Whitworth’s unbeaten run to start its football season came to a humbling end Saturday.
Linfield quarterback Wyatt Smith passed for 308 yards and four touchdowns, and the Wildcats scored the game’s first 42 points in a 42-7 romp over Whitworth in a Northwest Conference showdown in McMinnville, Oregon.
The visiting Pirates (4-1, 1-1), ranked 18th in the D3football.com poll and 21st in the AFCA Coaches Top 25, punted on their first five possessions and quickly found themselves facing a sizable deficit against seventh-ranked Linfield (4-0, 2-0).
Connor McNabb raced 64 yards for a touchdown on the game’s first play from scrimmage to give the Wildcats a 7-0 lead 18 seconds into the contest.
Smith connected with Connor Morton for a 15-yard touchdown pass and a 14-0 lead with 9:25 left in the opening quarter.
Smith added a 3-yard TD pass to Sam Paris and a 31-yard scoring strike to Colton Smith in the second quarter to build a 28-0 lead. Smith then reeled off a 48-yard touchdown run with 28 seconds left in the half for a 35-point halftime margin.
McNabb and Smith teamed up for a 52-yard touchdown pass late in the third quarter for a 42-0 lead.
The Pirates ended Linfield’s shutout bid in the fourth quarter when Jaedyn Prewitt plunged into the end zone on a 2-yard run with 1:04 remaining.
Prewitt and Caleb Christiansen shared time at quarterback, but Whitworth struggled to generate much offensive success.
Prewitt completed 13 of 21 passes for 159 yards. Christiansen was 11-for-18 passing for 72 yards and was intercepted once.
Pirates receiver Jerus To’oto’o had seven catches for 77 yards.
The Pirates’ running game was limited to 15 yards on 28 carries.
Linfield piled up 508 yards of offense and averaged more than 7 yards per play. Smith completed 24 of his 35 passes, and he added 66 yards on five carries.
Receiver Devon Murray didn’t find the end zone but paced the Wildcats with five receptions for a team-best 95 yards. McNabb contributed with six catches for 77 yards in addition to his team-high 86 rushing yards on 10 carries.
Whitworth returns to the Pine Bowl on Saturday to host Pacific Lutheran at 1 p.m.
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