November 11, 2011 in Sports

Whitworth closes out season at UPS

By The Spokesman-Review
File/The Spokesman-Review photo

Whitworth coach John Tully says it’s a shame the season is ending just as the Pirates are hitting their stride.
(Full-size photo)

The football season is ending a tad too early for Whitworth coach John Tully.

“It’s been a growing year,” said Tully, whose Pirates close the season on the road against Puget Sound Saturday at 1. “We have a young team playing at a high level right now. I wish we had five games left because we’re playing pretty well. It’s fun to watch them.”

Whitworth (3-6, 2-3 Northwest Conference) will suffer its first losing season since finishing 4-6 in 2003. A victory over the Loggers (0-8, 0-5) would leave Whitworth in a tie for fourth place with the loser of the Pacific Lutheran-Willamette game. The Pirates were picked fourth in the preseason coaches’ poll.

The Pirates have won two of their last three, the setback a 42-38 decision to No. 5 Linfield. At times, they utilized seven freshmen and three sophomores on defense against the Wildcats. Whitworth’s six losses are by a combined 34 points to teams with a combined record of 32-13.

“Each week they’ve continued to work hard and that’s hard when you lose some close games,” Tully said. “It’s a fine line. The year we won 11 games, I think five or six came down to the last moments. Those were juniors and seniors and that’s what these guys are going to be down the road.”

Puget Sound ranks last in the conference in points allowed (43.5 per game) and yards allowed (452.4 per game).

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