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THIS WEEK IN PACIFIC FOOTBALL
#25 PACIFIC AT WILLAMETTE
Game No. 9/Away Game No. 5
Sat., Nov. 9, 1:30 p.m., McCullough Stadium, Salem, Ore.
Radio: 1360 AM KUIK (Hillsboro, Live)
Live Stats: client.stretchinternet.com/client/willamette.portal#
Live Audio Webcast: GoBoxers.com/webcasts
Live Video: client.stretchinternet.com/client/willamette.portal#
NATIONALLY RANKED BOXERS PREPARE FOR TOUGH STRETCH RUN
After their 68-28 victory over Lewis & Clark on Saturday, the Pacific football team find themselves ranked No. 25 in the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Division III Coaches Poll. The Boxers will test their ranking in the first of two tough games to complete the 2013 regular season as they travel to Salem on Saturday to take on Willamette.
• Pacific finished with a near-record 386 rushing yards and 560 yards of total offense on Saturday, scoring 10 touchdowns en route to a 68-28 win over Lewis & Clark on Saturday. The 386 yards rushing were just 22 yards short of the record of 408 yards set in 1952.
• Running back Gunther Schultze led the rushing attack with 126 yards and two touchdowns on 13 carries while Deven McKinney rushed for 55 yards and two touchdowns. In all, seven of the Boxers' 10 touchdowns were scored on the ground, which included a 32-yard run by quarterback T.C. Campbell.
• The Pacific defense limited Lewis & Clark to just 48 yards rushing and finished with five sacks and 13 tackles for loss. Cornerback Brandon Harms led the way with six tackles, including two tackles for loss, while also running for 61 yards on two kick returns.
• Brandon Harms, Devin Lagorio, Alex Willeford, Austin Brown and Tim Hastie all finished with two tackles for loss, while Brown had two of the team's five sacks. Hastie had the Boxers' lone interception of the contest.
• With the win over Lewis & Clark, Pacific reached the seven-win plateau for just the fifth time in school history and amassed three conference victories for the first time since the 1988 season (3-3 in the Columbia Football Association Mt. Hood Division).
• Pacific still ranks among the NCAA Division III top-100 in 14 different team statistical categories. The Boxers are ranked fourth in red zone offense (.909), sixth in passing efficiency (179.82) and eighth in third-down conversion percentage (.506).
A WIN OVER WILLAMETTE WOULD...
• Give Pacific eight wins for the first time since 1972 (8-1 record) and for just the fourth time in school history.
• Give Pacific four conference wins for the first time since 1972 and give the Boxers their first winning conference season since 1987 (3-2-1 CFA Mt. Hood Division).
• Snap a six-game losing streak to the Bearcats dating back to 1988.
SCOUTING THE OPPONENT - WILLAMETTE BEARCATS
Location: Salem, Ore.
Colors: Cardinal & Old Gold
Conference: Northwest (NCAA III)
Stadium: McCullough Stadium (2,600, covered, FieldTurf)
President: Stephen E. Thorsett
Athletic Director: David Rigsby
Head Coach: Glen Fowles (Willamette 1996)
Fowles' Record At Willamette: 8-2 (1 Year)
Fowles' Record Overall: 8-2 (1 Year)
All-Time Series: Willamette leads 53-25-5
Last Meeting: Willamette won 35-31 in Forest Grove on Nov. 3, 2012
ABOUT THE COACH: Glen Fowles is in his second year as Willamette head coach and his 18th year on the Bearcats' coaching staff. In his first season at the helm, Fowles led the Bearcats to an 8-2 record and a third place NWC finish. Prior to taking over for Mark Speckman, Fowles spent 14 years as Willamette's offensive coordinator. He has coached five offensive lineman to All-American honors and was named the national Coordinator Coach of the Year in 2008. A native of Canada, Fowles played two seasons at College of the Siskiyous in Weed, Calif., before transferring to Willamette in 1994. He was a two-year starter on the offensive line and was twice an All-NWC selection.
THE SERIES: Willamette leads 53-25-5, with the Bearcats having won the last six meetings. Willamette won the last meeting, 35-31, in Forest Grove on Nov. 3, 2012.
LAST MEETING: Dylan Jones' 1-yard touchdown run capped a critical two-minute drill late in the fourth quarter, giving Willamette the 35-31 victory at Lincoln Park Stadium. Pacific owned a 17-7 halftime lead, but the Bearcats took the lead by scoring 21 unanswered points in the first 16 minutes of the second half. Pacific re-took the lead at 31-28 on a one-yard pass by P.J. Minaya to Deven McKinney, and a Kelson Kawai kickoff return set the Boxers up at midfield for the potential comeback, but three shots at the end zone fell short. Minaya completed 25 of 46 passes for the Boxers for 354 yards and two touchdowns while Caleb Roher caught eight balls for 123 yards. Willamette quarterback Josh Dean completed 22 of 43 for 315 yards. Terrell Malley caught seven times for 104 yards and also rushed 12 times for 87 yards.
