Long Plays Highlight Improved Offensive Day For Pacific
McMINNVILLE, Ore. – Quarterbacks P.J. Minaya (Fr., Wahiawa, Hawaii) and Quin Moore (Fr., Bellingham, Wash.) uncorked two of the longest passing plays in school history Saturday, leading a much better day for the Pacific offense in a 66-14 loss to No. 14 ranked Linfield in Northwest Conference football action at Maxwell Field.
Minaya threw a 79-yard touchdown pass to Jordan Fukumoto (Fr., Mililani, Hawaii) on the Boxers' first series of the game. The effort ranks as the second longest passing play in school history, surpassed only by a 95-yard passing play from Ralph Nickerson to Jim Wills during the 1973 season.
Moore's long bomb came with 1:57 left in the third quarter as he uncorked a 69-yard scoring pass to Jacob Hauge (So., Nampa, Idaho). The play ranks as seventh longest play in school history.
The two long bombs provided the base for a much-improved afternoon for the Pacific offense. The Boxers (0-5, 0-3 NWC) finished with 273 yards of total offense, which included 291 yards in the air. Minaya threw for the 79-yard play before leaving the game in the first quarter with an injury. T.C. Campbell (Fr., Kaimuki, Hawaii) threw for 88 yard on 7 of 15 passing and Moore threw for the one scoring play as the Boxers had four passing plays of 15 yards or more.
Fukumoto finished with the Boxers' first 100-plus yard receiving day of the season, making four catches for 106 yards. Hauge finished with 69 yards.
The big plays provided some consolation for an even bigger afternoon for the Wildcats (4-1, 3-0 NWC), who finished with 579 yards of total offense, including almost even parts rush and pass. Aaron Boheme completed 10 of 12 passes for 171 yards and two touchdowns while Cole Bixenman also threw for a pair of scores. Deidre Wiersma led 10 Linfield receivers to catch balls, finishing with 82 yards on five receptions.
Josh Hill was Linfield's leading rusher, carrying the ball seven times for 54 yards. Simon Lamson had three carries of 52 yards as 14 Wildcats had carries.
Linfield needed only four plays to score the game's first touchdown as Lamson rushed 39 yards for the touchdown at the 13:36 mark. The Boxers responded in just two plays as a rushing loss for three yards gave way to Minaya's 79-yard strike to Fukumoto.
From there, however, both the Linfield offense and defense made certain that the Wildcats would prevail in their homecoming. A 23-yard pass play from Boheme to Chris Slezak put Linfield up 14-7 just five minutes into the game. A three-and-out for the Wildcats' defense paved the way for another five-play drive, this one culminating in a 27-yard pass play to Wiersma.
Both defenses held until the 1:49 mark of the first when Boheme took to the ground himself, rushing 37 yards to give the Wildcats a 28-7 lead.
Linfield scored on both of their first second quarter series. Taylor Avritt rushed five yards to make it 35-7 and Bixenman found Conner Varnell for a 4-yard pass that put the Wildcats up 42-7 with 8:24 to go.
Pacific saw a promising 11-play series stunted with 2:40 to go as the Boxers turned the ball over on downs on a fourth-and-4 play at the Linfield 44-yard-line. The Wildcats needed four plays to march down the field with Bixenman closing the drive with a 9-yard pass play to Joe Kloucek for a 49-7 halftime lead.
Josh Kay opened scoring for Linfield in the third quarter with the game's only field goal, connecting from 37 yards out. Another four-and-out allowed the Wildcats to march down field again at Mickey Inns found David Hurn for a 9-yard touchdown play that put Linfield up 59-7 with 6:13 left in the quarter.
Neither team scored again until the Boxers connected for their second touchdown of the game. Pacific appeared to have a first down thanks to a 16-yard pass play from Moore to Bryce Kershner (Fr., Jordan Valley, Ore.), but the play was negated by a Pacific penalty. Moore gladly traded that play for his 69-yard strike to Hauge that cut the lead to 59-14 with 1:57 left.
Linfield closed scoring early in the fourth quarter with Josh Yoder finding Michael Chopp for a 20-yard scoring pass with 12:52 left.
Caleb Wistock (Fr., Stayton, Ore.) led Pacific defensively with five tackles, including one tackle for loss. Five Boxers had tackles for loss, led by a 10-yard tackle by Chrystian Johnson (Fr., Rogue River, Ore.) that resulted in a forced fumble and a Linfield turnover. Eric Hedin led Linfield with seven tackles, including six for loss and four sacks.
After being the homecoming opponent for two opponents in the last three weeks, Pacific looks forward to being the homecoming team next week. The Boxers host Whitworth for Pacific's Homecoming & Parent's Weekend on Saturday. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:30 p.m.