by McKinley Powers
The Whitworth football team fell to Linfield College in the most highly anticipated game of the season on Saturday, October 22. The Pirates were defeated by the Wildcats 45-31.
The Wildcats then drove down the field but Whitworth’s defense answered with a forced fumble recovered by senior Caleb Mathena. The quarter ended with an offensive drive up the field by Linfield resulting in a touchdown at the beginning of the second quarter, making the score 3-14 with the Pirates trailing the Wildcats.
Linfield scored again on a 50-yard drive, advancing their lead to 21-3. Whitworth then answered with their first touchdown of the game, an 80-yard drive finishing in a touchdown pass from senior quarterback Ian Kolste to junior receiver Nick Kiourkas. The Wildcats then scored once more before halftime, ending the first half with a score of Linfield 28-10.
The second half started with Linfield scoring once again on a 54-yard drive. The Pirates stayed in the game however with senior running-back Duke Degaetano rushing into the endzone for a touchdown. Linfield scored once more to end the quarter making the score 42-17.
Opening the fourth quarter, Linfield continued to show their strength as the scored at the beginning of the quarter with a 47-yard drive. Whitworth then scored twice in the last 10 minutes to end with 31 points.
“This is a program that is not satisfied with moral victories,” head coach Rod Sandberg said. “We play to win. We are disappointed that we did not play better today, however we played a great team, hats off to Linfield. I am proud of our guys, they didn’t quit and they kept fighting and played to the very end.”
With this loss Whitworth has become 3-1 in conference games, while Linfield moves on to be 4-0. The Pirates will take on Pacific Oregon University on Saturday, October 29 in Forest Grove, Oregon at 1 p.m.