October 5, 2013

Linfield's fourth-quarter explosion buries PLU

More news about: Linfield

McMINNVILLE, Ore. – Never mind that Linfield is one of the most productive offensive teams in NCAA Division III this season.

The second-ranked Wildcats are a pretty good defensive club, too, as they proved Saturday at jam-packed Maxwell Field.

Scoring 22 points in the fourth quarter to win going away, Linfield undressed 11th ranked Pacific Lutheran 29-0 in the Northwest Conference opener for both clubs. Monsterback Kyle Wright made six tackles and intercepted a pass, captaining a defense that produced five takeaways and four sacks while limiting the rival Lutes to 216 total yards.

Tailback Josh Hill rushed for three short touchdowns and quarterback Josh Yoder ran for 67 yards and passed 200 more to pace the Wildcats offensively. With Yoder at the controls, Linfield piled up 394 yards while Wright and the defense held PLU to 40 yards rushing in posting a second consecutive shutout for the first time since 2002.

The first of five turnovers occurred before the game was even a minute old. Forty-four seconds into the contest, Lutes quarterback Dalton Ritchey lost his grip on the ball and Tyler Steele recoverd at the PLU 24. Linfield advanced to the 7 off the turnover, but a 23-yard field goal by Josh Repp was ruled wide right.

After a PLU punt, the Wildcats drove 77 yards in eight plays into the end zone, with Hill slicing in from the 6. Repp's extra point was good and Linfield led 7-0 with 24 seconds left in the first quarter.

PLU missed a decent opportunity early in the second quarter when Ritchey drove the Lutes to the Wildcats 19. Senior end KeAlii Poomaihealani sacked Dalton on first down and the Lutes turned the ball over on downs following a delay of game penalty and an incomplete pass.

The Wildcats tried to make it a two-score game just before intermission, but linebacker Joel Anthony sacked Yoder at the PLU 38 and the score remained 7-0 heading as the teams retreated to the locker room.

Both offenses were muted during the first half, with the Wildcats outgaining the Lutes by a 168-115 margin, and the two quarterbacks posted matching 8-for-15 passing statistics through the first two quarters.

The defensive stalemate continued through the third quarter before Linfield erupted for 22 points in the span of 10:27. The key play came on the Lutes' first possession of the quarter. PLU drove to the Linfield 8 but Jeremy Girod sacked Dalton on fourth-and-goal, giving the ball back to the Wildcats. PLU never crossed the Linfield 40 the rest of the game.

After a scoreless third quarter, the Wildcats reeled off three straight touchdowns to start the final period while the Linfield defense held firm. Hill squeezed over the goal line from the 1, completing 14-play, 75-yard drive. The extra point was blocked by Anthony and Linfield led 13-0.

On the ensuing possession, Dalton passed incomplete on three straight plays and the Lutes were forced punt. Yoder then smoothly guided the 'Cats down the field, firing an 18-yard strike to Charlie Poppen for the touchdown. The two-point conversion attempted failed.

Linfield slammed the door moments later. Dalton was intercepted by Brandon Funk, who returned the ball 31 yards to the PLU 4. A personal foul penalty spotted the ball at the 2 where Hill ran the remaining distance on the next play. Repp's extra point pumped Linfield's lead to 26-0.

PLU's next drive ended in another Dalton interception and more Linfield points. This time, with 4:30 left to play, it was Wright with the pickoff of a Dalton pass inside PLU territory. Repp followed with a 38-yard field goal through the middle of the uprights.

In addition to Wright's all-around performance, the Wildcats were bolstered by five tackles each from Forman and Dominique Forrest. Girod finished with two sacks for 15 yards in losses.

The Wildcats did not surrender a single turnover while the Lutes surrendered the ball five times. Wildcats wideout Charlie Poppen caught five passes for 70 yards and tight ends Westley Meng and Jacob Priester each had three receptions.

Linfield rushed for 194 net yards. Linebackers Jordan Patterson and Dalton Darmody each and eight tackles defensively for PLU (3-1, 0-1 NWC).

