THIS WEEKEND: After opening the 2012 season with a home field loss to visiting California Lutheran, the Pacific Lutheran football team will travel to California this weekend for an non-conference game against University of Redlands. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m. at Ted Runner Stadium on the University of Redlands campus.
FOLLOW THE LUTES: You can listen to PLU football action 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.
THE SERIES: PLU and Redlands have not previously met on the gridiron.
ABOUT THE BULLDOGS: The Bulldogs come into the Saturday evening contest with a 0-1 record after a season-opening 42-16 loss at nationally ranked North Central (Ill.) Redlands enters the game ranked No. 25 in the d3football.com national poll, the second consecutive nationally ranked team that PLU plays this season after facing No. 11 Cal Lutheran last Saturday.
REDLANDS LAST WEEK: Redlands traveled to Naperville, Ill., ranked No. 14 in the national poll but it could not compete with No. 13 North Central College (IL), which pinned a 26-point loss on the Bulldogs. North Central broke away from a 7-7 tie with three touchdowns in the final nine minutes of the first half.
LAST WEEK: Visiting California Lutheran scored 20 unanswered points to break away from a tie and eventually defeat Pacific Lutheran, 37-23, in football season opener for both teams at Sparks Stadium. The Kingsmen tied the game at 17-17 on the final play of the first half, scored two touchdowns in the third period, and added a final tally four minutes into the final quarter. The game, played on a warm afternoon, featured plenty of high-powered offense plus four turnovers and nine penalties by each team, not unexpected in a season opener. Trailing 14-0, the youthful Lutes ran off the next 17 consecutive points, all coming in the second period. Brandon James capped a 70-yard, seven-play drive with a 4-yard scoring run, and Ritchey added a 1-yard quarterback sneak about three minutes later, ending a 48-yard, 3-play drive after the first of two Jonny Volland interceptions. Ritchey hit Kellen Westering on a 43-yard first play bomb to set up the eventual score. After the PLU defense forced a punt, the Lutes drove the ball 56 yards on 10 plays to set up Nick Kaylor's 25-yard field goal. Cal Lutheran was not to be denied, however, when David Sandler kicked game-tying 40-yard field goal on the final play of the half. A Pacific Lutheran miscue on the team's first possession of the second half put momentum on CLU's side. A muffed punt snap gave the Kingsmen the ball on the PLU 30-yard line, and two plays later quarterback Kevin Ramay scrambled 15 yards for the go-ahead score. The Kingsmen increased their lead to 30-17 with an 86-yard, 5-play drive capped by Ramay's 47-yard scoring pass to All-America receiver Eric Rogers. After a muffed punt gave CLU the ball at the PLU 9-yard line, Ramay found Donald Senegal alone in the end zone, giving the visitors a 37-17 lead. That led to PLU's final scoring drive, a 79-yard, 6-play effort highlighted by Kyle Warner's 38-yard reception and finished off by Cody Pohren's 2-yard scoring run. Cal Lutheran gained 399 yards, with Ramay finishing 23-for-36 for 262 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. Rogers had 11 catches for 177 yards. The Lutes compiled 385 yards of total offense, including 337 through the air on 22-for-43 accuracy by Ritchey, a sophomore making his first collegiate start. Ritchey threw two interceptions and did not have a touchdown pass. His favorite targets were Kellen Westering, who had seven catches for 111 yards, Kyle Warner, with six catches for 152 yards, and Daniel Herr, who had six grabs for 55 yards. James ground out 55 rushing yards on 11 carries. In addition to his two interceptions, Volland tied teammate Greg Hibbard for team-high tackles honors with seven. Ben Kaestner had a quarterback sack and forced fumble among his three tackles for loss.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK: For his outstanding defensive performance against Cal Lutheran, PLU junior defensive back Jonny Volland earned Northwest Conference Football Defensive Player of the Week honors.
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