Lutes Renew Football Series With Pacific Boxers
THIS WEEKEND: Pacific Lutheran (6-1 overall, 3-1 NWC) at Pacific (0-7, 0-5), Saturday, 7 p.m.
LUTES TRAVEL TO FOREST GROVE: Pacific Lutheran and Pacific will renew a football series that has been dormant since 1991 when the teams square off Saturday night at Lincoln Park Stadium in Forest Grove, Ore. This is the lone night game played this year by both teams. Pacific is playing collegiate football once again after a 20-year hiatus. PLU has a 25-8-3 overall series lead, including a current 13-game winning streak. The programs last played each other in 1991 with the Lutes taking a 38-0 victory. The last win by Pacific came in 1972 when the Boxers pulled out a 9-7 victory in Frosty Westering's first season at PLU head coach. The series dates all the way back to Pacific Lutheran's 14-13 win over Pacific in 1939.
FOLLOW THE LUTES: You can listen to PLU football throughout the year in the Tacoma area on KLAY 1180 AM with Steve Thomas and Karl Hoseth calling the action. The broadcasts are also available online on the KLAY website (www.klay1180.com). Additionally, listeners can access the PLU football broadcasts on the PLU athletics website at www.golutes.com, then clicking on Listen Live and following the link.
ABOUT THE COACHES: Scott Westering is in his seventh year as head coach at Pacific Lutheran, where he has compiled a 32-29 overall record. Scott joined the PLU coaching staff in 1981 after playing tight end for the Lutes under his father, Frosty Westering. Scott served as the Lutes' offensive coordinator from 1983-2003, helping PLU to two NAIA Division II titles and one NCAA Division III national championship, as well as four runner-up finishes. He has coached 11 first-team All-Americans, including the 2000 NCAA Division III Player of the Year, Chad Johnson. Scott was a captain and All-America tight end on the 1980 PLU team that won the Lutes' first NAIA national championship. He was inducted into the PLU Hall of Fame in 1998. Keith Buckley is Pacific's head coach. He spent one complete year recruiting and putting the building blocks in place for the rebirth of the Pacific University football program. Buckley was named the head coach on July 31, 2009. He arrived in Forest Grove after four seasons as part of the coaching staff at UC Davis, including serving the 2007 and 2008 seasons as assistant head coach.
ABOUT THE BOXERS: Pacific is a first-year program starting mostly freshmen, and the statistics reflect that fact. The Boxers average 13.1 points and 246.6 yards per game while allowing averages of 46.0 points and 450.7 yards. Davis Jacobs is the leading ball carrier with a net of 150 yards, and as a team the Boxers have 194 rushes for 203 net yards. T.C. Campbell is 62-for-120 this year (52 percent) for 653 yards with four touchdowns and seven interceptions. Jordan Fukumoto has been a big-play receiver with 22 catches for 405 yards, an average of 18.4 per catch, for three touchdowns. Defensively, Bryan Mills has 28 tackles and the team's only interception. Pacific's first game in 20 years was a 36-19 loss at Puget Sound back on Sept. 4. It's closest results this season have come in the last two contests, a 24-12 home loss to Whitworth on Oct. 23 and last Saturday's 42-31 defeat to Puget Sound in the second meeting between the squads.
LUTES LAST WEEK: Pacific Lutheran scored a pair of touchdowns in the fourth quarter to rally past much-improved Lewis & Clark, 35-23, in a Northwest Conference football game played Saturday afternoon at Griswold Stadium. Alec Simmons rushed for 127 yards and three touchdowns, including a 49-yarder to open the scoring and a 16-yarder to ice the win late in the fourth period, to lead the Lutes. PLU finished with 207 net rushing yards and added 212 through the air for a total of 419 yards on 56 plays, an average of 7.5 yards per play. Lewis & Clark, meanwhile, ran for 275 yards and passed for 203 more for a total of 478 yards. Quarterback Keith Welch had 114 yards rushing on 26 carries and also completed 12-of-31 passes for 203 yards with two interceptions. The game entered the fourth quarter with the Pioneers leading 23-22. In the final period, however, the Lutes played tough defense and came up with some timely plays on offense. They capped an 82-yard drive on a 50-yard scoring pass from Jordan Rasmussen to Greg Ford to make it 28-23 with 9:23 left. After the Pioneers missed a 37-yard field goal try, PLU went 79 yards to score on a 16-yard burst by Simmons. PLU frosh safety Sean McFadden intercepted a pass in the end zone on Lewis & Clark's next possession, and the Lutes rank out the clock. Simmons opened the scoring just 2:21 into the game, racing 49 yards to give his team a 7-0 lead. Lewis & Clark scored the next 10 points on Simon Monley's 17-yard field goal, capping a 77-yard drive, and on Riley Mitchell's 28-yard interception return. Kyle Burbridge returned the ensuing kickoff 73 yards to the Lewis & Clark 11-yard line, and the Lutes scored two plays later on an eight-yard run by Simmons. The hosts added 22- and 40-yard field goals by Monley in the second period to take a 16-14 advantage at the intermission. PLU made it 22-16 on Rasmussen's six-yard pass to Isaac Moog, followed by a Tyler Bowen two-point conversion run, but the Pioneers regained the lead at 23-22, putting together a seven-minute, 16-play drive, capped by Keith Ward's one-yard run. That set up the Lutes' comeback in the final 15 minutes. Rasmussen was 17-for-26 for 212 yard wtih two touchdowns and one interception, and Ford, initially not expected to play because of a foot injury, caught six passes for 118 yards. McFadden had a pair of interceptions and also led the PLU defense with 12 total tackles. Linebacker Adam Schwander added 10 tackles.
