Linfield solidifies national ranking with dominating win against Whitworth
by Sena Hughes
The Whitworth football team took a tough beating last Saturday from the Wildcats of Linfield College, who are currently ranked number three in NCAA Division III, 54-14.
“Linfield is a very good football team,” Whitworth head coach John Tully said. “[They are] very deserving of being ranked 3rd nationally. They played a good game and we didn’t play a good game and this was the result.”
It was a rough day for the Bucs, (5-2, 1-2 Northwest Conference) who did not manage to get on the board until more than halfway through the fourth quarter.
“We just came out flat and they just were more explosive than us to be honest,” senior wide receiver Jake DeGooyer said. “We got down in the first half and never recovered from that.”
Sophomore defensive back Kainoa Raguindin forced a fumble early on, which gave the Pirates’ possession, but sophomore quarterback Bryan Peterson threw an interception on the next play to give Linfield prime field position.
The Wildcats managed to find the end zone twice at the end of the first quarter and then again at the beginning of the second, to produce three touchdowns in under seven minutes. The Linfield defense was relentless as well, holding Whitworth to only 32 yards of offense in the first half. Linfield led 28-0 at the half.
The Wildcats continued to roll in the third quarter. Finally in the fourth Peterson connected with sophomore wide receiver Austin Ehlo in the end zone for a Pirate touchdown to avoid a shutout. Several minutes later junior running back DJ Tripoli ran 20 yards for another Whitworth touchdown. Tripoli led the Bucs in rushing on the day with 67 yards.
The Pirates’ injury streak continued in the second half when sophomore defensive back Paul Miller went down with a knee injury.
“We’re down a lot of starters on defense,” Raguindin said. “Younger guys and the next people in line have to step up.”
Raguindin had a career-high game with 15 tackles. DeGooyer led the Bucs with 69 receiving yards.
“I don’t think you want to read too much into getting beat,” Tully said. “Unfortunately we lost two games in a row to two very good football teams. The thing we do right now is look at the things we can improve on and things we can do better to come out on top on the scoreboard.”
The Pirates come home to the Pine Bowl this weekend to take on the Loggers of Puget Sound (0-5, 0-2 NWC).
Tully specifically mentioned the influence of fan and student support for the Bucs.
“I’m looking forward to playing at the Pine Bowl with our students at the game,” Tully said. “They’ve been so supportive and we need that. They do make a difference. When they’re way into it our players feed off of that.”
Contact Sena Hughes at firstname.lastname@example.org.