• After scoring the first touchdown of the game, Willamette watched No. 2 Linfield score six unanswered touchdowns to go out to a 28-7 halftime as the Wildcats beat the Bearcats 56-15 in Salem. Linfield finished with 622 yards of total offense and limited Willamette to 256 yards. Josh Dean completed 12 of 25 for 167 yards, two touchdowns & two interceptions.
• Quarterback Josh Dean enters the game averaging 274.4 yards per game, having completed 150 of 231 passes. He is also the Bearcats' second leading rusher with 330 rushing yards on 87 carries and three touchdowns. Receiver Derek Traeger is averaging 92.1 yards per game and has caught nine touchdowns.
• As a team, the Bearcats are averaging 454.7 yards per game, with 283 of those yards coming in the air. The team is giving up 500 yards per game, including 286 rushing yards per contest.
• Willamette made football history on Oct. 18, 1997 when Liz Heaston became the first woman to play in a college football game, serving as the Bearcats' placekicker. A NAIA All-American soccer player, Heaston went on to earn her doctorate in optometry at Pacific in 2003.
PACIFIC NEWS & NOTES
PACIFIC EMERGES IN AFCA TOP-25: Three-and-a-half years after Pacific University reinstated their football program, the Boxers are in the top-25. The Boxers emerged as the No. 25 team on this week's American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Division III Coaches Poll, receiving 48 votes from the panel of 42 coaches. Pacific gained 18 votes and moved into the top-25 after their convincing 68-28 win over Lewis & Clark at home on Saturday. Pacific also made significant strides in the other major Division III poll. The Boxers are listed third among those receiving votes in the D3Football.com Top-25, picking up 19 votes. The AFCA poll can be viewed at http://bit.ly/19wgErV while the D3Football.com poll can be viewed at d3football.com/top25. They can also be found on page 4 of this release.
"This is a testament to the hard work of the players, the coaches and the entire university community who committed four seasons ago to beginning a program from the ground up," said Pacific Head Coach Keith Buckley. "While we are proud of this distinction and the effort put in to be recognized in the top-25, we know that we still have a lot to prove in these final two weeks of the season. We look forward to our next challenge this Saturday against Willamette."
IN A GREAT RUSH: Pacific's running backs had a field day against the Lewis & Clark defense on Saturday, leading the Boxers in their 68-28 rout of the Pioneers. The Boxers rushed for 386 yards, the most since the program was reinstated in 2010. The total fell 22 yards short of the school record of 408 yards set against Pacific Lutheran in 1952. Of the Boxers' 10 touchdowns on the afternoon, seven were scored on the ground. Gunther Schultze (Sr., Bellflower, Calif.) led the way for Pacific with 126 yards and two touchdowns on 13 carries. Deven McKinney (Jr., Stanaway, Wash.) had 59 yards and two touchdowns on four carries while quarterback T.C. Campbell (Jr., Kaimuki, Hawaii) had 55 yards and rushed for a score on a 27-yard run. The performance on Saturday raised Pacific's season average to 165 rushing yards per game, well above the average of 109 yards per game from 2012. Schultze enters the week as the fifth leading rusher in the NWC, averaging 53 yards per game. McKinney is ranked sixth in the league with an average of 52.4 yards per game.
DOUBLE THREAT: Brandon Harms (Jr., Canby, Ore.) proved to be a double threat for the Boxers on both defense and special teams in the Boxers' win over Lewis & Clark on Saturday. Harms led Pacific on defense with six tackles at cornerback, which included two of the Boxers' 13 tackles for loss. On returns, Harms returned two punts for 61 yards, including a 42-yard return that set up the Boxers' second quarter of the third quarter. Harms enters the week as one of the top defensive and return men in the NWC. He enters the week tied for 10th in the league with 31 assisted tackles. He is tied for first in the NWC with two fumbles recovered, tied for second with seven passes broken up and tied for third with two forced fumbles. On returns, Harms leads the NWC and is ranked 18th among NCAA Division III players with 12.8 yards per return. He also leads the NWC with 179 punt return yards.
