by Nathan Webber
The Whitworth Pirates brought their “A” game on Saturday as they pounded the Boxers of Pacific University 48-6 in the Whitworth Pine Bowl.
Whitworth (2-5, 1-2 in the Northwest Conference) compiled 474 total offensive yards compared to the Boxer’s (0-7, 0-4 in the Northwest Conference) 193 total yards.
Of Whitworth’s total yards, 313 came on the ground as five Pirates had at least 20 rushing yards or more, being led by junior running back Ronnie Thomas’ 159 rushing yards and three touchdowns. Senior running back Sean Scott also added 45 yards on the ground and two touchdowns.
The Pirates scored early and often as they scored on 7 of their 13 possessions.
“Our offensive line got good pushes today and we moved the ball well,” senior offensive lineman Travis Todd said. “Our defense came up with some turnovers which also helped.”
The Pirates were highly efficient inside the 20 as they landed in the end zone all five times they visited while they kept the Boxers out of the end zone on the two times they visited.
The Bucs intercepted Pacific’s opening drive and went 51 yards for a Ronnie Thomas 2-yard touchdown run. Pacific answered right back with a long kickoff return which set up a field goal.
The first quarter ended with the score 7-3 in favor of Whitworth. The route was on from there. Whitworth took the opening drive of the second quarter 77 yards to the Pacific 13. Thomas then ran in from 13 yards out for his second touchdown of the day.
With less than one minute left in the first half, freshman quarterback Zac Hill completed a 10-yard touchdown pass to junior receiver Jake DeGooyer, making the score 19-3 at the half.
Whitworth received the opening kickoff in the second half and only needed six plays to reach the end zone again. Thomas broke off his longest run of the day as he ran 46 yards for the score on fourth down.
Pacific answered with another field goal, but that was the last points they would score.
Two possessions later, freshman Kainoa Raguindin intercepted Pacific quarterback P.J. Minaya’s pass at the Whitworth 49. Hill completed a 38-yard pass to freshman receiver Austin Ehlo and then Scott ran for a 12-yard score.
Two plays into the fourth quarter, Hill found sophomore tight end Wade Meyer wide open and in stride as the two hooked up for a 51-yard touchdown pass making the score 41-6.
The next Pirate drive took over six minutes off the clock as Scott pounded through Pacific’s line for a 3-yard touchdown and the last score of the game.
“It’s good to get another win under our belt,” Todd said.
The Pirates finished with five rushing touchdowns and added two passing touchdowns by Hill, who completed 10 of 16 passes for 161 yards.
Defensively the Pirates had a strong game as they finished with nine tackles for loss and forced three turnovers. Defensive back Raguindin had two interceptions on the day and fellow freshman defensive back Paul Miller, who led the team with six solo tackles, added another INT.
Whitworth will travel to Salem, Ore., next weekend to take on the Bearcats of Willamette University. Kickoff is set for 1:30 p.m.