Fumble, fumble, fumble, interception, punt, punt, stopped on downs, fumble, time expired.
As second-half drive charts go, the one above is mighty ugly for an offense and thoroughly satisfying for a defense.
Consider Whitworth’s defense one happy unit as the Pirates came up with six turnovers and a 38-17 nonconference football victory over Whittier College in front of 1,725 fans Saturday at the Pine Bowl.
The Pirates, who forced four turnovers and limited St. Scholastica to 200 yards in last week’s season opener, muzzled a Whittier offense that averaged 40 points-per-game in 2012, a season in which the Poets nearly overcame a 27-0 deficit in a 47-42 loss to Whitworth.
“We talked (at half) about playing with maximum effort every play and that’s what we did,” said outside linebacker Tevin Tyus, whose interception and 19-yard return for a touchdown gave Whitworth a 31-17 late in the third quarter. “Whatever play they were going to run, we were in the right spot. Good coaching.”
The Poets wanted to establish Diante Jackson but the 6-3 receiver had little room to operate. His three catches came in the first quarter.
Cornerback “Jerrell (Norman) did a wonderful job guarding him,” coach John Tully said. “We weren’t going to let them get the ball vertically over our heads.”
The ball often ended up in the Pirates’ hands as Tyus and De’ Hall intercepted passes and Tyus, Hall, Jacob Kriegbaum and Grant Livingston pounced on fumbles.
The Pirates led 14-10 at half behind Griffin Hare’s scoring run and Bryan Peterson’s touchdown pass.
Mundo Guzman’s interception and 32-yard return for a touchdown put Whittier on top 17-14 early in the third quarter, but Peterson responded on the ensuing play from scrimmage by finding tight end Lucas McGill for a 53-yard gain. Three plays later, Peterson raced into the end zone from the 14 and the Pirates led 20-17.
“I was so proud of Bryan after throwing that pick six,” Tully said. “He took us right down and scored and that next play was a big-time completion that really turned the momentum.”
Peterson passed for 205 yards. Drew Clausen had five catches for 94 yards and also threw a 31-yard pass to Dustin Martin on a trick play.
Central Washington 20, Western Oregon 7: Ishmael Stinson rushed for a pair of TDs and Deionte Gordon had two interceptions to propel the Wildcats (1-1, 1-0) past the Wolves (0-2, 0-1) in a GNAC opener in Ellensburg.
Chapman 57, Puget Sound 14: The Panthers (1-0) rushed for six TDs en route to an easy victory over the Loggers (0-1) at Tacoma.
Caroll 21, Montana Tech 7: The NAIA 12th-ranked Saints upset the No. 7 Orediggers in Helena, avenging last season’s loss.