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Linfield wins Top 25 matchup easily

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McMINNVILLE, Ore. – West coast rivals Linfield and Cal Lutheran battled Saturday at Maxwell Field in an early season matchup of nationally ranked foes and the result was no contest.

Linfield quarterback Josh Yoder passed for three touchdowns and scored on a 35-yard romp as the third-ranked Wildcats bolted past 22nd-ranked CLU to move to 2-0 for the straight third season.

Linfield receivers Charlie Poppen and Brian Balsiger combined for 12 catches and 220 aerial yards, while tailback Josh Hill rushed 15 times for 71 yards and one touchdown to complement a balanced Wildcats attack.

The Kingsmen never found their offensive groove, scoring single touchdowns in the first and fourth quarters in an otherwise lopsided affair. Linfield outgained Cal Lutheran 655-361, including a 283-180 advantage on the ground.

The home opener went so well that Linfield called on its punting unit just once, though the Wildcats were flagged 14 times for 99 yards and gave away one more turnover than the visitors.

On the game's first possession, Hill scored from seven yards out to cap an 11-play, 75-yard drive, breaking several tackles on the way to the end zone. The senior all-star rushed for 59 yards in the quarter, firmly establishing Linfield's ground game early on.

CLU evened the score at 7 when Kingsmen quarterback Cameron Deen passed two yards to Alix Moise with 2:22 left before Yoder and tight end Westly Meng hooked up for a 32-yard scoring play with 25 seconds left in the opening quarter. Four minutes later, Josh Repp made it 17-7 with a 37-yard field goal.

Linfield padded its lead in the closing seconds of the half as Yoder found Poppen for an 11-yard touchdown. The extra point by Repp made the score 24-7 with nine ticks left on the clock.

Keeping the ball on a fourth-and-2 from the CLU 35, Yoder weaved his way to the goal line, extending the hosts' lead to 24 points on Linfield's first possession of the second half.

Yoder then passed 30 yards over the top to to Colin Nelson for another score and the rout was on. Freshman tailback Spencer Payne added to Cal Lutheran's misery with a 14-yard run with 10:08 left in the fourth quarter.

Wayne Chapman scored on a 5-yard run for CLU with 7:27 to go, but Linfield got the points right back with a 13-yard TD by senior Mikkel Smythe that completed a 12-play, 80-yard march.

On other occasions when the Kingsmen did move the ball, they failed to come away with points. Kicker Sean Belliotti was wide left on two field goal opportunities, the first from 28 yards away in the second quarter, and the other on a 33-yarder early in the third.

Wildcats linebacker Dominique Forrest turned in a 15-tackle performance that included two stops behind the line of scrimmage. Tim Edmonds had nine tackles, 1½ for loss, and broke up two passes. Kyle Wright picked off a pass to go with his four tackles.

Chapman ran for a game-high 113 yards but never smelled the end zone. Deen completed 13 of 25 throws for 147 yards and one TD.

On the other sideline, Yoder finished 16 for 24 for 322 yards and three TDs, but he threw two interceptions and was sacked twice.

'CAT SCRATCH: Saturday's attendance was 2,480. . . among the dignitaries in attendance Saturday were former Oregon coach Mike Bellotti and Nevada Governor Brian Sandovol . . . the Wildcats defeated Cal Lutheran for the fifth straight time and by the widest margin of the eight-game series. . . Linfield was 5-for-5 inside the oppenents' red zone. . . Jorden Walker averaged 62.2 yards on eight kickoffs, including two that went for touchbacks. . . Linfield's 2013 baseball team was presented its national championship rings during special ceremony at halftime. . . Payne, a local product from McMinnville High School, scored a TD in his first collegiate game.

NEXT: Linfield travels three time zones east to Cleveland, Ohio, to face Case Western Reserve Saturday in game that kicks off at 9 a.m. on the west coast. It will be the second long plane trip in three weeks for the Wildcats, who also scored a 71-21 win Sept. 14 over Hardin-Simmons at Abilene, Texas.

