The Whitworth Pirates defense used seven interceptions to turn what had been a close game into a crushing 62-30 defeat of Puget Sound.
The game was also one for the record books for senior quarterback Bryan Peterson, who set a team record with seven touchdown passes. He also broke the career record for completions with 600.
“I’m really proud of how we played in the second half,” coach Rod Sandberg told his team. “We played how I thought we could have started the game.”
The teams combined for 12 turnovers in the game, including eight by the Loggers (3-3, 2-2 Northwest Conference).
But the first miscue came on the Pirates’ second possession when Puget Sound blocked a Whitworth (5-3, 3-2) field goal attempt and Dustin Harrison returned it 80 yards for the Loggers’ first score.
The Pirates immediately responded with a drive that ended with a 40-yard touchdown pass from Peterson to Duke Degaetano with 6:36 left in the first quarter.
On the next drive, Bryon Blandford intercepted UPS quarterback Braden Foley. On the first play after the turnover, Peterson hit freshman running back Avega Siolo on a 20-yard touchdown pass to make it 14-7 Pirates.
The Loggers tied the game on the next drive and took the lead when the defense sacked Peterson in the end zone to make it 16-14. The teams traded points before halftime with Whitworth leading 28-23.
Asked what he told the team at halftime, Sandberg said: “It wasn’t pretty. We just didn’t play the way we know we can.”
But the third quarter was all Pirates as Peterson hit Connor Williams for a 30-yard touchdown before defensive end Danny Welstad, a high school running back, intercepted a UPS pass and rumbled 97 yards for the score.
“I saw a lot of blockers in front of me, so I knew I had a chance,” Welstad said. “I was pretty tired. I think I may have pulled my quad.”
Peterson put the game out of reach with third quarter touchdown passes to Drew Clausen for 9 yards and 18 yards to Siolo.
Peterson, who completed 27 passes in 40 attempts for 325 yards and two interceptions, broke the single-game touchdown record he shared with current quarterbacks coach Joel Clark (2005) and J.J. Green (1994). Peterson (West Valley) also broke the career completions record of 599 held by Danny Figueria (91-93).
“Whitworth has a long history with a lot of success,” Peterson said. “To have that (completions) record feels phenomenal.”
Degaetano led the Pirates with 105 yards on 19 carries, and he had the 40-yard touchdown reception.
Connor Williams led the team with 11 catches for 130 yards and two touchdowns. Drew Clausen and Anthony Fullman both had a receiving touchdown and Kyle Brownell added an 8-yard touchdown run.
“Seven interceptions, I’ve never been part of that,” Sandberg said. “That’s fun.”
(3) Carroll 20, Montana Tech 12: Dustin Rinker racked up 199 yards on the ground and broke the school’s career rushing mark as the Saints (6-1, 6-1) outlasted the Orediggers (1-7, 1-7) in a Frontier Conference game in Butte, Montana.
Pacific Lutheran 56, Willamette 14: Dalton Ritchey threw for 302 yards and five touchdowns and ran for 130 yards and another score as the Lutes (4-2, 2-2) dumped the Bearcats (4-2, 2-2) in a Northwest Conference game in Puyallup, Washington.
Humboldt State 38, Central Washington 20: Robert Webber threw for three touchdowns and Nick Ricciardulli ran for 178 yards as the Jacks (6-1, 2-1) beat the Wildcats (4-4, 3-2) in a Great Northwest Athletic Conference game in Arcata, California.
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