In a game in which offenses ruled and defenses looked winded, the Whitworth Pirates raced Saturday past the Puget Sound Loggers for a 56-32 victory.
The Pirates survived a monster day from Puget Sound’s Brennan Schon. The former Lewis and Clark receiver torched Whitworth with 14 catches for 221 yards and a touchdown, but the Loggers couldn’t find an answer to stop the Pirates in the second half.
“That’s a big win,” Whitworth coach Rod Sandberg said. “We had to be patient. (Loggers quarterback Hans Fortune) threw one pick all year and we got him for two. But he’s so good. He’s going to do that to a lot of people.”
Fortune threw for 496 yards and four touchdowns in a duel of fast-paced passing offenses. Whitworth’s Ian Kolste was almost as good, throwing for 355 yards and three scores. The teams combined for 1,114 yards, mostly through the air.
“We had a good idea of what to expect,” Kolste said. “I think we produced when we needed to. It was a good day.”
On the first play from scrimmage, Kolste hit Michael McKeown for a 43-yard pass that set up a 2-yard plunge by Duke DeGaetano. The two-point conversion was good to put Whitworth up 8-0 in only five plays and 1:07 burned off the clock.
The Loggers (2-2, 0-2 Northwest Conference) immediately responded with an 11-play drive that ended with a 14-yard pass from Fortune to Aiden Santino to make it 8-7 Whitworth.
It took Whitworth (4-1, 2-0) one play to respond. Kolste hit a wide-open Garrett McKay, who outraced the defense for an 89-yard touchdown to put the Pirates up 14-7.
After a Loggers field goal, Puget Sound set up the play of the game when the Loggers kicked to a waiting Jordan Pride. The Pirates’ defensive back caught the ball at the 3-yard line and raced 97 yards for a touchdown to give Whitworth a 21-10 lead.
Sandberg singled out Pride as he spoke to the team after the win.
“He was returning kicks, covering on kickoffs … I felt him all day long,” Sandberg said.
Pride said he caught the ball and just saw his blocking set up in front of him.
“It was a surreal feeling. I saw the hole open up extremely wide,” he said. “I honestly just looked at the end zone and tried to run there as fast as I could.”
Pride also delivered a vicious hit on a Puget Sound receiver that stalled a drive at the end of the game as the Loggers were trying to score.
“I’m just really happy for him,” Sandberg said. “He’s got all this athletic ability and we try to find different ways to use him.”
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