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Battle of unbeatens: Whitworth heads to Linfield Saturday for annual NWC football showdown

UPDATED: Thu., Oct. 7, 2021

Whitworth receiver Jerusalem To'oto'o (17) gets help from teammate Jarvis Natividad (7) as he blocks Lewis & Clark defensive back Makana LaBoy (7) during the Pirates' 35-17 win at the Pine Bowl on Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021.   (DAN PELLE/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW)
Whitworth receiver Jerusalem To'oto'o (17) gets help from teammate Jarvis Natividad (7) as he blocks Lewis & Clark defensive back Makana LaBoy (7) during the Pirates' 35-17 win at the Pine Bowl on Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021.  (DAN PELLE/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW)

If it’s fall, it must be time for another Whitworth-Linfield football showdown.

On Saturday, the two unbeatens collide in McMinnville, Oregon, with bragging rights in the Northwest Conference and an inside track to the Division III playoffs on the line.

Although Linfield has won 38 of the 46 meetings (with two ties), Whitworth has managed a split in the past two games with a pair of down-to-wire clashes – the Pirates’ 19-14 win in 2018 followed by Linfield’s 38-31 overtime thriller in 2019.

The teams didn’t meet during the 2021 spring season.

Whitworth (4-0, 1-0 NWC), ranked No. 18 in the D3football.com and 21st in the AFCA coaches poll, is coming off a 35-17 victory over Lewis & Clark that saw freshman quarterback Caleb Christensen come off the bench to throw for 407 yards and two touchdowns.

Linfield (3-0, 1-0) is ranked No. 7 in both polls.

Kickoff is set for 1:30 p.m.

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