The Whitworth football team overcame a dismal start Saturday and beat Willamette 20-16 in a Northwest Conference game at McCulloch Stadium in Salem, Oregon.
The Bearcats jumped ahead 13-0 in the first quarter and limited the Pirates to just 53 total yards in the first half, but couldn’t pull away.
Ian Kolste scored from 4 yards out early in the second quarter to close the gap and then threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to Kevin Thomas early in the third to give Whitworth its first lead, 17-16. Pirates’ kicker Rehn Reily added a 28-yard field goal in the fourth to cap the scoring.
Whitworth stiffed Willamette (2-6, 2-4) in the second half, holding the Bearcats to just 65 total yards. The Pirates also intercepted Willamette quarterback Ryan Knowlton four times.
Pirates’ running back Duke DeGaetano gained 78 yards on 28 carries and Kolste completed 17 of 30 passes for 109 yards and the third-quarter touchdown.
Whitworth (8-1, 5-1) wraps up the regular season next Saturday at home against Lewis & Clark. A win would give the Pirates nine victories for the fifth time in school history.
Linfield 72, Puget Sound 3: Spencer Payne ran for 210 yards and three touchdowns and the Wildcats (8-0, 6-0) secured the Northwest Conference title for the seventh straight year with a win over the Loggers (5-4, 4-3) in McMinnville, Oregon.
Pacific Lutheran 26, Lewis & Clark 7: Walker LaVoy threw for 175 yards and two touchdowns and Marc Gallant ran for two scores as the Lutes (2-6, 2-4) topped the Pioneers (0-8, 0-6) in a Northwest Conference game in Portland.
Central Washington 30, Simon Fraser 24: Lane threw for 264 yards and a touchdown and Carter scored twice on the ground as the Wildcats (4-5, 2-3) came from behind to beat the Clan (0-8, 0-5) in a Great Northwest Athletic Conference game in Burnaby, British Columbia.
Rocky Mountain 21, Carroll 13: Chase White threw for 216 yards and two touchdowns and the Bears (4-6, 3-6) clipped the Saints (4-5, 4-5) in a Frontier Conference game in Billings, Montana.
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