STILL LOOKING TO THE AIR: While much of the focus from Saturday's game was on the ground game, the Boxers still performed well in the passing game as well. Four Pacific quaterbacks combined to complete 12 of 17 for a total of 174 yards. Jordan Fukumoto (Jr., Mililani, Hawaii) led the way once again, catching four balls for 87 yards, which included a 33-yard touchdown pass from P.J. Minaya (Sr., Wahiawa, Hawaii) with 3:54 remaining in the first quarter. Fukumoto continues to rank among the top receivers in the NWC and in the nation. He ranks fourth in the NWC and 64th among NCAA Division III receivers with an average of 81.9 receiving yards per game. He leads the NWC with 20.5 yards per reception and is third with 655 receiving yards and eight touchdowns. Fukumoto also ranks 26th in Division III in receiving touchdowns and 62nd in receiving yards.
TAKING A PASS: Pacific continues to be a successful passing team. The Boxers enter the week ranked sixth among Division III teams in passing efficiency at 179.82. The Boxers are ranked 57th in Division III and third in the NWC with an average of 252.9 yards per game. P.J. Minaya led the Boxers on Saturday against Lewis & Clark, completing 9 of 14 passes for 137 yards and three touchdowns. He enters the week ranked seventh in ther NWC in passing yards per game (140.6), completions (79), pass attempts (119) and passing yards (1,125) and ranks fourth in passing touchdowns (15). T.C. Campbell enters the week ranked eighth in the NWC in passing yards per game (102.1), completions (49), attempts (74) and yards (817). Campbell also ranks 81st among NCAA Division III quarterbacks with 16.67 yards per completion.
ANOTHER RECORD EFFORT: Thanks to Pacific's 10 touchdowns on Saturday, kicker Moses Villareal-Gomez (Jr., Stockton, Calif.) tied his own school record for point-after attempts made. Villareal-Gomez made eight extra points, tying the record he set at Puget Sound on Oct. 6, 2012, and equaled against the Loggers on Oct. 12. The efforts continue to add to season and career totals for the junior. Villareal-Gomez now has made 36 point-after attempts this season, blowing away the previous single season record of 25 set by Cub Shulund in 1986. The 36 also adds to his career record of 81 extra points. In addition, Villareal-Gomez has made seven field goals this season, allowing him to run his career record total of 23. He last made a field goal against Pacific Lutheran on Oct. 19 (going 3 for 3). He missed a potential record 52-yard field goal against Chicago on Oct. 26 and did not attempt a field goal against Lewis & Clark.
HISTORIC WINNING PLATEAUS: The fourth season of Pacific football is proving to be a historic won in terms of wins and losses. With their victory over Lewis & Clark on Saturday, Pacific improved to 7-1 on the season, which is the most victories since the 1972 team finished with an 8-1 record. It is the only the fifth time in program history that Pacific has finished with seven or more wins. Both seven-win seasons came under Paul Stagg, who led Pacific to a 7-2 record in 1950 and then to a 7-0-1 record in 1952. The 1972 team, under Head Coach Frank Buckiewicz, is the only team to have amassed eight regular season wins. Pacific had eight wins in 1949 and 1951, but in both years the eighth win came in the postseason Pear Bowl game in Medford, Ore.
GREEN LIGHT IN THE RED ZONE: Pacific allows little room for error when they move inside the opponent's 20-yard line. The Boxers are 30 of 33 in scoring in the red zone, and their .909 red-zone scoring percentage ranks fourth among NCAA Division III teams. Pacific was stymied once in the red zone against Lewis & Clark when the Boxers had the ball at the Pioneers' 11-yard line in the final drive of the game and allowed time to expire. Before that point, Pacific had scored when in the red zone 19 consecutive times.
ONE TOUGH SCHEDULE: Pacific's 7-1 record has come amidst what has developed into one of the toughest schedules in all of Division III. The Boxers slipped from fifth to 10th this week in the NCAA's list of toughest schedules in Division III. The compilation is based on a cumulative win/loss percentage of Pacific's 10 opponents thus far. Pacific is one of two NWC teams in the top-20, joining Whitworth (17th). Coming into their final two games, Pacific find themselves ranked 12th in the matrix of toughest future schedules as Willamette and Linfield have a combined record of 12-2 (.857).
STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE: While the toughest schedule matrix is not looked at by the championships committee for potential playoff consideration, strength of schedule is. The Boxers slipped from 20th to 61st out of 244 NCAA Division III teams in strength of scheule in last week's report. The full strength of schedule list can be found at D3Football.com. Strength of schedule rankings are determined using two-thirds opponents' winning percentage and one-third on opponents' opponents' winning percentage.