'CAT SCRATCH: Saturday's paid attendance was 3,624. . . the Wildcats have won 17 straight Homecoming games and 13 consecutive contests over PLU. . . senior linebacker Tyler Robitaille and sophomore tailback John Shaffer returned from injuries to see their first action of the season. . . Jorden Walker averaged 43.7 yards on three punts. . . PLU converted just 2 of 11 third-down plays and were 0-for-2 inside the red zone. . . Linfield entered the game ranked fifth in Division III in total offense.

NEXT: The Wildcats enjoy a mid-season bye in the coming week, then focus on a lengthy road trip to Whitworth Oct. 19. The Lutes host Lewis & Clark next Saturday at Sparks Stadium.

comments powered by Disqus
Sep. 4: All times Eastern
8:00 PM
East Texas Baptist at Tex. A&M-Commerce
Audio
Sep. 5: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Anna Maria at Worcester State
7:00 PM
Western New England at Springfield
Live Stats Video
7:00 PM
Albright at Kean
Live Stats Video
7:00 PM
Widener at Rowan
Live Stats Live Stats Audio
7:00 PM
WPI at Curry
Live Stats Live Stats
7:00 PM
Mass-Dartmouth at Mount Ida
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Salve Regina at Bridgewater State
Live Stats Video
7:00 PM
William Paterson at SUNY-Maritime
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Ursinus at TCNJ
7:00 PM
Fitchburg State at Becker
Live Stats Video
7:00 PM
Nichols at Westfield State
Video
7:30 PM
McDaniel at Catholic
Live Stats
7:30 PM
Trine at Manchester
Live Stats Video Audio
8:00 PM
Waldorf at UW-Whitewater
Live Stats
Sep. 6: All times Eastern
12:00 PM
Endicott at Framingham State
12:00 PM
Dickinson at Hobart
Live Stats
12:00 PM
Holland College (PEI, Canada) at Maine Maritime
Video
12:00 PM
Otterbein at St. John Fisher
Live Stats Audio
12:00 PM
Union at Ithaca
12:00 PM
Pomona-Pitzer at MIT
Video
12:00 PM
Husson at Alfred
12:00 PM
Randolph-Macon at Johns Hopkins
12:00 PM
Cortland State at Buffalo State
Live Stats
1:00 PM
St. Lawrence at Coast Guard
Video
1:00 PM
Thomas More at Wesley
Live Stats Audio
1:00 PM
Plymouth State at Castleton State
Live Stats Video
1:00 PM
Lebanon Valley at Franklin and Marshall
Live Stats Video
1:00 PM
Emory and Henry at Ferrum
Audio
1:00 PM
Washington and Lee at Averett
Live Stats
1:00 PM
Hampden-Sydney at Wabash
Live Stats Video Audio
1:00 PM
Rose-Hulman at Kalamazoo
Live Stats Video Audio
1:00 PM
Wilmington at Olivet
Live Stats
1:00 PM
King's at Moravian
Live Stats
1:00 PM
Alfred State at Morrisville State
Live Stats Audio
1:00 PM
Susquehanna at Lycoming
Live Stats Video Audio
1:00 PM
Oberlin at Brockport State
1:00 PM
Utica at Misericordia
Live Stats
1:00 PM
Delaware Valley at Montclair State
1:00 PM
Southern Virginia at Methodist
1:00 PM
Marietta at Kenyon
1:00 PM
Merchant Marine at Apprentice
1:00 PM
Muhlenberg at Wilkes
Live Stats
1:00 PM
Sewanee at DePauw
Live Stats Video Audio
1:30 PM
Ohio Wesleyan at Bluffton
1:30 PM
Adrian at Defiance
Live Stats
1:30 PM
RPI at Norwich
Live Stats Video
1:30 PM
Alma at Heidelberg
1:30 PM
