THIS WEEK IN PACIFIC FOOTBALL
WILLAMETTE AT PACIFIC
Sat., Oct. 9, 1:30 p.m., Lincoln Park Stadium, Forest Grove
Live Stats: www.goboxers.com/live
Live Audio Webcast: client.stretchinternet.com/client/pacific.portal#
Live Video (Fee): client.stretchinternet.com/client/pacific.portal#
Audio replay Monday night, 7 p.m., on KUIK-AM (1360)
BOXERS RETURN HOME TO TAKE THEIR CHANCES VS. THE
After taking a hard loss to Lewis & Clark in their Northwest Conference opener, the Pacific football program returns home to face one of the tougher offenses in the league. The Boxers play host to Willamette, whose "Fly" offense regularly ranks the Bearcats as one of the top offensive teams in the nation. Both teams will be coming off losses after Willamette dropped a 35-7 decision to Linfield on Saturday.
• In their first Northwest Conference game in 27 years, the Boxers found themselves hurt by turnovers and a strong Lewis & Clark defense as the Pioneers beat the Boxers 48-0 in Portland.
• Pacific turned the ball over four times, three on fumbles and one on an interception. Lewis & Clark converted three of the turnovers into touchdowns and saw the fourth end the Boxers' only journey into the red zone all afternoon.
• Pacific continued to pass well in their third game, throwing for 170 yards as Pacific quarterbacks completed 14 of 19 passes. Trevor Okamoto led the way for the Boxers, completing 3 of 4 for 91 yards, including a game-long 40-yard recpetion to London Amorin.
• London Amorin led Pacific in all-purpose yards with 84, coming on three receptions. Amorin ranks second for the Boxers in receiving, averaging 36.7 yards per game.
• Marc Moody led Pacific in tackles with five despite only seeing action in less than one quarter against Lewis & Clark. Moody left the game late in the first quarter with a season-ending ankle injury.
• Saturday's game against Willamette will renew Pacific's longest running series against an opponent. This will be the 81st meeting between the Boxers and Bearcats, with the first meeting coming back in 1899. Pacific had their last win in the rivalry in 1988.
SCOUTING THE OPPONENT: WILLAMETTE BEARCATS
Location: Salem, Ore.
Colors: Cardinal & Old Gold
Stadium: McCullough Stadium (2,600, FieldTurf)
President: M. Lee Pelton
Athletic Director: Mark Majeski
Head Coach: Mark Speckman (Azusa Pacific 1977)
Speckman's Record At WU: 71-50/12 Years
Speckman's Record Overall: 71-50/12 Years
2009 Record: 8-2 NWC Record: 5-1 (2nd)
All-Time Series: Willamette leads 50-25-5
Last Meeting: Willamette won 43-3 at Salem, Ore., on Nov. 9, 1991
ABOUT THE COACH: Mark Speckman is in his 13th
season as head coach at Willamette, succeeding current Colorado
Head Coach Dan Hawkins in 1997. During that time, Speckman
has led Willamette to a 71-50 overall record and the team is 21-5
since the start of the 2008 season. Speckman was the AFCA and
D3Football.com West Region Coach of the Year in 2008 and was a
finalist for the 2008 Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award.
Speckman is regarded as an authority on "The Fly"
offense and has consulted a number of Division I programs on the
system in addition to employing it effectively at Willamette.
THE SERIES: Willamette leads the all-time series 50-25-5. The Bearcats are the Boxers' longest running rival with the teams having played their first game in 1899 with a total of 80 games in the series. Willamette has won the last two meetings and won the last game, 43-3, in Salem on Nov. 9, 1991.
LAST GAME: LINFIELD 35, WILLAMETTE 7
Linfield's Aaron Boheme ran for three touchdowns and passed for two more to lead the No. 16 Wildcats past No. 15 Willamette 35-7 in a game that likely decided who will receive the NWC's automatic berth to the NCAA Division III playoffs. The Wildcats rolled up 428 yards of total offense with Boheme completing 18 of 27 passes for 277 yards. Willamette was limited to 335 yards and went 2 of 13 on third down conversions. Willamette quarterback Brian Widing completed 10 of 18 for 174 yards. Terrell Malley ran for 60 yards on seven carries for the Bearcats.
• Willamette enters the week with the conference's best rushing defense, limiting teams to 114 yards per game, but has the worst pass defense in the league, allowing opponents 270.8 yards per game in the air.
• Scott Schoettgen ranks third in the NWC and 63rd nationally in receiving with 91.5 yards per game. He is averaging 20.3 yards per catch.
