Bucs jump out to 49-0 halftime lead over Loggers
by Sena Hughes
Coming off two difficult losses the last two weeks, it was Whitworth football’s turn to clobber on Saturday. The Bucs got off to a quick lead and did not look back, beating the Loggers of Puget Sound 70-11 — the largest margin of victory in the series, which dates back to 1904.
“It’s fun as a coach when you are around guys and see how hard they work and then get to see the fruits of their labor,” head coach John Tully said. “That was today.”
With less than seven minutes to go in the first quarter, Whitworth starting quarterback, sophomore Bryan Peterson, completed a pass to junior wide receiver Connor Williams in the end zone. After a botched snap on the point-after hold, junior wide receiver Kekoa Turbeville tossed up a prayer to the end zone, which was snatched by freshman defensive end Danny Welstad to complete the two-point conversion and give the Bucs an early 8-0 lead.
Just seconds later, senior linebacker and team captain Scott Carr picked off a UPS pass and ran it back for another Pirate touchdown. A few minutes later, Peterson found the end zone again when he connected with senior wide receiver Jake DeGooyer. The Bucs led 22-0 at the end of the first quarter.
The momentum did not die in the second quarter. Senior running back and team captain Ronnie Thomas had back-to-back touchdown runs. Then, Peterson racked up his third and fourth touchdown passes of the day when he hit junior tight end Wade Meyer and then sophomore wide receiver Austin Ehlo.
At the half, Whitworth led 49-0.
“Honestly, [Saturday] was about as good as we can play,” Peterson said. “We need consistency. We know we can play like this.”
In the second half, sophomore quarterback Michael McCune came in for the Bucs. On fourth down of the opening possession, he found Williams downfield resulting in another seven on the board. UPS finally got on the board with a touchdown about midway through the third quarter.
To start the fourth quarter, McCune hit junior fullback Alfonso Miranda who ran into the end zone to make the score 63-8.
Just as UPS looked to score again, linebacker Sam Schoesler came up with an interception, which he ran back 87 yards for the final Whitworth touchdown of the game. The last time Whitworth had 70 points in a game was in 2006 in a homecoming game against Lewis & Clark at the Pine Bowl. Whitworth won that game, 70-3.
UPS got another field goal with two and a half minutes left in the game to make the final score 70-11.
“I’m really, really happy for our guys,” Tully said. “They’re just an enjoyable group to coach and to be around. They have fun.”
Peterson, who only played the first half, went 11 for 13 on the day, passing for 183 yards and four touchdowns.
“I thought individually things went really well,” Peterson said with a smile. “All the guys played great. This was the biggest blowout I’ve ever been a part of.”
Thomas, who also only predominantly played the first half, led the Bucs with 122 yards rushing and continues to lead the Northwest Conference in rushing yards per game and total touchdowns on the season. Defensively, freshman defensive back Jesse Bresser led Whitworth with six tackles and Welstad added four. The secondary combined for five interceptions on the day with Schoesler’s, two from Carr, one from sophomore defensive back Kainoa Raguindin, and one from sophomore defensive back De’ Hall.
Carr emphasized the team effort on the day.
“Anything I did [well] was because of the guys in front of me, behind me and the coaches on the sidelines,” Carr said.
Whitworth (6-2, 2-2 NWC) has a bye next week, but will travel to take on the Lutes of Pacific Lutheran University (4-2, 3-1 NWC) Nov. 3.
“It was just one of those days where everything was working,” Peterson said of Saturday. “It was almost flawless and nice to bounce back after two tough losses. It give us confidence going into our bye.”
Contact Sena Hughes at firstname.lastname@example.org