league in passing average at 88 yards per game.  P.J. Minaya (Fr., Wahiawa, Hawaii) ranks seventh of passing efficiency at 126.8.  Entering this week, Minaya has completed 18 of 27 passes for 217 yards and ranks seventh in the NWC with an average of 108.5 yard per game.

SCORING AT HOME: After Taylor Hickson (Fr., Red Bluff, Calif.) scored the first touchdown on the new program against Puget Sound, Davis Jacobs (Fr., Tigard, Ore.) earned a historic mark himself by becoming the first Pacific player to score at home for the new program.  Jacobs scored the Boxers' only touchdown on a 25-yard run with 3:50 left in the first quarter in the Sept. 18 loss to Claremont-Mudd-Scripps.  Jacobs finished the game as the Boxers' leading rusher, netting 69 yards.  He leads the Boxers in rushing with 71 yards and is averaging three yards per carry.

FORCING IT OUT: The Pacific defense is doing the job when it comes to forcing fumbles.  The Boxers have forced six fumbles on the season, including three against Claremont-Mudd-Scripps on Sept. 18.  Of the six, the Boxers have recovered four of them.  Three Boxers are currently tied for first in the NWC in forced fumbles, with Marc Moody (Jr., Ewa Beach, Hawaii), Mike Smith (Fr., Tumwater, Wash.) and Ku Aiona (So., Kapolei, Hawaii) each having credit for one forced fumble.  In addition, Kasey Dukes (Fr., Wahiawa, Hawaii) and Daniel Rondez (Fr., Elk Grove, Calif.) each rank second in the league with 0.50 fumbles recovered per game.

MEDICAL REPORT: Head Coach Keith Buckley reports that the Boxers will be without three potentially key players for the rest of the season due to injury.  Wide receiver Darin Kamealoha (Fr., Waipahu, Hawaii) was lost for the year after breaking his leg in the Sept. 18 game against Claremont-Mudd-Scripps.  Kamealoha started each of the first two games of the season and had averaged 19.5 yards receiving per game.  Defensive lineman Courtland Thompson (Fr., Hollister, Calif.) is out with a shoulder injury and Frank Howard (Jr., Orland, Calif.) is gone for the year with an unspecified injury.

TWO-WAY PLAYER: With the bye week over the weekend, at least one Pacific player found a chance to compete in his second sport.  Troy Zuroske (Fr., Richland, Wash.) completed for the Boxers' men's tennis team at the USTA/ITA Northwest Small College Men's Tennis Championships held in Salem.  Zuroske won his first round match in three sets over Puget Sound's Alex Harrison, 16-, 6-3, 6-2, but dropped his second round tilt to No. 6 seed Conor Holton-Burke of Whitman, 6-1, 6-4.  Zuroske, a linebacker, saw his first football action against Claremont-Mudd-Scripps on Sept. 18.  A very talented tennis player, Zuroske was the 2009 Columbia Basin League Player of the Year and finished fourth at the 2009 Washington 4A state championships.

RETURNING TO CONFERENCE PLAY: With Saturday's game against Lewis & Clark, the Boxers will play their first Northwest Conference game in nearly three decades.  Pacific played their last Northwest Conference contest to end the 1984 season, dropping a 34-19 decision to those same Pioneers.  Pacific's last NWC win came earlier that season when the Boxers beat Willamette 35-13.  The Boxers played seven more years after that season, competing as part of the Columbia Football Association.  The NWC reinistated football as a conference sport in 1996 in preparation for the league's transition from NAIA membership to NCAA Division III.

At least two conference opponents are hoping that scheduling Pacific for homecoming will result in a win.  Lewis & Clark will celebrate their homecoming this Saturday and have the Boxers in for the occasion.  The Pioneers last won their homecoming game on Oct. 24, 2009, beating a powerhouse squad from Crown College 57-35.  Longtime football rival Linfield has also scheduled the Boxers for their homecoming on Sat., Oct. 16.

ON CAMPUS RECRUITS: A handful of players have come out for the Pacific program after being on campus for the majority of their college careers.  Two of those are out for football are competing for the Boxers in other sports.  Jon Lee is scheduled to be the starting place kicker on Saturday.  Lee competed as a freshman for the Pacific men's soccer program.  C.J. Aalona (Sr., Hauula, Hawaii) is also out for football after three seasons competing for the Pacific men's wrestling team and one season as a student assistant coach.  Aalona will play on the defensive line after returning from injuries incurred during training camp.

ISLAND PRESENCE: In what should be no surprise to those familiar with Pacific University, the Boxers have a number of Hawaii students on the roster.  A total of 30 of Pacific's 124 players hail from the Islands, well in line with 1:4 ratio of Hawaii students in Pacific's undergraduate College of Arts & Sciences.  The list includes five players who played Kamehameha's 2009 state championship team, including Landon Aano (Fr., Ewa Beach, Hawaii), Chaz Bajet (Fr., Waipahu, Hawaii), Cameron Baron (Fr., Waianae, Hawaii), T.C. Campbell and Kamu Morita (Fr., Honolulu, Hawaii).

MAINLAND PRESENCE: Hawaii is not the only state well represented on the Pacific roster.  The Boxers feature 31 players from Oregon, 27 from California and 12 from Washington.  Pacific boasts players on the roster from literally every corner of the nation, including Arizona, North Dakota and Georgia.

SNAPPING THE SKID: Pacific will be looking to snap an 11-game losing streak on Saturday that stretches back to the end of the old program.  The Boxers enter the game having lost 10 straight, dropping all of their games during the 1991 campaign.  Pacific's last win came on Nov. 10, 1990, at the old McCready Field on the Pacific campus.  The Boxers came back from a 14-0 deficit in the first half, tying it with a Joe Spanish four-yard run and taking the lead on Carlos Valdivia's extra point as the Boxers beat Oregon Tech 15-14.

PACIFIC TO BROADCAST ALL NINE GAMES: All nine Pacific football games will be broadcast online via Pacific's Boxer Sports Network.  Audio webcasts of all nine games will be available live, with the pregame show beginning 15 minutes prior to kickoff.  Audio webcasts will be available free of charge and will also be replayed Monday nights at 7 p.m. in the Portland area on KUIK-AM (1360).  In addition, a video webcast will be available for all four home Pacific games.  The video webcast will be available for $10 per game.  The webcasts are available a link at www.goboxers.com.

Matt Richert will provide the play-by-play voice for Pacific football.  A 20-year broadcast veteran, Richert most recently worked as one of the prep play-by-play voices for KUIK-AM in Hillsboro.  He has also lent his voice to a number of OSAA Radio Network state championship broadcasts.  Scott Hermo will provide the color analysis.  Hermo has worked as a color commentator and sports host for KUIK since 1994.

Maintenance in progress.
Dec. 9: All times Eastern
Mount Union 43, at UW-Oshkosh 40
Box Score Recap Recap Photos
at Mary Hardin-Baylor 24, Brockport 0
Box Score Recap Photos
Dec. 15: All times Eastern
Mount Union 12, at Mary Hardin-Baylor 0
@ Salem, Va.
Video Box Score Recap Photos