October 13, 2012

Linfield clinches 57th consecutive winning season

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McMINNVILLE, Ore. – Mickey Inns passed for 261 yards and career-high five touchdowns and No. 3 Linfield pounded Northwest Conference rival Whitworth 54-14 on a crisp fall afternoon at Maxwell Field. Saturday's Homecoming victory pushed Linfield's record to 5-0, assuring the Wildcats of their 57th winning season while extending the program's remarkable all-divisions record for sustained success.

The three-time defending NWC champions overwhelmed Whitworth during the opening three periods, building a 54-0 advantage while outgaining the Pirates 524-75 in the game's first 45 minutes. The Linfield offense enjoyed its most productive day by far, turning eight of its 15 drives into touchdowns and converting half of its third-down opportunities.

Sparking the defensive effort was freshman defensive tackle Marq Randall, who ended the game with a team-high seven tackles. Nick Pietrzyk, Jordan Giza and Billy Simon each contributed five stops. KeAlii Poomaihealani made four tackles, two for sacks accounting for 18 yards in losses.

An interception by Brandon Funk of a Bryan Peterson pass deep in Pirates' territory set up the game's first score. Funk's pickoff spotted the ball at the Whitworth 18 and Inns needed just one play to find Deidre Wiersma on a 13-yard touchdown toss. Whitworth went three-and-out on the ensuing possession, and after a short punt, Linfield tailback John Shaffer ran eight yards for a touchdown. The extra point by Josh Kay made it 14-0 with 2:26 remaining in the quarter. The Pirates ran 14 plays in the first quarter, netting a paltry 17 yards in the process.

The Wildcats opened up the second quarter with an immediate score when Inns threw a picture-perfect 31-yard spiral to Charlie Poppen that put the Wildcats up 21-0. Linfield added one more score before the end of the half as Wiersma pulled in his second touchdown of the day from eight yards out.

Linfield handcuffed the Pirates to just 29 yards and three first downs I the first half. Peterson was sacked him four times before intermission, including two by Poomaihealani. In his first career start, Shaffer rolled up 97 of his game-high 108 rushing yards in the first quarter, despite wearing a padded cast that protected a fractured right hand.

The floodgates opening up in the third quarter when Inns and the Wildcats rang up three more scores over a six-minute stretch. Inns tossed two scoring strikes, including a 28-yard missile to David Sigler and an 8-yard dagger to Zach Young that effectively put the game out of reach at 41-0. Reserve quarterback Josh Yoder came replaced Inns and led the Wildcats on back-to-back scoring drives — one a 52-yard pass to Evan Peterson and a 6-yard toss to Derek Priestly with 1:14 left in the third quarter.

The Pirates averted the shutout with a couple of meaningless touchdowns against Linfield backups in the final quarter. Austin Ehlo broke the drought with a 6-yard reception from Peterson with 6:00 to play and D.J. Tripoli ran 20 yards for another score with just over a minute left on the clock.

Linfield outgained Whitworth 585-225, including a 355-142 differential through the air. Nine different Wildcats carried the ball as Linfield rushed for a season-high 230 yards.

Inns completed 23-of-32 throws without an interception and the Wildcats' offensive line did not surrender a sack. Linfield's backup quarterbacks were sparkling in their brief appearances. Yoder competed 5-of-5 for 78 yards and a touchdown. Third-stringer Matt Yarbrough was 3-for-3 for 16 yards.

Thirteen Wildcats were credited with receptions in the game and five different players caught touchdowns. Poppen's five catches for 68 yards and Peterson's four receptions for 86 yards topped the statistical summary. Wiersma finished with four catches for 40 yards and two scores while Lucas Jepson had four catches for 39 yards.

'CAT SCRATCH: Saturday's Homecoming attendance was 3,596. . . after their opening drive, three Whitworth possessions netted minus-14 yards. . . the Pirates managed 29 yards in the first half and just 75 through three quarters. . . Whitworth came into the game averaging 31.5 points and 378 yards of offense. . .Pirates tailback Ronnie Thomas, the NWC's second-leading rusher, was averaging 126.6 yards on the ground but departed with 16 yards rushing on 14 carries. . . Linfield won its Homecoming game for the 15th straight season. . . about 75 former Linfield football players welcomed the team to the field during the annual Walk of Honor. . . Florida State ranks second behind Linfield with 35 consecutive winning seasons while Mount Union is third on the active list with 34 straight winning campaigns.

NEXT: The Wildcats travel to Portland Saturday to play the Lewis and Clark Pioneers at 1 p.m. at Griswold Stadium.

