THIS WEEK IN PACIFIC FOOTBALL
PACIFIC AT PUGET SOUND
Game No. 7/Away Game No. 4
Sat., Oct. 30, 1:30 p.m., Baker Stadium, Tacoma, Wash.
Live Stats: www2.pugetsound.edu/athletics/live/football/xlive.htm
Live Audio Webcast: client.stretchinternet.com/client/pacific.portal#
Audio replay Monday night, 7 p.m., on KUIK-AM (1360)
PACIFIC PREPARES FOR REMATCH AGAINST PUGET
After playing one of their best all-around games of the season in the homecoming game against Whitworth, the Pacific football program prepares for a rematch of their game from Week 1 of both the season and the reinstated program. The Boxers head north to Tacoma, Wash., to take on Puget Sound on Saturday. The Loggers are coming off an epic 68-64 loss to Lewis & Clark Saturday that saw Puget Sound throw for 650 yards of offense and teams combine for 1,218 yards of total offense.
• Pacific converted big plays for a pair of touchdowns and provided the homecoming crowd excitement with a scrambling touchdown and a successful onside kick in the fourth quarter of a 24-12 loss to Whitworth.
• Kelson Kawai had a 79-yard kickoff return to open the second half, which set up a 10-yard touchdown pass from T.C. Campbell to Taylor Hickson just a minute into the third quarter.
• Trevor Okamoto had an amazing scramble for the Boxers' second touchdown, avoiding blitzing blockers on a fourth down play to hit Jordan Fukumoto for a 13-yard scoring pass with 2:06 to play.
• Bryan Mills came up with the Boxers' first interception of the season, picking a pass by Whitworth's Andrew DeFelice in the first quarter and running it back 11 yards.
• Craig Bailey led a strong defensive effort for the Boxers with six tackles. He was one of seven players to be credit with tackles for loss, led by two tackles for loss by C.J. Aalona.
• Kelson Kawai led the Boxers with 129 yards of all-purpose offense, 105 of those coming on four kickoff retuns. Kawai enters the week ranked third in the Northwest Conference in yards per kickoff return.
• Saturday's game will be the second of the season between Pacific and Puget Sound. The two teams played in Tacoma to open the season on Sept. 4, which was the first game as head coaches for both Pacific's Keith Buckley and Puget Sound's Jeff Thomas.
SCOUTING THE OPPONENT
PUGET SOUND LOGGERS
Location: Tacoma, Wash.
Colors: Maroon & White
Stadium: Peyton Field at Baker Stadium (4,000, covered, natural grass)
President: Dr. Ronald Thomas
Athletic Director: Amy Hackett
Head Coach: John Thomas (Redlands 2003)
Thomas' Record At Puget Sound: First Year
Thomas' Record Overall: First Year
All-Time Series: Pacific leads 14-12-3
Last Meeting: Puget Sound won 36-19 at Tacoma, Wash., on Sept. 4, 2010
ABOUT THE COACH: Jeff Thomas was named Puget
Sound head coach on Jan, 26, 2010. The 2009 American Football
Coaches Association Assistant Coach of the Year accepted his first
head coaching position after six seasons as an assistant coach at
his alma mater, Redlands, including three years as offensive
coordinator. Thomas had been a member of the Redlands
coaching staff since 2003 where the team has been a conference
title contender each year and won the championship twice in that
time. He has worked both sides of the ball serving as coach
of the defensive backs and wide receivers as well as serving as
special teams coordinator. As the offensive coordinator,
Thomas helped lead the Bulldogs to various school-record
performances, including total offense in a single game with 677
yards on Nov. 3, 2007. In addition to his coaching duties,
Thomas serves as Puget Sound's recruiting coordinator and the
athletic department's technology liaison.
