TACOMA, Wash. – It was a game that neither team deserved to lose. Whittier (1-1) outlasted Puget Sound (1-2), 42-39, in six overtimes on Saturday afternoon; the longest game in Whittier football history.
The Poets and Loggers combined for 933 yards of offense and 81 points and needed over four hours to complete their marathon. Eric Cejudo finally ended the madness with his 26-yard game winning field goal.
Whittier had its back to the wall while playing the extra sessions. Quarterback Alesana Sausau faced a 4th and 5 with his team trailing by eight but found Josh Ollison for the score on a 20-yard touchdown strike. The Poets went back to the air for the all important two-point conversion, despite completing only 28 percent of their passes. Sausau found Vince Evans to tie the score at 39.
WC opened the fifth overtime on offense and saw its drive end on a missed 39-yard field goal. With a chance to win the game, the Loggers' 38-yard attempt sailed wide right.
Whittier's defense took the field to start the sixth overtime and forced the Loggers to attempt a 42-yard field goal. Tyler Schaner's attempt missed short of the uprights.
Sausau put the Poets in a great position to win on the ensuing play as he found Ollison for 16 yards to the UPS 9. Marcus Langkilde ran the ball on two of the next three plays to set up Cejudo's game winner.
The Poets overcame seven turnovers in picking up their first win of the season.
Sausau completed just 8-of-31 passes for 136 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions. As a team the Poets were just 11-of-40 for 190 yards and six INTs.
The offensive story for Whittier was Kimble Tillman who ran for a career-high 238 yards on 23 carries. He scored on runs of 20, 7 and 58 yards and also added two catches for 33 yards.
Not to be outdone by the offense, the purple and gold defense forced five turnovers which includes a pair of interceptions by John O'Malley. He finished with eight tackles, one sack and two tackles for loss.
Jared Cato and Aaron Alonzo each led the team with nine tackles. Alonzo recorded two of the team's five sacks.
The Loggers scored first at 8:21 of the first quarter on a Duncan White to John Martino five-yard touchdown pass. Langkilde tied the score as he capped a 13-play, 67-yard, drive with a two yard scoring run at 1:10 of the first frame.
Langkilde finished with 70 yards on 14 carries.
White added his second touchdown pass at 10:47 of the second quarter but Tillman answered at 9:07 with his first of three touchdown runs. UPS ended the half with a 29-yard touchdown pass from White to take a 20-14 lead into the break.
Tillman gave the Poets the lead at 21-20 with the only score of the third quarter and a field goal at 14:54 of the fourth gave the lead back to the Loggers it was Tillman who scored from 58 yards out to put the Poets up 28-23. UPS reclaimed the lead at 9:46 and added the two-point conversion to go up 31-28 but Cejudo sent the game to overtime with a 29-yard field goal with 3:05 left in regulation.
Whittier will look to carry its momentum over to next week's clash with SCIAC rival Occidental. The game is set for a 7 pm start in Eagle Rock.