Sep. 1: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Coast Guard at Anna Maria
7:00 PM
Defiance at Baldwin Wallace
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Washington and Lee at Johns Hopkins
7:30 PM
Trine at Manchester
Live Stats
8:00 PM
Millsaps at Belhaven
Sep. 2: All times Eastern
TBA
Muhlenberg at Wilkes
6:00 PM
Mass-Dartmouth at Mount Ida
6:00 PM
Delaware Valley at Wesley
7:00 PM
N.C. Wesleyan at Stevenson
7:00 PM
Western New England at Springfield
Video Live Stats
7:00 PM
Fitchburg State at Becker
Video Live Stats
7:00 PM
Albright at Salisbury
7:00 PM
WPI at MIT
7:00 PM
Salve Regina at Worcester State
7:00 PM
Bridgewater State at Curry
7:00 PM
Morrisville State at St. Lawrence
10:00 PM
Adrian at Pacific
Sep. 3: All times Eastern
TBA
Endicott at Framingham State
TBA
King's at Moravian
Live Stats
TBA
Wisconsin Lutheran at Trinity Int'l
TBA
UW-Platteville at George Fox
Live Stats
12:00 PM
Washington U. at Carnegie Mellon
Live Stats
12:00 PM
Chicago at Case Western Reserve
12:00 PM
Husson at Alfred
12:00 PM
SUNY-Maritime at Maine Maritime
Video
12:00 PM
Cortland at Heidelberg
12:00 PM
Otterbein at Buffalo State
12:00 PM
Ursinus at Bethany
12:00 PM
Sewanee at Kenyon
1:00 PM
Kean at Christopher Newport
1:00 PM
McDaniel at Catholic
1:00 PM
Lebanon Valley at Franklin and Marshall
1:00 PM
Plymouth State at Castleton
Live Stats
1:00 PM
RPI at Norwich
1:00 PM
Randolph-Macon at Dickinson
1:00 PM
Oberlin at Kalamazoo
1:00 PM
Emory and Henry at Ferrum
1:00 PM
Wooster at Washington and Jefferson
1:00 PM
Alfred State at William Paterson
1:00 PM
St. Vincent at Alma
1:00 PM
Concordia (Wis.) at Finlandia
1:00 PM
Olivet at St. John Fisher
1:00 PM
Rowan at Widener
1:00 PM
Hobart at Brockport
1:00 PM
Union at Ithaca
1:00 PM
Susquehanna at Lycoming
1:00 PM
Utica at Misericordia
1:00 PM
The Apprentice School at Methodist
1:00 PM
TCNJ at UW-Whitewater
1:30 PM
Wilmington at Bluffton
1:30 PM
Monmouth at Hope
1:30 PM
Bridgewater at Gettysburg
1:30 PM
Muskingum at Waynesburg
1:30 PM
Juniata at Grove City
2:00 PM
Lakeland at Carroll
Video Live Stats
2:00 PM
UW-Stevens Point at St. Norbert
2:00 PM
Austin at Hendrix
2:00 PM
Maranatha Baptist at Martin Luther
Live Stats
2:00 PM
Millikin at Greenville
Live Stats
2:00 PM
Eureka at Knox
Live Stats
2:00 PM
MacMurray at Rockford
2:00 PM
Gustavus Adolphus at Westminster (Mo.)
Video Live Stats
2:00 PM
UW-La Crosse at Luther
2:00 PM
Beloit at Lake Forest
2:00 PM
Concordia-Moorhead at Jamestown
2:00 PM
Crown at Hamline
Live Stats
2:00 PM
Carleton at Macalester
2:00 PM
Bethel at Dubuque
2:00 PM
St. Scholastica at St. John's
Live Stats
2:00 PM
St. Olaf at Grinnell
2:00 PM
Buena Vista at Mayville St.
2:00 PM
Simpson at UW-Stout
2:00 PM
Aurora at Carthage
2:00 PM
UW-River Falls at Coe
2:00 PM
Ripon at Concordia-Chicago
2:00 PM
Elmhurst at Loras
2:00 PM
Huntingdon at Louisiana College
2:00 PM
North Central (Ill.) at Robert Morris-Chicago
2:00 PM
Benedictine at Wheaton (Ill.)
2:00 PM
John Carroll at UW-Oshkosh
2:30 PM
Southern Virginia at Earlham
Live Stats
2:30 PM
Lawrence at Presentation
4:00 PM
La Verne at Puget Sound
Live Stats
4:00 PM
Central at Whitworth
5:00 PM
Hartwick at Western Connecticut
6:00 PM
Wabash at Albion
6:00 PM
Maryville (Tenn.) at Berry
6:00 PM
Augustana at Mount St. Joseph
6:00 PM
Thomas More at Franklin
Live Stats
6:00 PM
Hampden-Sydney at Averett
6:00 PM
Redlands at Trinity (Texas)
7:00 PM
Marietta at Denison
7:00 PM
Hiram at Westminster (Pa.)
7:00 PM
Thiel at Allegheny
7:00 PM
Capital at Wittenberg
7:00 PM
Shenandoah at Gallaudet
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Illinois College at Rose-Hulman
Video Live Stats
7:00 PM
Geneva at Frostburg State
7:00 PM
Nichols at Westfield State
7:00 PM
Greensboro at Guilford
Live Stats
7:00 PM
LaGrange at Birmingham-Southern
7:00 PM
Hardin-Simmons at Southwestern
7:00 PM
Anderson at North Park
7:00 PM
Ohio Wesleyan at Mary Hardin-Baylor
7:00 PM
East Texas Baptist at Texas Lutheran
7:10 PM
St. Thomas at UW-Eau Claire
Video Live Stats
7:30 PM
Hanover at Centre
8:00 PM
Willamette at Rhodes
8:00 PM
Cornell at Iowa Wesleyan
Live Stats
8:00 PM
Augsburg at Northwestern (Minn.)
Live Stats
8:00 PM
Southwestern Assemblies at Howard Payne
8:00 PM
Sul Ross State at UT-Permian Basin
Dec. 18: All times Eastern
Final
Mount Union 49, at St. Thomas 35
@ Salem, Va.
Box Score Recap Recap Photos