Berry at Maryville (Tenn.)
Live Stats Video Audio
1:30 PM
Bridgewater (Va.) at Gettysburg
Audio
1:30 PM
Muskingum at Waynesburg
Audio
1:30 PM
St. Vincent at John Carroll
1:30 PM
Mount Union at Bethany
1:30 PM
Juniata at Grove City
Audio
2:00 PM
Franklin at Illinois Wesleyan
2:00 PM
Rhodes at Austin
Live Stats
2:00 PM
Carleton at Macalester
2:00 PM
UW-Platteville at Buena Vista
2:00 PM
Ohio Northern at Washington U.
Live Stats Video
2:00 PM
UW-River Falls at St. John's
Live Stats Video Audio
2:00 PM
Crown at Gustavus Adolphus
2:00 PM
Concordia-Moorhead at Jamestown
2:00 PM
Simpson at Iowa Wesleyan
2:00 PM
Hope at Monmouth
Audio
2:00 PM
Lawrence at Rockford
2:00 PM
Aurora at Illinois College
2:00 PM
Carroll at Lakeland
2:00 PM
Elmhurst at Loras
2:00 PM
Millikin at Greenville
2:00 PM
Coe at Wheaton (Ill.)
2:00 PM
Presentation at Luther
2:00 PM
Martin Luther at Maranatha Baptist
Video
2:00 PM
MacMurray at Culver-Stockton
2:00 PM
Eureka at Knox
2:00 PM
UW-Stout at Dakota Wesleyan
2:00 PM
Huntingdon at Louisiana College
Video
2:00 PM
Ripon at St. Scholastica
Live Stats
2:00 PM
Hendrix at Westminster (Mo.)
Video
2:10 PM
UW-Eau Claire at St. Thomas
Audio
3:00 PM
St. Norbert at Carthage
4:00 PM
Claremont-Mudd-Scripps at Puget Sound
4:00 PM
Lewis and Clark at Whitworth
4:00 PM
College of Idaho at Pacific
4:30 PM
Arizona Christian at George Fox
5:00 PM
Hartwick at Western Connecticut
6:00 PM
Salisbury at Christopher Newport
6:00 PM
Augustana at Mount St. Joseph
7:00 PM
Carnegie Mellon at Case Western Reserve
Live Stats Video
7:00 PM
Stevenson at N.C. Wesleyan
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Butler at Wittenberg
Live Stats Video
7:00 PM
Shenandoah at Gallaudet
Audio
7:00 PM
Wooster at Washington and Jefferson
7:00 PM
Geneva at Frostburg State
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Thiel at Allegheny
7:00 PM
Taylor (Ind.) at Anderson
7:00 PM
Hiram at Westminster (Pa.)
7:00 PM
Denison at Earlham
7:00 PM
Greensboro at Guilford
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Albion at UW-Stevens Point
7:00 PM
Concordia (Wis.) at North Park
7:00 PM
Beloit at Chicago
Live Stats
7:00 PM
LaGrange at Birmingham-Southern
7:00 PM
Howard Payne at Trinity (Texas)
Audio
7:00 PM
Mary Hardin-Baylor at Millsaps
Live Stats Video
7:00 PM
Sul Ross State at Texas Lutheran
Live Stats Video
7:00 PM
Robert Morris-Chicago at UW-Oshkosh
7:00 PM
UW-La Crosse at Dubuque
Live Stats Video
7:30 PM
Hanover at Centre
7:30 PM
Central at Benedictine
Live Stats Video Audio
8:00 PM
St. Olaf at Northwestern (Minn.)
8:00 PM
Hamline at Minnesota-Morris
8:00 PM
Lake Forest at Wisconsin Lutheran
Live Stats Audio
8:00 PM
Wartburg at Augsburg
Audio
8:00 PM
Hardin-Simmons at Southwestern
Live Stats Audio
Dec. 20: All times Eastern
Final
at UW-Whitewater 52, Mount Union 14
@ Salem Stadium; Salem, Va.
Recap Photos Photos
Dec. 14: All times Eastern
Final
UW-Whitewater 16, at Mary Hardin-Baylor 15
Recap Recap Photos
Final
at Mount Union 41, North Central (Ill.) 40
Box Score Recap Recap Photos

What We're Reading