• Defending NWC Defensive Player of the Year Ralph Pineda enters the week ranked first in the NWC and tied for 33rd nationally in tackles with an average of 11 per game. His total includes 16 solo tackles and 44 assisted tackles. Teammates Walter Robinson and Arlin Taylor are tied for 13th in the league with 6.5 tackles per game.
• Willamette dropped out of both the D3Football.com and the AFCA poll after Saturday's 35-7 loss to Linfield. The Bearcats were ranked No. 14 in the AFCA poll and No. 15 in the D3Football.com poll.
• Willamette entered the season picked to finish second behind Linfield in the preseason NWC Coaches' Poll. The Bearcats received 42 points to be picked behind the Wildcats.
PACIFIC NEWS & NOTES
THAT'S AMORIN: In a game that saw Pacific limited in offensive highlights, the play of London Amorin (Fr., Waipahu, Hawaii) gave the Boxers something to hang their hat on. Amorin led Pacific with 84 all-purpose yards, all coming on three pass receptions. His two long plays came in the Boxers' final drive of the game with Trevor Okamoto (Fr., Windsor, Colo) hitting Amorin for a 40-yard reception and then a 32-yard reception two plays later. Amorin enters the week ranked second on the team in receiving yards average with 36.7 yards per game and 110 receiving yards. He also leads the team with 259 all-purpose yards. The Boxers' primary kick returner, Amorin ranks fifth in the NWC with 18.6 yards per return with a total of eight returns on the season.
AIR TIME: Pacific continues to be an efficient team when it comes to offense in the air. The Boxers enter the week ranked third in the conference and 72nd nationally among NCAA Division III teams in passing offense, averaging 229.3 yards per game. For the third straight game against Lewis & Clark, Pacific outperformed their opponent in the air as they outthrew the Pioneers 170 to 151. P.J. Minaya (Fr., Wahiawa, Hawaii) leads the Boxers in passing with 85.3 yards per game and has completed 24 of 35 passes. Minaya finished 6 of 8 against the Pioneers and also ranks eighth in the NWC in both passing yards per game and passing efficiency (124.3). Trevor Okamoto went 3 for 4 for the Boxers against Lewis & Clark. He enters the week ranked seventh in the NWC in passing efficiency (126.1).
CRISP AS CHRIS: Chris Santiago (Fr., Waipahu, Hawaii) has continued to come alive as a depended upon defender for the Boxers. The Boxers' starting free safety, Santiago came up with 4.5 tackles against Lewis & Clark on Saturday, finishing tied for second on the team with Tim Hastie (Fr., Auberry, Calif.). The tally included four solos and one assisted tackle. Santiago is tied for second on the team with Devin Lagorio (Fr., Stockton, Calif.) for tackles with nine.
ANOTHER TEAM LEADER FALLS TO INJURY: Pacific lost another team leader on Saturday was linebacker Marc Moody (Jr., Ewa Beach, Hawaii) was lost for the season. Moody suffered a broken ankle in the first quarter against Lewis & Clark and is not expected to return for the rest of the year. Despite leaving early, Moody led Pacific in tackles against the Pioneers with five (3 solo, 4 assists). Moody is currently leading the Boxers in tackles with 13 (8 solo, 10 assists) and owns one of the Boxers' two sacks. He enters the week tied for eighth in the NWC in tackles for linebackers and is tied for first with one forced fumble.
ADD MEDICAL REPORT: Head Coach Keith Buckley reports that three other Boxers will be out for the rest of the season due to injury. Wide receiver Darin Kamealoha (Fr., Waipahu, Hawaii) was lost for the year after breaking his leg in the Sept. 18 game against Claremont-Mudd-Scripps. Kamealoha started each of the first two games of the season and had averaged 19.5 yards receiving per game. Defensive lineman Courtland Thompson (Fr., Hollister, Calif.) is out with a shoulder injury and Frank Howard (Jr., Orland, Calif.) is gone for the year with an unspecified injury.
STILL AMONG THE NATION'S BEST: Despite not having a chance to put one through the uprights last week, Jon Lee (Sr., Kahalu'u. Hawaii) still ranks among the nation's best place kickers. Lee is 5 for 5 this season in field goals. His 1.67 field goals made per game ranks first in the NWC and ties him for fifth among NCAA Division III players. In addition, Lee leads the Boxers in points scored with 16 and ranks second in trhe NWC in kick scoring with 5.3 points per game. His longest field goal of the season was a 42-yarder that Lee hit against Claremont-Mudd-Scripps on Sept. 18. Lee, a converted soccer player, is in his first year playing organized football. He was named the NWC Special Teams Student-Athlete of the Week after going 4 for 4 in the opener against Puget Sound on Sept. 4.