THE SERIES: Pacific leads the all-time series 14-12-3, with the Loggers having won the last four meetings. The last meeting came back on Sept. 4, in the first game of the reinstated Pacific program. In that game, Jon Lee (Sr., Kahalu'u, Hawaii) kicked four field goals and Taylor Hickson (Fr., Red Bluff, Calif.) scored Pacific's lone touchdown in a 36-19 loss to the Loggers. Thiesen Chang scored one touchdown and kicked a field goal for the Loggers while rushing for 94 yards. Quarterback Duncan White passed for 225 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
LAST GAME: LEWIS & CLARK 68, PUGET SOUND 64
Puget Sound and Lewis & Clark combined for 1,218 yards of total offense in a record-setting 68-64 Pioneers victory in Tacoma. The two teams combined for 19 touchdowns and set a Northwest Conference record with 132 combined points. Loggers' quarterback Duncan White threw for an amazing 625 yards and eight touchdowns while receiver Adam Kniffin caught 19 catches and five touchdown passes. All four stats were school records. Lewis & Clark quarterback Keith Welch passed for 254 yards and four touchdowns while also running for 147 yards and three touchdowns. The Pioneers secured the win when Welch threw to Shawn Evans for a 13-yard touchdown pass with one second left.
PUGET SOUND NOTES
• Puget Sound enters the week with the NWC's top ranked passing offense, throwing for 302.3 yards per game. Duncan White leads the league with 273.4 yards of passing per game and is second with 263.7 yards of total offense per game. Adam Kniffin leads the NWC with 8.14 receptions per game and is ranked second with 136.6 all-purpose yards per game.
• The Loggers also have the lowest ranked defense in the NWC, giving up 495 yards per game. Puget Sound is sixth in pass defense and seventh in rushing defense. Despite that, the Loggers boast four of the top-10 NWC players in tackles in Kyle Rodriguez (6th, 55), Taylor Firman (tie 7th, 48), Damarkus Milner (tie 7th, 48) and Cory Dunn (10th, 38).
PACIFIC NEWS & NOTES
HIGHLIGHT REEL TYPE OF TOUCHDOWN: It was a broken play, but the fact that Trevor Okamoto (Fr., Windsor, Colo.) could get the throw off made his fourth quarter touchdown pass to Jordan Fukumoto (Fr., Mililani, Hawaii) one for the highlight reels. Facing fourth and 12 on the Whitworth 13-yard-line, Okamoto had to scramble to his right, and then his left. A crushing block by Will Marchbanks (Fr., Brownsville, Ore.) gave Okamoto just enough time to find Fukumoto in the middle of the end zone, who dropped to his knees for the 13-yard touchdown reception. The reception was Fukumoto's second touchdown of the season. The clip of the touchdown play has picked up nearly a thousand views on Pacific's YouTube channel (youtube.com/pacificuboxers).
ADD FUKUMOTO: Jordan Fukumoto continues to be the preferred target for Pacific quarterbacks. The nimble-footed freshman leads the Boxers with 321 yards receiving on 17 catches. Fukumoto had two catches against Whitworth on Saturday for 26 yards. He enters the week ranked ninth in the NWC in receiving yards, averaging 53.5 yards per game.
THE QUICK SCORE: After going scoreless for the first half, the Boxers made quick work of getting on the scoreboard in the second half against Whitworth. Kelson Kawai (Fr., North Kohala, Hawaii) set up the score by running the opening kickoff of the second half 79 yards to the Whitworth 12-yard line. Quarterback T.C. Campbell (Fr., Kaimuki, Hawaii) needed just three plays to find Taylor Hickson (Fr., Red Bluff, Calif.) on a 10-yard touchdown pass. The reception to Hickson, his second of the season, capped a drive that took just 52 seconds and made it a 17-6 game.
RETURN MEN: Kelson Kawai led Pacific in all-purpose yards against Whitworth on Saturday, finishing with 129 yards. He had 105 of those yards on four kickoff returns, capped by the 79-yarder. Kawai enters the week ranked third in the Northwest Conference with 20.9 yards per return. Kawai also enters the week ranked third for the Boxers in receptions, catching 10 balls for an average of 5.2 yards per game (4.2 yards per carry). He leads the Boxers with 402 yard of all-purpose yards. London Amorin (Fr., Waipahu, Hawaii) ranks just behind Kawai in fourth in the NWC with 19.3 yards per return. He had one return for 27 yards against Whitworth and had one catch for 27 yards. Amorin ranks second for the Boxers with 322 all-purpose yards.
