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THIS WEEK IN PACIFIC FOOTBALL
#2/3 LINFIELD AT PACIFIC
Game No. 10/Home Game No. 5
Sat., Nov. 16, 1 p.m., Lincoln Park Stadium, Forest Grove
Radio: 1360 AM KUIK (Hillsboro, Live)
Live Stats | Live Audio & Video
MAGICAL SEASON COMES TO CLOSE AT HOME AGAINST LINFIELD
Despite their heartbreaking 21-17 loss at Willamette on Saturday, the Pacific football team will wrap up what has been a magical 2013 football season at home this weekend. The Boxers will close the season with their toughest test of all, hosting the No. 2/3 ranked Linfield Wildcats. The contest will be the last for 38 players who have been with the program since day one.
• Pacific saw a 17-7 lead evaporate in the fourth quarter along with their potential playoff hopes Saturday as Willamette scored a pair of fourth quarter touchdowns to score a 21-17 come-from-behind win over the Boxers in Salem.
• In what was truly a defensive struggle, Willamette limited Pacific to 266 yards of total offense, their lowest total of the season. P.J. Minaya completed 12 of 17 passes for 113 yards and a touchdown while Deven McKinney rushed nine times for 59 yards and a touchdown.
• Brandon Harms had another outstanding game, leading the Pacific with 10 tackles to go along with a half sack, a half tackle for loss and a forced fumble. He also had four punt returns for 71 yards, including a season-long 49-yard return.
• Pacific will be looking to end the season with their first eight-win season since 1972 and just the second eight-win regular season in program history.
• Pacific still ranks among the NCAA Division III top-100 in a number of statistical categories. The Boxers rank seventh in passing efficiency (171.99), 10th in sacks (3.56 per game), 13th in red zone offense (.886) and 15th in completion percentage (.661).
• This Saturday's game will complete the fourth year of the Pacific program since the 2010 reinstatement of the team. At an invitation-only banquet on Friday night, Pacific will honor 38 players who have seen the program through from opening snap to this weekend.
A WIN OVER LINFIELD 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 five-game losing streak to the Bearcats dating back to 1988.
• Secure a third place finish in the NWC standings which would be their best conference finish since 1988 and their best NWC finish since 1984.
SCOUTING THE OPPONENT - LINFIELD WILDCATS
Location: McMinnville, Ore.
Colors: Purple & Cardinal Red
Conference: Northwest (NCAA III)
Stadium: Memorial Stadium (3,000, covered, FieldTurf)
President: Dr. Thomas Hellie
Athletic Director: Scott Carnahan
Head Coach: Joseph Smith (Linfield 1993)
Smith's Record At Linfield: 60-14 (7 Years)
Smith's Record Overall: 60-14 (7 Years)
All-Time Series: Linfield leads 83-38-4
Last Meeting: Linfield won 51-17 in McMinnville, Ore., on Nov. 10, 2012
ABOUT THE COACH: Joseph Smith is in his ninth year as Linfield head coach and has led the Wildcats to five NWC championships and five NCAA Division III playoff appearances. Prior to taking over as head coach, Smith served 13 years as a Linfield assistant coach, which included seven seasons as defensive coordinator (1999-2005). As the defensive coordinator, Linfield finished first in the NWC in total defense and scoring defense four times. He was the defensive coordinator on Pacific's 2004 NCAA Division III championship team. A Second Team NAIA All-American in 1992, Smith was a four-year starter at cornerback for the Wildcats and was a two-time All-NWC selection.
THE SERIES: Linfield leads 83-38-4 and has won the last five meetings. Linfield won the last meeting, 51-17, in McMinnville, Ore., on Nov. 10, 2012.
LAST MEETING: It was a tale of two games as Pacific dropped a 51-17 decision to the Wildcats at Maxwell Field. The Boxers hung with the Boxers with P.J. Minaya at quarterback and trailed 14-10 when the he was knocked out of the game with a concussion. The Wildcats dominated from there, scoring 30 unanaswered points in the second and third quarters to roll on to the victory. Brian Taylor answered Stephen Nasca's first quarter touchdown with a 10-yard reception from Minaya and Moses Villareal-Gomez made it a 14-10 game with a 39-yard field goal in the second quarter. Cameron Pumphrey accounted for the Boxers' other touchdown on a 54-yard reception from Warner Shaw. Mickey Inns completed 24 of 35 passes for 362 yards and threw for four touchdowns for Linfield. Minaya completed 8 of 16 for 58 yards while Shaw was 5 of 11 for 67 yards.
• Linfield posted their fourth consecutive blowout to clinch their fifth consecutive NWC title, scoring touchdowns on their first eight possession en route to a 79-3 win over Puget Sound. The Wildcats outgained the Loggers 466 to 116 and limited the Loggers to -5 yards rushing. Quarterback Josh Yoder completed 7 of 9 passes for 134 yards and two touchdowns.