COMING FROM BEHIND: Pacific has shown that they don't quit when they are down. Twice this season that Pacific has won after being in a significant first half hole, the most recent on Oct. 5 at Whitworth. The Boxers found themselves down 14-0 before scoring 31 of the game's final 38 points, including 24 in the second half. The Boxers were down 10-0 to Occidental on Sept. 14 before beating the Tigers 67-30. Pacific was 14-0 to Pacific Lutheran before coming back to take a 14-13 third quarter lead.
BEWARE AFTER THE FIRST QUARTER: The key to beating Pacific may be to prevent them from scoring in the second, third and fourth quarters. The Boxers enter the week outscoring their opponents 253-99 over the final three periods. The difference is most apparent in the second quarter, where the Boxers are outscoring teams 110-34. The Boxers are also quite potent in the third, outscoring their foes 75-37.
FLAGS A-FLYING: Pacific succeeded in reducing their penalties against Lewis & Clark as they were flagged eight times for 75 yards, but still have a ways to go. Pacific enters the week again as the most penalized team in the NWC, having committed 53 penatlies for 537 yards, an average of 67.1 penalty yards per game.
MOVING THE CHAINS: Pacific is showing success in keeping the offense moving in third situations. The Boxers enter the week ranked second in the NWC and eighth among NCAA Division III teams in third down percentage, gaining first downs in 50.6 percent of their chances (45 of 89).
BUCKLEY HITS DOUBLE DIGITS: The Oct. 26 win over the Univ. of Chicago gave Head Coach Keith Buckley his 10th victory leading the Pacific football program. In his fourth year as head coach, Buckley has led the team ever since the program was reinstated for the 2010 season. The Boxers went winless in 2010, won one game in 2011 and three games in 2012. He enters this week with an 11-30 record. The win over Lewis & Clark on Saturday allowed Buckley to move into seventh on Pacific's all-time wins list, passing Ralph Yakel, who went 10-2-3 from 1913 to 1915.
HISTORY IN THE MAKING: The Oct. 12 victory over Puget Sound was one of historic proportions for Pacific football. The 56-14 rout moved the Boxers to a 5-0 on the season, a benchmark never before reached in the 103-year history of the program. The closest the Boxers had come before the game was in 1950, when Pacific opened at 4-0 before taking a 24-0 shutout loss to Lewis & Clark. The 2-0 conference mark was the first time since 1950 that the Boxers have gone undefeated in their first two league contests.
Head Coach Keith Buckley acknowledged the record as an important milestone in the rebirth of the Pacific program. "We are proud that we have represented Pacific University in the way that we have this year," he said. "When we started the program, we set out to build a program that not just our kids but the Pacific community could be proud of. We have made great strides and have a long way to go, but 5-0 is great and as a team we are definitely proud of it."
CONFERENCE OPENERS: Pacific's win over Whitworth on Oct. 5 marks their first win in a conference-opening game since 1990. The Boxers opened their Columbia Football Association schedule that season with a 21-14 victory over Simon Fraser (during the CFA years, all of Pacific's games were against conference opponents). Pacific's last NWC season-opening win before Saturday came in 1983, with the Boxers posting a 37-15 victory over Willamette (The NWC discontinued conference football play after 1984 with programs moving to the CFA).
IN HOMECOMING GAMES: With the win over Puget Sound on Oct. 12, Pacific is now 2-2 in their own Homecoming games since the program's 2010 reinstatement. The Boxers' other Homecoming win came also came against Puget Sound, with the Boxers gaining the 44-25 win on Oct. 29, 2011, in what was the program's first win since reinstatement. Pacific's other Homecoming games included a 24-12 loss to Whitworth on Oct. 23, 2010 and a 28-25 loss to the Pirates on Oct. 6, 2012. At the same time, the Boxers have not been cooperative Homecoming opponents over the last two seasons. Pacific is 3-0 in the last two seasons when they were the Homecoming opponent. The Boxers served as Whitworth's Homecoming for on Oct. 5, and the Boxers scored trhe 31-21 win.
A HISTORIC SCORING NIGHT: The 67 points scored by Pacific over Occidental on Sept. 14 proved to be the biggest scoring output since the program returned in 2010 and the third highest point total in school history. Pacific's record for scoring is 118 points, which came against George Fox back in the 1923 season (Pacific won 118-0). The second highest scoring total was 71 points the year before against Mount Angel Seminary. The 67 points is the 12th most scored by a NCAA Division III team this season and the most since the Boxers rolled up 62 points against Puget Sound in Tacoma, Wash., on Oct. 6, 2012.