ADD NATIONALLY RANKED SPECIAL TEAMERS: Spencer Bell (Fr., Gresham, Ore.), meanwhile, had a chance to keep up his statistics to continue to rank among the nation's top kickers. Bell punted five times against Lewis & Clark on Saturday for 178 yards, averaging 35.6 yards per punt. Bell enters the week as the top punter in the NWC and the 50th best punter in NCAA Division III, averaging 37.7 yards per punt. Bell was the NWC Special Teams Student-Athlete of the Week after his five punts against Claremont-Mudd-Scripps on Sept. 18.
RETURNING TO CONFERENCE PLAY: With Saturday's game against Lewis & Clark, the Boxers played their first Northwest Conference game in nearly three decades. Prior to Saturday, Pacific played their last Northwest Conference contest to end the 1984 season, dropping a 34-19 decision to those same Pioneers. Pacific's last NWC win came earlier that season when the Boxers beat Willamette 35-13. The Boxers played seven more years after that season, competing as part of the Columbia Football Association. The NWC reinistated football as a conference sport in 1996 in preparation for the league's transition from NAIA membership to NCAA Division III.
ON CAMPUS RECRUITS: A handful of players have come out for the Pacific program after being on campus for the majority of their college careers. Two of those are out for football are competing for the Boxers in other sports. Jon Lee is scheduled to be the starting place kicker on Saturday. Lee competed as a freshman for the Pacific men's soccer program. C.J. Aalona (Sr., Hauula, Hawaii) is also out for football after three seasons competing for the Pacific men's wrestling team and one season as a student assistant coach. Aalona will play on the defensive line after returning from injuries incurred during training camp.
ISLAND PRESENCE: In what should be no surprise to those familiar with Pacific University, the Boxers have a number of Hawaii students on the roster. A total of 30 of Pacific's 124 players hail from the Islands, well in line with 1:4 ratio of Hawaii students in Pacific's undergraduate College of Arts & Sciences. The list includes five players who played Kamehameha's 2009 state championship team, including Landon Aano (Fr., Ewa Beach, Hawaii), Chaz Bajet (Fr., Waipahu, Hawaii), Cameron Baron (Fr., Waianae, Hawaii), T.C. Campbell and Kamu Morita (Fr., Honolulu, Hawaii).
MAINLAND PRESENCE: Hawaii is not the only state well represented on the Pacific roster. The Boxers feature 31 players from Oregon, 27 from California and 12 from Washington. Pacific boasts players on the roster from literally every corner of the nation, including Arizona, North Dakota and Georgia.
SNAPPING THE SKID: Pacific will be looking to snap a 12-game losing streak on Saturday that stretches back to the end of the old program. The Boxers enter the game having lost 10 straight, dropping all of their games during the 1991 campaign. Pacific's last win came on Nov. 10, 1990, at the old McCready Field on the Pacific campus. The Boxers came back from a 14-0 deficit in the first half, tying it with a Joe Spanish four-yard run and taking the lead on Carlos Valdivia's extra point as the Boxers beat Oregon Tech 15-14.
PACIFIC TO BROADCAST ALL NINE GAMES: All nine Pacific football games will be broadcast online via Pacific's Boxer Sports Network. Audio webcasts of all nine games will be available live, with the pregame show beginning 15 minutes prior to kickoff. Audio webcasts will be available free of charge and will also be replayed Monday nights at 7 p.m. in the Portland area on KUIK-AM (1360). In addition, a video webcast will be available for all four home Pacific games. The video webcast will be available for $10 per game. The webcasts are available a link at www.goboxers.com.
Matt Richert will provide the play-by-play voice for Pacific football. A 20-year broadcast veteran, Richert most recently worked as one of the prep play-by-play voices for KUIK-AM in Hillsboro. He has also lent his voice to a number of OSAA Radio Network state championship broadcasts. Scott Hermo will provide the color analysis. Hermo has worked as a color commentator and sports host for KUIK since 1994.
BOXERS PICKED LAST IN NWC...BUT NOT BY MUCH: Pacific is picked to finish seventh out of seventh team in the Northwest Conference preseason coach's poll, but the margin between fifth and seventh is not much. The Boxers received 11 of a possible 56 votes, finsihing just one behind sixth place Lewis & Clark. Puget Sound is picked fifth with 19 points. Defending champion Linfield received all seven first place votes and a total of 56 points after advancing to the 2009 NCAA Division III semifinals. Willamette was picked second with 42 points, with Pacific Lutheran picked third and Whitworth picked fourth.