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Anthony Lessier rushed for 79 yards and two touchdowns in place of leading rusher Adam Anderson as Whitworth scratched its way to a 24-12 Northwest Conference win over Pacific (0-6, 0-4) Saturday in Forest Grove, Ore. Anderson gave the Pirates (4-3, 2-1) their first touchdown of the afternoon on a 27-yard scamper at the 14:06 mark of the first quarter, but left at the beginning of the second and would not return.
Pacific Lutheran scored three touchdowns in the opening quarter, including a 52-yard fumble recovery for a score by Colby Davies, and carried that momentum to beat Whitworth 39-21 in Northwest Conference play Saturday in Puyallup, Wash. Jord Rasmussen threw three TD passes in the first half and finished with 214 yards on 16-of-22 passing to lead the Lutes (4-0, 2-0).
Linebacker Paul Werhane returned an interception 36 yards for a touchdown and finished with a team-high 11 tackles Saturday to spark the Whitworth Pirates to a 20-7 upset victory over the 24th-ranked Menlo Oaks in nonconference action in Atherton, Calif. Whitworth (3-2) intercepted Menlo quarterback Cruz Castillo five times and twice stopped the Oaks on fourth down in the fourth quarter.
The Whitworth Pirates got a scare from an improving Lewis & Clark football team. They got a bigger scare when standout running back Adam Anderson limped off the field in the second half, triggering memories of an ankle injury that sidelined him most of the 2009 season. In the end, the Pirates knocked off the Pioneers 38-20 with Anderson sealing the Northwest Conference victory with the last of his three touchdown runs in front of 2,850 fans on a sun-kissed Saturday at the Pine Bowl.
Redlands dominated on defense and special teams and the end result was a 23-7 victory over the Whitworth Pirates in nonconference football play on Saturday in Redlands, Calif. The Pirates (1-2) were held to 203 yards of total offense, including just 73 yards rushing.
The Whitworth University football team overcame a slow start. Once the Pirates got untracked, though, it was worth the wait.
Cameron Bushey scored on a free kick from just outside the penalty box 15 minutes into the second half and Brian Sherpe made five saves to give Whitworth a 1-0 victory over visiting UC Santa Cruz in nonconference men’s soccer Monday. Whitworth’s Justin Mikkola was fouled from behind, giving the Pirates the free kick. Bushey (Mead) sent the ball over the Banana Slugs’ wall and inside the left post. It was the only one of eight Whitworth (2-0) shots that was on goal in the match between two schools that were in the Division III playoffs last season. UCSC is 1-1-2.
If Whitworth’s offense catches up to the guts of its coach, John Tully, then the Pirates will have a unit that will be a nightmare to contend with as the season progresses. The No. 15-ranked Division III Hardin-Simmons Cowboys (1-0) started the season the way they expected with a convincing 27-7 win Saturday at the Pine Bowl. But their win wasn’t against an opponent that always did things in conventional fashion.
Katelyn Kishkunas converted a penalty kick in the 66th minute Thursday to give 12th-ranked Wheaton a 2-1 women’s soccer win over Whitworth in the opening match of the Bob Baptista Invitational at Wheaton, Ill. Ali Kopelman also scored for the Thunder, off a pass from Keri Shannon in the 18th minute.
Sisters Ka’ipo and Kaimi Rocha combined for 19 kills and the Whitworth Pirates opened their season with a 25-20, 25-11, 25-11 sweep over the visiting Walla Walla Wolves in non-conference volleyball play on Wednesday. NAIA No. 15 Lewis-Clark State lived up to its billing in the second match, topping Whitworth 25-23, 25-12, 25-23
If the Northwest Conference football coaches preseason poll is correct, the Whitworth Pirates will do something this fall that hasn’t happened in the last six seasons: Finish below third place. The coaches picked Whitworth as the fourth-best team in the new-look NWC (associate member Menlo exited and Pacific restarted its program after nearly two decades on the sideline). The last time the Pirates finished out of the top three was in 2003, a fourth-place finish that coincided with the program’s last losing season.