PLU PLAYERS EARN CONFERENCE HONOR: Sophomore Kyle Burbridge and frosh Sean McFadden have earned Northwest Conference football player of the week honors for their performances in PLU's win over Lewis & Clark. Burbridge, a linebacker who converted from running back, returned three kickoffs for a total of 126 yards, including a 73-yard return that led directly to a PLU touchdown. McFadden, a frosh safety, had a pair of interceptions, one in the end zone that ended a late Lewis & Clark drive.
BOXERS LAST WEEK: Pacific finished with a season high 372 yards of total offense, including 309 yards passing, and a season best four touchdowns as the Boxers saw a fourth quarter rally fall short in a 42-31 loss to Puget Sound in Tacoma. T.C. Campbell played most of the game at quarterback for the Boxers and put up a season best 222 yards passing while completing 20-of-40 passes. Campbell also threw for a season-high three touchdowns. In all, four different Pacific players were on the receiving end of touchdown passes in the contest - Jake Toll, Jordan Fukumoto, Jayson Fukumoto and Brian Taylor.
BEST START SINCE 2000: Pacific Lutheran's 6-1 start this season is the program's best since the 1997 team opened 6-0 before losing to Linfield and Willamette on successive Saturdays.
LUTES IN TOP 25: Pacific Lutheran moved up four spots from No. 25 to No. 21 in week's D3football.com Top 25 poll. The Lutes have 85 total votes but are well behind No. 20 Cal Lutheran, which has 153 points. Ironically, PLU defeated Cal Lutheran, 35-21, back on Sept. 18. Pacific Lutheran is in the "others receiving votes" category in the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Division III Top 25. The Lutes have 46 points compared to 62 for No. 25 St. John Fisher (N.Y.).
LUTES BY THE NUMBERS: The Lutes have averaged 30.7 points and 385.6 yards of total offense while allowing 22.5 points and 375.7 yards per contest. The Lutes average 243.3 passing yards and 142.3 rushing yards per contest. Opponents have compiled 156 first downs, however, to just 132 for the Lutes. Senior quarterback Jordan Rasmussen is 126-for-202 passing (62 percent) for 1,653 yards with 18 touchdowns and eight interceptions. His favorite target is Greg Ford, who has 41 receptions for 668 yards (16.3 yards per catch) and seven touchdowns. Isaac Moog has 31 catches for 441 yards (14.2 yards per catch) and eight touchdowns. Senior running back Alec Simmons averages 100.4 rushing yards per game and has six of the Lutes' 10 rushing touchdowns. The Lutes have scored 31 touchdowns this season, 20 through the air, 10 on the ground, and one on a fumble return. Defensively, the Lutes have a total of 17 takeaways this season, eight fumble recoveries and nine interceptions. Junior linebacker Richard Isett continues to lead the Lutes with 47 total tackles, including 8.5 for loss, followed by frosh safety Sean McFadden with 44 (and three interceptions). Junior defensive lineman Erik Magnussen has 40 tackles, junior linebacker Michael Warsaw comes in at 41 tackles, and junior linebacker Adam Schwander has 42 tackles. Magnussen has eight tackles for loss and senior defensive lineman Nick Edwards leads the team with three quarterback sacks. Senior defensive lineman Cameron McMillan and senior linebacker Colby Davies both have 37 tackles and 4.5 tackles for loss.
WHO IS THIS GUY?: Alec Simmons had a break out game in the second week of the season, rushing for 225 yards, more than double his PLU career total, in the Lutes' win over Cal Lutheran. The senior from Sumner has been steady since, putting together three games with at least 100 rushing yards and now totaling 703 yards on 101 carries, an average of 7.0 yards per carry. He averages 100.4 rushing yards per game and, if he stays in that neighborhood, would become the first PLU back to average at least 100 rushing yards per contest since Aaron Binger averaged 112.9 yards during the 2003 season.
HIGH-PERFORMANCE FORD: Greg Ford, the Lutes' senior wide receiver from Steilacoom, continues his move up PLU's all-time receiving lists. With 41 receptions this season, Ford now has 186 career catches, which puts him sixth on the all-time list. With 668 receiving yards this year and 3,261 career receiving yards, Ford has moved into second on that list, passing the 3,221 yards compiled Kyle Brown (1999-2002). Ford has seven touchdown catches this season and now has 33 in his career, second on the all-time list. Only Mike Welk, with 35, has had more touchdown catches than Ford.
MORE ON FORD: An "unofficial" survey of Division III football programs shows that Greg Ford currently has the fourth-longest streak of consecutive games with at least one reception. Ford has caught at least one pass in all 34 games in which he has played. Aaron Rusch from Wisconsin-Whitewater leads the list with catches in 52 consecutive games. The survey was conducted by St. Vincent College sports information office.
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