It’s one of the biggest weekends on Whitworth’s sports calendar: The Pirate Night auction was held Friday night, Hall of Fame induction ceremonies are Saturday morning followed by a homecoming football game against Lewis & Clark at 1 at the Pine Bowl.
Whitworth (1-2 overall) is trying to rebound from a disappointing 23-7 loss at Redlands last week and start the Northwest Conference season on a winning note against an improved Pioneers squad (1-1). Whitworth has won 11 straight in the series, but L&C trampled Pomona-Pitzer 63-38 last week with a school-record 549 rushing yards. The Pirates’ lone win also came against Pomona-Pitzer, 35-7, two weeks ago.
“They put up over 600 yards and 60-some points, which is pretty impressive and they were impressive on offense in their first game,” Pirates coach John Tully said.
“They have a very talented running back and quarterback, they spread you out and they can break it at any time. Our defense needs to play assignment football.”
Quarterback Keith Welch ran for 241 yards on just nine carries last week. Joevante Mayes, first-team All-NWC in 2008, added 219 yards against Pomona-Pitzer and has 286 in two games.
The Pirates gained just 203 total yards, allowed a 98-yard scoring drive and had a punt blocked in the loss to Redlands.
“The biggest thing is we need to finish on offense and defensively we need to create some turnovers and create (better) field position,” Tully said.
Junior quarterback Andrew DeFelice will make his first start but sophomore Taylor Eglet figures to see plenty of time. The two have essentially split repetitions the last couple games.
“We just want to look at different options at this point,” Tully said. “We’re pleased with how Andrew has played and how Taylor has played, but we’ll see how this works.”
Punter and starting tight end Zack Clow (concussion) won’t play. He’ll be replaced by freshman punter Peter Walde and junior tight end Kasey Lambert.