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Lutes Use Bye Week to Recover and Prepare

Lucas Sontra (85)

BYE WEEK: With its 28-14 road victory over then No. 25-ranked Redlands in the rear view mirror, Pacific Lutheran will use this week and next to recover and prepare for its third consecutive nationally ranked opponent. The Lutes are back in action next on Saturday, Sept. 29, when they host the No. 3-ranked Linfield College Wildcats at Sparks Stadium in Puyallup. Kickoff for the Northwest Conference opener for both of these teams is set for 12:30 p.m. The game comes on Homecoming weekend at PLU.

DIRECTIONS TO SPARKS STADIUM: Sparks Stadium, owned by the Puyallup School District, is the home of Lute football.  Sparks is located 10 miles east of the PLU campus in the city of Puyallup. The stadium has an artificial surface and covered seating for 4,500. To get to Sparks stadium from Interstate 5, take exit 127, and go east on Highway 512 for approximately 10 miles. Once in Puyallup, take the Meridian Street exit and turn left onto Meridian. Follow Meridian to 7th Ave. SW and turn left.  Sparks is located on the corner of 7th Avenue and 5th Street, the address is 601 7th Ave. SW, Puyallup, WA 98371.

BYE, BYE: This is also a bye week for the Wildcats, who are 3-0 this season, including home wins over Menlo and Hardin-Simmons and last Saturday's 33-30 road victory at Cal Lutheran. The Lutes faced Cal Lutheran in their season opener and dropped a 37-23 decision at Sparks Stadium.

PLU 28, REDLANDS 14: Dalton Ritchey passed for 285 yards and two touchdowns and Erik Hoium scored on an interception return as Pacific Lutheran beat Redlands, 28-14, in a non-conference football game played last Saturday night at UR's Ted Runner Stadium. Ritchey, a sophomore from Onalaska making just his second collegiate start at quarterback, was 21-for-31 for 285 yards. PLU's Jonny Volland ended a long game-opening Redlands drive with an interception at the 1-yard line, his third pick of an opposing aerial this season, and the momentum shifted to the the Lutes. With 29 seconds remaining in the first period and a following Mychael Tuiasosopo's fumble recovery at the Redlands 26-yard line, Lutes junior running back Brandon James took a pitch from Ritchey 18 yards for the first score of the game. On the opening play of the second quarter, Hoium picked off a Redlands pass and returned it 44 yards for a score, giving the visitors a 14-0 advantage. PLU added one more score in the second quarter, capping a 77-yard, three-play drive on Ritchey's 31-yard pass to Kyle Warner. Redlands got on the board with 5:29 left in the third quarter as Brad Crisanty scored on a 2-yard run. Crisanty, who compiled 77 rushing yards in the opening two quarters, was limited to just six in the final half. He finished the game with 83 yards on 22 carries. Leading 21-7 midway through the fourth quarter, the Lutes put together a 50-yard, 10-play drive to score on an 11-yard pass from Ritchey to tight end Lucas Sontra. The Bulldogs finished the scoring with 47 seconds remaining on a 15-yard touchdown pass that capped an 86-yard, seven-play drive. Pacific Lutheran compiled 484 yards of total offense compared to just 288 for Redlands. Kellen Westering had seven catches for 92 yards, Warner added four catches for 58 yards and a score, and Sontra finished with four receptions for 55 yards and a score. Brandon James picked up 119 rushing yards on 16 carries as the Lutes finished the game with 193 yards on the ground. Defensively, linebacker Dalton Darmody led the way with 10 tackles, including a tackle for loss. Tuiasosopo had seven tackles and a fumble recovery and Branden Tipton had a quarterback sack among his six tackles. The PLU defense had four takeaways.

AMONG THE NATIONAL LEADERS: PLU has several athletes listed among the Division III statistical national leaders. Jonny Volland ranks fourth in interceptions per game (1.5), while Dalton Ritchey ranks 21st in passing yards per game (311.0) 25th in total offense per game (318.5 yard average), and 39th in completions per game (21.5). Kellen Westering is 26th in receiving yards per game (101.5) and 39th in receptions per game (7.0). Linebacker Ben Kaestner ranks 34th in tackles for loss per game (2.0).

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.

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