• Linfield enters the week ranked No. 2 in the D3Football.com Top 25 Poll and No. 3 in the AFCA Division III Coaches Poll. The Wildcats lead Division III in scoring offense (58.4 points per game) and first downs allowed (6.63), are second in rushing defense (54.3 yards allowed per game) and third down conversion percentage (.558), third in total offense (522.4 yards per game) and total defense (217.9 yards allowed per game).
• Linfield is outscoring their opponents by an average 48.8 points per game. The Wildcats have scored no less than 29 points in a game this season and have scored over 50 points six times in nine games.
• Linfield wrapped up their 59th consecutive winning season, the most at any level of college basketball with their 51-17 rout of Whitworth on Oct. 19.
• Notable alumni of Linfield College include current Wildcats' baseball coach and 1998 World Series MVP Scott Brosius, and Amy Tan, the author of The Joy Luck Club.
PACIFIC NEWS & NOTES
IN HARM'S WAY: The continued solid play of cornerback Brandon Harms (Jr., Canby, Ore.) has the junior lined up for a potential First Team All-NWC nod. Harms had another impressive game in the loss to Willamette on Saturday. He led the defense with 10 tackles (7 solo, 3 assisted) to go along with a half sack, a half tackle for loss and a forced fumble. He also had 71 yards on four punts, which included a Pacific season-long 49-yard return in the first quarter. The punt return ties Harms for the second longest in school history.
Harms is emerging as one of the top double-threat players in the conference. Defensively, he enters the week tied for first in the NWC with three forced fumbles, tied for second with two fumble recoveries, third with nine pass breakups and tied for seventh with 38 solo tackles. On special teams, Harms leads the NWC with 250 return yards and 13.9 yards per punt return. In the NCAA Division III statistics, Harms is ranked 11th in punt return average, 30th in forced fumbles and 93rd in passes defended.
NEAR RECORD BOOT: Kicker Moses Villareal-Gomez (Jr., Stockton, Calif.) continues to show off his impressive leg. The junior kicked a 45-yard field goal in the third quarter of the Boxers' loss to Willamette. It was the third longest field goal in school history, topped only by efforts of 48 yards and 46 yards by Carlos Valdivia in 1989 and 1990. Villareal-Gomez continues to be one of the best kickers in the conference. He neters the week leading the NWC with eight field goals made and is second with 38 point-after attempts made. In the NCAA Division III statistics, Villareal-Gomez is ranked 39th with his average of 0.9 field goals per game. The field goal on Saturday extended Villareal-Gomez's Pacific career record to 24 and his his two point-after attempts made lifted his career record to 83 and his season record to 38.
FINISHING UP STRONG: As he looks to his final weekend with the Boxers, quarterback P.J. Minaya (Sr., Wahiawa, Hawaii) is poised to finish strong. Minaya was held in check in Saturday's loss to Willamette, completing 12 of 17 for 113 yards and a touchdown. Minaya enters the week among the most accurate passers in the nation. He enters the week ranked sixth in Division III with a pass efficiency rating of 173.4 and 15th with his .669 competion percentage, which puts him on pace to break his own record of a .640 completion precentage set last season. Among conference quarterbacks, Minaya leads the NWC in competion percentage and ranks seventh with 137.6 yards per game, 91 pass completions, 136 pass attempts and 1,238 passing yards.
ADD QUARTERBACKS: Pacific will continue to use its two-quarterback system as they enter the final weekend of the season. T.C. Campbell (Jr., Kaimuki, Hawaii) completed 5 of 12 passes against Willamette on Saturday for 49 yards as the Boxers were limited to just 162 yards of passing offense. Campbell, who came in with the inaugaral 2010 class, enters the week ranked 89th among NCAA Division III players with an average of 16.04 yards per completion. He ranks eighth in the NWC with 96.2 yard per game, 54 completions, 86 attempts, 866 passing yards and eight passing touchdowns.
PAIR OF BOXERS SELECTED TO ACADEMIC ALL-DISTRICT TEAM: Pacific's Brandon Harms and Jordan Fukumoto (Sr., Mililani, Hawaii) have been honored for excellence on the field and in the classroom with selection last week to the Capital One/CoSIDA Division III Academic All-District VIII Football Team. The selections make the duo eligible for the Academic All-American Team, which will be announced in December. Harms, one of the Boxers' top defensive players and punt return specialists, was honored for his 3.73 cumulative grade point average as a double major in physics and math. Fukumoto, the Boxers' top receiver, has a 3.77 cumulative grade point average as an exercise science major. "Brandon and Jordan epitomize the true spirit of the student-athlete ideal," said Pacific Head Coach Keith Buckley. "As representatives of our re-started program at Pacific, we are extremely proud of their accomplishments on the field and in the classroom."
