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Whitworth takes on road challenge against Pacific’s tough running game

Whitworth is looking for its third consecutive win when the Pirates head to Forest Grove, Oregon, on Saturday to face the Pacific Boxers.

The Pirates evened their Northwest Conference record at 2-2 last weekend when they toppled Puget Sound 38-23.

Whitworth’s Ian Kolste was back on the field in the first half after the senior quarterback was forced out of Whitworth’s win at Pacific Lutheran on Oct. 14 with a sprained right ankle. Kolste’s ankle was wrapped ahead of last weekend’s showing and the QB said at game time it felt well enough to get back on the field.

Kolste’s ankle didn’t seem to limit him against the Loggers. Kolste carried the Pirates to a 31-7 lead at the half and broke another program record in his 30 minutes on the field. He surpassed the previous school record for total offense (9,656), collecting 224 total yards for a career 9,678.

Kolste and the Pirates will get back on the road this weekend to play the first of two consecutive road games before Whitworth’s season finale against Willamette at the Pine Bowl on Nov. 11.

It will be the 27th time the Pirates have faced Pacific. Whitworth leads the overall series 21-4-1. The Pirates last played Pacific on the Boxers’ home field last season when the Pirates ran away with a 55-35 win.

The Boxers had a rough start to the season this year. They suffered a canceled season opener and dropped the next two games.

Pacific has made a turnaround since and is riding a three-game winning streak, including last Saturday’s 17-7 win over Lewis & Clark.

Unlike last weekend, when the Pirates faced an opposing offense that relied heavily on its passing game, Pacific will be tough and persistent on the ground. The Boxers lead the conference in rushing offense, averaging 182 yards. Senior running back Brandon Boyd leads Pacific’s running game, gaining 124.8 yards per game and 6 yards per carry for six touchdowns.

Sophomore quarterback JT Greenough stepped into Pacific’s No. 1 spot this season. He has completed 56.7 percent (80 of 141) of his passes for 811 yards and five touchdowns.

Sophomore receiver Kobe Williams, who earned All-NWC recognition as a freshman last season with 77 receptions for 1,260 yards and 15 touchdowns, has 33 catches this year for 367 yards and a pair of touchdowns.


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