PORTLAND, Ore. – The Lewis & Clark (4-3, 2-2 NWC) football team played a tough game against the No. 25 ranked Pacific Lutheran Lutes (6-1, 3-1 NWC) on Saturday. The Pioneers and the Lutes were in a closely contested game entering the fourth quarter with the Pioneers leading 23-22. In the fourth quarter however, the Lutes played tough defense and came up with some timely plays on offense defeating the Pioneers 35-23.
Pacific Lutheran started off the game scoring quickly within the first three minutes of the game. Runningback Alec Simmons found some space and ran 49 yards for a touchdown. The Pioneers answered back four minutes later on a Simon Monley 17 yard field goal. The Pioneers' stepped it up in the next Lutes drive. Dan Curtin applied good pressure on PLU Quarterback Jordan Rasmussen forcing Rasmussen to try and get rid of the ball before being sacked. Defensive End Riley Mitchell picked off Rasmussen's errant throw and returned the interception for a Pioneer touchdown.That did not stop the Lutes as the ensuing kickoff was returned all the way to the Lewis & Clark 11 yard line. Two plays later Simmons found the endzone on an eight yard TD run. Both teams struggled to find the endzone in the second quarter with Monley kicking two more field goals for the Pioneers before the end of the half.
The second half started with Lewis & Clark ahead 16-14. PLU then put together a long five minute drive ending in a six yard pass from Rasmussen to Isaac Moog. The Pioneers followed with their own drive lasting almost seven minutes ending with a one yard rushing touchdown by Keith Welch.
The game stayed 23-22 in favor of Lewis & Clark as the game entered the fourth quarter. In the fourth, Pacific Lutheran played good defense and took advantage of a few Pioneer mistakes scoring on a 50 yard pass from Rasmussen to Greg Ford and a 16 yard run by Simmons. The Pioneers had a few more chances to make it a game but could not get in the endzone as the Lutes pulled out a 35-23 victory.
Pacific Lutheran was led by Rasmussen who threw for 212 yards and two touchdowns and Simmons who ran for 127 yards and three touchdowns. Ford had 6 receptions for a total of 118 yards receiving. The Lutes defense was led by Sean McFadden who racked up 12 tackles and two interceptions on the day.
Welch led the Pioneer offense rushing for 114 yard and one TD while throwing for 203 yard passing. Harrison Keller was Welch's favorite target on the day catching five passes for 86 yards. Curtin led the defense with ten tackles while Mitchell had five tackles and an interception returned for a TD.
The Pioneers return to the gridiron next Saturday at Willamette University with the game starting at 1pm.