PICKIN' IT: Bryan Mills (Fr., Imbler, Ore.) came up big for the Boxers against Whitworth when he came up with the team's first interception of the season. Mills stunted a two-play Whitworth drive when he picked off Andrew DeFelice's pass, running it back 11 yards to the Whitworth 32-yard line. The interception set up the Boxers' deepest drive into Pirates' territory in the first half. Mills continues to make a great transition to 11-man football after having played the eight-man at Imbler High School near La Grande, Ore. He leads the Boxers with 20 tackles.
STEPPING UP DEFENSIVELY: With injuries to a number of key defensive players, Tim Hastie (Fr., Auberry, Calif.) and C.J. Aalona (Sr., Hauula, Hawaii) have stepped forward to become on-field leaders on the line. Hastie has started the last two games for the Boxers at linebacker, finishing with four tackles against Whitworth with a sack for a 10-yard loss. He currently ranks second for the Boxers 15.5 tackles, including 1.5 tackles for loss and a sack. Aalona had three tackles against the Pirates, including a tackle for loss. He ranks third for the Boxers with 15 tackles, including two tackles for loss and a fumble recovery. Additionally, reserve cornerback Craig Bailey (Fr., Fairfield, Calif.) led the Boxers against Whitworth with 5.5 tackles, including one tackle for loss.
ALSO ON TARGET: While Jordan Fukumoto has the lead in receiving yardage, Drew Steindl (Jr., Newberg, Ore.) has also put in his share of his key receptions for the Boxers. Steindl led the Boxers against Whitworth on Saturday with six catches for 43 yards. Steindl enters the week second for the Boxers in receiving, making 13 catches for 160 yards. He is averaging 12.3 yard per catch and 26.7 yards per game.
GO LONG: Pacific showed they came to play against Linfield on Oct. 16 on just their second play from scrimmage. With the ball at the Pacific 21-yard-line, quarterback P.J. Minaya (Fr., Wahiawa, Hawaii) found Jordan Fukumoto for a 79-yard passing play that scored one of two Pacific touchdowns in the game. The play ranks as the second longest in Pacific school history. The play is surpassed only by a 95-yard pass play from Pacific Hall of Fame quarterback Ralph Nickerson to Jim Wills in a game vs. Eastern Oregon during the 1973 season. Fukumoto went on to lead the Boxers in receiving against Linfield, registering the new team's first 100-yard receiving day with 106 yards. The play proved bittersweet for Minaya, who was knocked out for the season on the next series with a dislocated elbow.
STILL AMONG THE NATION'S BEST: Despite not having sucessfully kicked a field goal in a month, Jon Lee (Sr., Kahulu'u, Hawaii) continues to be ranked among the nation's best place kickers. Lee enters the week tied for 60th among NCAA Division III kickers with 1.00 made per game. Lee is 5 for 6 this season on field goals. He hit a season-long 42-yarder against Claremont-Mudd-Scripps on Sept. 18. He missed his first field goal of the season on Oct. 9, seeing a 42-yarder sail left of the upright against Willamette on Saturday. Lee enters the week ranked second in the NWC in field goals and is fifth in the NWC in kick scoring with 2.7 points per game (19 total). He is also 4 for 6 in PAT conversions. 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.
MEDICAL REPORT: P.J. Minaya was lost for the season against Linfield on Oct. 16 with a disclocated elbow against Linfield on Saturday. That brought the list of lost-for-the-season Boxers to five. Linebacker Marc Moody (Jr., Ewa Brach, Hawaii) was lost for the year after suffering an ankle injury against Lewis & Clark on Oct. 2. 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. Frank Howard (Jr., Orland, Calif.) and Scott Imanaka (Fr., Kaneohe, Hawaii) are also gone for the year with an unspecified injuries.
RETURNING TO CONFERENCE PLAY: With the Oct. 2 game against Lewis & Clark, the Boxers played their first Northwest Conference game in nearly three decades. Prior to that date, 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 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 15-game losing streak on Saturday that stretches back to the
end of the old program. The Boxers enter the game having lost
14 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
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.