Sep. 23: All times Eastern
Final
at Framingham State 50, Massachusetts Maritime 7
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Muhlenberg 56, at Juniata 40
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at Dean 25, Becker 10
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Salisbury 27, at TCNJ 7
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MIT 38, at Catholic 21
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Merchant Marine 56, at Maine Maritime 31
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at Hobart 34, Endicott 17
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at Morrisville State 44, Nichols 22
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at Delaware Valley 27, Stevenson 7
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at Albright 9, Widener 7
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Christopher Newport 16, at Montclair State 8
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at Westminster (Pa.) 41, Bethany 14
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Middlebury 41, at Bowdoin 14
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Williams 24, at Colby 7
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Amherst 36, at Hamilton 6
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Ursinus 35, at Moravian 17
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Trinity (Conn.) 51, at Bates 0
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at LaGrange 38, Brevard 28
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Geneva 33, at Thiel 24
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at Plymouth State 37, Mass-Dartmouth 7
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Kean 28, at Southern Virginia 14
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Frostburg State 24, at Rowan 10
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Union 17, at Curry 14
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at Carnegie Mellon 37, Thomas More 17
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Lycoming 44, at King's 41
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at Western New England 21, Husson 14
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Johns Hopkins 41, at Dickinson 10
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at DePauw 51, Wooster 24
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at Ohio Wesleyan 37, Allegheny 21
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at Misericordia 43, Wilkes 14
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at Alfred 45, Rochester 7
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Wesley 66, at William Paterson 0
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at N.C. Wesleyan 35, Maryville (Tenn.) 25
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Huntingdon 31, at Ferrum 28
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at McDaniel 27, Gettysburg 20
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at Buffalo State 33, RPI 21
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Franklin and Marshall 27, at Susquehanna 24
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at Denison 45, Oberlin 17
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at Northwestern (Minn.) 10, Westminster (Mo.) 7
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at Eureka 44, Crown 20
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at Lebanon Valley 24, FDU-Florham 14
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at Heidelberg 47, John Carroll 21
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at Ohio Northern 35, Otterbein 7
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at Mount Union 55, Baldwin Wallace 7
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at Rose-Hulman 37, Defiance 14
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at Marietta 49, Muskingum 25
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Franklin 59, at Bluffton 30
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at Hanover 64, Anderson 21
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Mount St. Joseph 31, at Manchester 14
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Worcester State 34, at Westfield State 10
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Coast Guard 13, at Norwich 9
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at Fitchburg State 31, Bridgewater State 29
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Wittenberg 48, at Kenyon 11
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at Wabash 25, Hiram 21
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North Central (Ill.) 51, at Millikin 21
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at Millsaps 17, Sewanee 13
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at Rhodes 35, Birmingham-Southern 9
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at Hendrix 36, Austin 24
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at Martin Luther 34, Greenville 20
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at Trinity (Texas) 41, Chapman 35
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at Loras 73, Buena Vista 34
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at Wartburg 30, Washington U. 20
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at Gustavus Adolphus 51, Hamline 7
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Augsburg 48, at Carleton 28
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at Bethel 64, St. Olaf 7
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at Luther 21, Dubuque 17
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at Central 52, Nebraska Wesleyan 27
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Simpson 38, at Coe 33
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Wheaton (Ill.) 40, at Elmhurst 15
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St. Norbert 66, at Grinnell 13
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at Knox 13, Ripon 6
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at MacMurray 32, Iowa Wesleyan 14
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Hardin-Simmons 63, at Howard Payne 3
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Southwestern 37, at Louisiana College 34
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Monmouth 26, at Macalester 0
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at St. Thomas 20, St. John's 17
@ Target Field, Minneapolis
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at Springfield 42, WPI 10
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at Cornell 55, Beloit 36
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3rd - 5:29
7 Utica
21 Brockport
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4th - 15:00
14 St. John Fisher
14 Hartwick
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at UW-La Crosse 41, Carroll 6
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at St. Scholastica 37, Minnesota-Morris 3
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at George Fox 44, UW-Eau Claire 0
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4th qtr; 11:27
23 Salve Regina
31 Western Connecticut
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2nd - 9:11
14 Adrian
21 UW-Stevens Point
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10 Tufts
0 Wesleyan
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6:00 PM
Methodist at Averett
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2nd - 00:16
7 Centre
7 Berry
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2nd - 13:17
0 Waynesburg
14 Case Western Reserve
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7:00 PM
St. Vincent at Grove City
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7:00 PM
North Park at Illinois Wesleyan
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7:00 PM
Texas Lutheran at Mary Hardin-Baylor
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1st - 04:46
0 Lakeland
7 UW-Platteville
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7:00 PM
Carthage at Augustana
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7:00 PM
Chicago at Illinois College
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7:00 PM
McMurry at Sul Ross State
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7:30 PM
Capital at Wilmington
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Lake Forest at Lawrence
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8:00 PM
Belhaven at East Texas Baptist
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Arizona Christian at Whittier
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Sep. 23: All times Eastern
Final
at Delaware Valley 27, Stevenson 7
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Wesley 66, at William Paterson 0
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at Alfred 45, Rochester 7
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Johns Hopkins 41, at Dickinson 10
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Frostburg State 24, at Rowan 10
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at Heidelberg 47, John Carroll 21
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at Mount Union 55, Baldwin Wallace 7
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Wittenberg 48, at Kenyon 11
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at Wabash 25, Hiram 21
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Hardin-Simmons 63, at Howard Payne 3
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North Central (Ill.) 51, at Millikin 21
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Wheaton (Ill.) 40, at Elmhurst 15
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at St. Thomas 20, St. John's 17
@ Target Field, Minneapolis
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3rd - 5:29
7 Utica
21 Brockport
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2nd - 13:17
0 Waynesburg
14 Case Western Reserve
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7:00 PM
North Park at Illinois Wesleyan
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1st - 04:46
0 Lakeland
7 UW-Platteville
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7:00 PM
Texas Lutheran at Mary Hardin-Baylor
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