Contact: Mark Albanese, Director of Sports Communication
NEWBERG, Ore. -A stout defensive effort, including a pair of fourth quarter interceptions paved the way for the Pacific Lutheran University football team to knock off 21st-ranked George Fox University 13-3 on Saturday afternoon at Stoffer Family Stadium.
The Lutes (3-4, 3-3 NWC) struck first, scoring on their opening possession for the fifth time this season on an 11-play, 68-yard drive. TJ Morris provided the exclamation point on the drive, scoring on a three-yard rush in what turned out to be the lone touchdown of the day.
The Bruins (6-3, 4-2 NWC) ran back the ensuing kickoff deep into Lute territory but the defense held strong forcing a three and out as George Fox kicked a 40-yard field goal.
Alex Brost hit a 36-yard field goal with 7:59 left in the second quarter and converted again from 42 yards out just 47 seconds before halftime. The Lutes marched 67 yards to set up Brost's second field goal, enjoying a 13-3 edge at the halftime break after a GFU field goal sailed wide right as time expired on the opening half.
"It was a great team win," said Brost who accounted for seven of the team's 13 points on the day. "I'm thankful for the support I receive from my teammates and coaches. They make my job so much easier with their support."
The PLU defense rose to the occasion down the stretch, forcing three turnovers in the fourth quarter to preserve the upset win. Carson Ketter sabotaged a Bruin drive early in the fourth, intercepting a pass after GFU marched down to the 11-yard line. Doug James forced and recovered a fumble the following Bruin possession, recovering the ball on the Lute 35-yard line while Travis McMillion picked off a pass with 2:19 left in the game. Pacific Lutheran's offense chewed up the rest of the game clock to cement the win.
"It was a good day to be a part of Lute football, we put everything together and played a full 60 minutes," said Ketter. "Every week we've been inching closer to our potential and looking at these last two weeks we've been there."
PLU outgained George Fox 349-199, limiting the Bruins to just 55 yards passing, while controlling the clock, possessing the pigskin for nearly 39 minutes.
Walker LaVoy passed for 240-yards in his first start of the season with Brady Winter and Jacob King proving to be his most popular target, Winter finished with eight catches and 92 yards while King hauled in eight catches for 80 yards. Isaiah Watkins led the defense in tackles, collecting seven while Cooper Murphy and James each had six tackles for a unit that generated four turnovers on the afternoon.
"With only a few weeks left for us seniors we really focused on being the best we can be, that's what we will remember when we leave," said Ketter. "Not our record, not games we won or lost, but how well we played and the fact we left nothing to regret. It's all paying off."
The Lutes close out the season next Saturday, hosting Lewis & Clark College at 1 p.m. at Sparks Stadium.