Two teams matched the sloppy conditions at the Pine Bowl until Whitworth got its high-powered offense rolling in the second half Saturday to pull away for a 30-7 win over upstart George Fox.
The Pirates (6-3, 4-2) gave up a total of nine sacks as the team honored 15 seniors. One of those players, quarterback Bryan Peterson, had a hand in all four Whitworth touchdowns.
“Their leadership under the transition made the difference,” first-year coach Rod Sandberg said. “Are they going to accept me and believe in me? If not, none of the team would have.
“(The seniors) will always have a special place in my heart.”
But the team that took the field against George Fox (0-7, 0-5) looked like they left their heads in the locker room.
Whitworth’s first touch of the ball was a fumbled punt by senior Drew Clausen (West Valley). However, George Fox’s anemic offense gained one yard on four plays before turning it over on downs.
After both offenses struggled to move the ball, the Pirates’ Kelvin Mackey recovered a fumble and the offense marched down the field, capping a 10-play drive with Peterson’s 1-yard touchdown run.
Defenses then controlled, forcing a combined seven punts by both teams.
Whitworth finally got something going late in the second quarter. But the Pirates’ drive stalled at the George Fox 4-yard line. Michael Zeng kicked a 22-yard field goal to make it 10-0 at the half.
“The weather didn’t affect us. We have been practicing in rain worse than this,” Peterson said. “We just didn’t play very well. But the defense played fantastic.”
The Pirates came out of halftime and punched it in on their first drive when Peterson hit Clausen for a 2-yard touchdown to make it 17-0. The score broke the school record with 33 team passing touchdowns in a season.
George Fox then drove to the Whitworth 34-yard, and facing a fourth-and-24, Bruins’ quarterback Grant Schroeder laced a pass between a couple defenders and Brad Lander caught it for a touchdown to make it 17-7.
A couple possessions later, Peterson (West Valley) hit freshman Brett Moser (Moses Lake) on a 51-yard touchdown. Early in the fourth quarter, Peterson’s 7-yard run capped the scoring.
Central Washington 17, Lincoln 14: Sean McDonald hit a 41-yard field goal as time expired and the Wildcats (5-4) edged the Blue Tigers (2-7) in Ellensburg, Washington.
Pacific Lutheran 42, Puget Sound 27: Dalton Ritchey threw for four touchdowns, Niko Madison ran for 137 yards and the Lutes (5-2, 3-2) defeated the Loggers (3-4, 2-3) in a Northwest Conference game in Tacoma.
Carroll 55, Montana State Northern 13: Mac Roche threw for 280 yards and three TDs and added two rushing scores as the Saints (7-1, 7-1) dumped the Lights (2-7, 1-7) in a Frontier Conference game in Havre, Montana.
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