THE RUN GAME: Pacific's run game continues to show great improvement as the Boxers enter the final week of the season. Pacific enters the week with an average of 158.2 rushing yards per game, the most since the 2010 return of the program. Pacific averaged 109 yards per game in 2012. Deven McKinney (Jr., Stanaway, Wash.) finished with 59 yards rushing on Saturday at Willamette and had the Boxers' lone rushing touchdown in the second quarter. He enters the week ranked seventh in the NWC with an average of 53.1 yards per game. Gunther Schultze (Sr., Bellflower, Calif.) finished with 44 yards on 14 carries against Willamette. He enters the week ranked eighth in the NWC with an averrage of 52 yards per game.
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 Nov. 2, 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 31 of 35 in scoring in the red zone, and their .886 red-zone scoring percentage ranks 13th among NCAA Division III teams. Pacific was stymied once in the red zone against Lewis & Clark on Nov. 2 when the Boxers had the ball at the Pioneers' 11-yard line in the final drive of the game and allowed time to expire. They were also stopped one in the loss at Willamette on Saturday. Before that point, Pacific had scored when in the red zone 19 consecutive times.
ONE TOUGH SCHEDULE: Pacific's 7-2 record has come amidst what has developed into one of the toughest schedules in all of Division III. The Boxers rank 18th 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 (13th).
IN THE POLLS: The loss to Willamette on Saturday certainly knocked Pacific out of the top-25, but not completely out. The Boxers disappeared completely from the D3Football.com Poll after receiving 19 votes in last week's poll. In the AFCA Division III Coaches Poll, Pacific received just one vote after being ranked No. 25 last week. The D3Football.com poll can be viewed at d3football.com/top25, while the AFCA poll can be viewed at http://bit.ly/19wgErV.
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 270-123 over the final three periods. The difference is most apparent in the second quarter, where the Boxers are outscoring teams 117-41. The Boxers are also quite potent in the third, outscoring their foes 85-37.
MOVING THE CHAINS: Pacific continues their success in keeping the offense moving in third situations. The Boxers enter the week ranked fourth in the NWC and 16th among NCAA Division III teams in third down percentage, gaining first downs in 47.2 percent of their chances (51 of 108).
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 Nov. 2 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 CFL 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 CFL).
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.
HONORING THE REBIRTH: This weekend, Pacific football will be honoring the graduation of the team's first recruiting class with activities surrounding the Linfield game. The 38 players who have been with the program from the beginning will be honored at an invitation-only banquet on Friday. The class will also be honored during the Linfield game.
The list of 38 players includes:
Landon Aano (DL, Sr., Ewa Beach, Hawaii)
London Amorin (WR, Jr., Waipahu, Hawaii)
Craig Bailey (CB, Sr., Fairfield, Calif.)
Sean Bangs (DL, Sr., Portland, Ore.)
T.C. Campbell (QB, Jr., Kaimuki, Hawaii)
Sean Dalton (OL, Sr., San Jose, Calif.)
Hunter Dassonville (LB, Sr., Gladstone, Ore.)
Kasey Dukes (DB, Jr., Wahiawa, Hawaii)
Shane Feuerbach (LB, Sr., Rocklin, Calif.)
Gabe Flory (LB, Sr., Davis, Calif.)
Jordan Fukumoto (WR, Jr., Mililani, Hawaii)
Travis George (DL, Sr., Grants Pass, Ore.)
Eric Gietzen (OL, Sr., Forest Grove, Ore.)
Tim Hastie (LB, Sr., Auberry, Calif.)
Taylor Hickson (WR, Jr., Red Bluff, Calif.)
Darin Kamealoha (WR, Jr., Waipahu, Hawaii)
Kelson Kawai (WR, Sr., North Kohala, Hawaii)
Bryce Kershner (FB, Sr., Jordan Valley, Ore.)
Aaron Koford (P, Sr., Wilsonville, Ore.)
Devin Lagorio (DL, Sr., Stockton, Calif.)
Will Marchbanks (TE, Sr., Brownsville, Ore.)
Kyle Merriam (WR, Sr., West Linn, Ore.)
Bryan Mills (S, Sr., Imbler, Ore.)
P.J. Minaya (QB, Sr., Waipahu, Hawaii)
Kamu Morita (DB, Sr., Honolulu, Hawaii)
Nikk Novero (OL, Sr., Antioch, Calif.)
Cameron Pumphrey (WR, Sr., Quinault, Wash.)
Chris Santiago (LB, Jr., Waipahu, Hawaii)
Gunther Schultze (RB, Sr., Bellflower, Calif.)
Brandon Selvey (WR, Sr., Ventura, Calif.)
Seth Siddle-Mitchell (QB/H, Sr., Lodi, Calif.)
Mike Smith (DL, Sr., Tumwater, Wash.)
Alen Suklje (LB, Jr., Portland, Ore.)
Brian Taylor (TE, Sr., Lewiston Idaho)
Aaron Victorino (OL, Sr., Lihue, Hawaii)
Zach Willits (LB, Sr., Medford, Ore.)
Cameron Yip (WR, Sr., Waihe'e, Hawaii)
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-Athlete 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).
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.