LONGEST ROAD TRIP: Pacific's road trip to Adrian was the longest road trip in team history. The Boxers traveled 2,367 miles to play in Adrian, Mich., making this the longest trip in program history in either era. Prior to the trip, Pacific had never traveled out of a five-state area on the West Coast, including Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana and California, and the Canadian province of British Columbia. Prior to that game, Pacific's longest road trip was in 2011 to Claremont, Calif., to play at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, covering a distance of 994 miles.
SEASON HONORS: Pacific's honor roll of weekly honors for the 2013 season include the following:
Bryan Mills: NWC Defensive Student-Athlete of the Week for week of Oct. 7-13. Mills had four tackles and two interceptions (both eventually resulted in Pacific touchdowns) in the Boxers' 56-14 Homecoming win over Puget Sound on Oct. 12.
Moses Villareal-Gomez: NWC Special Teams Student-Athlete of the Week for week of Oct. 7-13. Villareal-Gomez tied his own school single game record by going 8 for 8 on point-after attempts in the Boxers' 56-14 win over Puget Sound on Oct. 12.
Jordan Fukumoto: NWC Offensive Student-Athlete of the Week and selected to the D3Football.com Team of the Week for the week of Sept. 9-15. Fukumoto finished with 197 receiving yards on seven catches and had three touchdowns in the Boxers' 67-30 home win over Occidental on Sept. 14.
Craig Bailey: NWC Defensive Student-Athlete of the Week and D3Football.com Team for the Week for week of Sept. 2-8. The cornerback finished with two interceptions, both of which set up Pacific touchdowns, in Pacific's 20-10 win ar Adrian on Sept. 6. Bailey also had three tackles in the game.
Aaron Koford: D3Football.com Team of the Week for the week of Sept. 2-8. Koford averaged 31.5 yards per punt on six punts in the Boxers' 20-10 win at Adrian on Sept. 6. Five of his punts landed inside the 20-yard line and two of his punts pinned the Bulldogs at their own two-yard line.
PACIFIC ONE-LINERS (AND SOMETIMES TWO...)
• Head Coach Keith Buckley and Menlo Head Coach Mark Grieb played on the same UC Davis team and both coached for their former head coach, Bob Biggs, on the UC Davis staff. The two met as head coaches for the first time on Sept. 21.
• The Sept. 26 Big Sky Conference match-up at JELD-WEN Field between Portland State and Cal Poly featured two former Pacific coaches. Cal Poly wide receivers coach Jim Craft was Pacific's offensive coordinator while Portland State tight ends coach Matt Leunen was tight ends coach at Pacific in 2010.
• Sophomore offensive lineman Riley Rankin is the nephew of former Dallas Cowboys' standout Don Meredith.
• California is the most represented state on the Pacific roster with 47 players hailing from the Golden State. Oregon has the second most at 39 with Hawaii third at 33.
• Defensive lineman Eddie Carrillo is serving this year as president of Pacific's Student-Athlet Advisory Committee.
• Pacific's victory over Whitworth on Oct. 5 was their first over the Pirates since 1978 (the Pirates had won the last six meetings).
GAMES ONCE AGAIN TO AIR ON KUIK, ONLINE: For the fourth consecutive year, Pacific football fans will have the chance to follow the Boxers both on the air in the Portland and worldwide on their computer or mobile device. KUIK 1360 AM will once again be the on-air home in Washington County, airing all 10 Pacific football contests. In addition, all 10 games (home and away) will be available via a free audio webcast that can be accessed at GoBoxers.com. For the fourth consecutive year, all five home games will be made available via a live video webcast. Games can be viewed for $12.95 each or a "season ticket" for all five games is available for $39.95.
Matt Richert returns for his fourth season as the play-by-play voice for Pacific football. A 20-year broadcast veteran, Richert also works as one of the prep play-by-play voices for KUIK. He has also lent his voice to a number of OSAA Radio Network state championship broadcasts and spent the summer as the No. 2 voice for the Hillsboro Hops professional baseball team, working alongside former Pacific men's basketball voice Rich Burk. Scott Hermo will provide the color analysis. Hermo has worked as a color commentator and sports host for KUIK since 1994.
BOXERS PICKED FIFTH IN NWC PRESEASON POLL: Pacific has been picked to repeat their fifth place finish according to the annual Northwest Conference coach's preseason poll released in August. The Boxers received 19 of a possible 42 points, falling at the end of a tightly picked group in the middle of the conference race. Willamette was picked third at 24 points while Whitworth was picked fourth with 20 points, one point ahead of Pacific. Linfield was selected to win their fifth straight NWC title, securing 40 points and five first place votes. Pacific Lutheran was picked second with 34 points and also received two first place votes.