Pacific University Football Weekly Notebook
THIS WEEK IN PACIFIC FOOTBALL
PACIFIC LUTHERAN AT PACIFIC
Game No. 9/Away Game No. 5
Sat., Nov. 5, 12:30 p.m., Sparks Stadium, Puyallup, Wash.
Radio: 1360 AM KUIK (Hillsboro/Portland) or 1180 AM KLAY (Tacoma)
Live Audio Webcast: www.goboxers.com/webcasts
BOXERS ENTER FINAL GAME OF SEASON ON WIN STREAK
The long awaited first win of the reinstated Pacific football program finally came on Saturday as the Boxers posted a 44-25 thumping of Puget Sound in front of an energetic homecoming crowd. Pacific will take to the road for their final game of the 2011 season this weekend, hoping to score an upset against Pacific Lutheran.
• Pacific scored early and often to get that first win Saturday, racking up 469 yards of total offense. The Boxers had a season high with 387 passing yards and their second best rushing day with 82 rushing yards.
• T.C. Campbell put together a record effort to lead Pacific to the victory, finishing with a season high 397 yards and completed 21 of 27 passes for a 77.8 completion percentage. His five touchdown passes tied his own single game record which he shares with Ralph Nickerson (1972).
• For the first time since the program was reinstated in 2010, Pacific had two receivers go for over 100 yards. Caleb Roher finished with 123 yards on three catches and two touchdowns. Jordan Fukumoto finished with 115 yards on five catches and a pair of touchdowns.
• The Pacific defense came up big, limiting Puget Sound to 376 yards of total offense. The Boxers force the Loggers into four turnovers, which included three interceptions and a fumble recovery. Three Pacific players, Chaz Bajet, Josh Brinkworth and Tim Hastie, each finished with eight tackles.
• Saturday's victory was the first for the reinstated Pacific program and the first for the Boxers since Nov. 10, 1990, when the Boxers beat Oregon Tech 15-14 in Forest Grove to end the 1990 season. Pacific went winless in 1991.
• Pacific enters the final game of season with one of the top passing offenses in the nation. The Boxers are ranked 25th among all NCAA Division III teams in passing offense and 62nd in passing efficiency.
SCOUTING THE OPPONENT - PACIFIC LUTHERAN LUTES
Location: Tacoma, Wash.
Colors: Gold & Black
Conference: Northwest (NCAA III)
Stadium: Sparks Stadium (4,500, covered, FieldTurf)
President: Dr. Loren Anderson
Athletic Director: Laurie Turner
Head Coach: Scott Westering (PLU 1982)
Westering's Record At PLU: 34-29/7 Years
Westering's Record Overall: 34-29/7 Years
All-Time Series: PLU leads 25-8-3
Last Meeting: Pacific Lutheran won 50-23 at Forest Grove on Nov. 6, 2010
ABOUT THE COACH: Scott Westering is in his eighth season as head coach at PLU, taking over from his legendary father, Frosty. In his tenure as head coach, Westering has led the Lutes twice to second place finishes with a 7-2 record in 2007 and an 8-1 mark last year. Westering joined the coaching staff in 1981 and two years later was named the program's offensive coordinator. He has been part of three PLU NAIA Division II national titles and their lone NCAA Division III championship in 1998. Westering played one year of football at UCLA before transferring to PLU, where he was a captain and All-America tight end on the 1980 NAIA national title team.
THE SERIES: Pacific Lutheran leads the all-time series 25-8-3. The Lutes won the last meeting, 50-23, in Forest Grove on Nov. 6, 2010.
LAST MEETING: PACIFIC LUTHERAN 50, PACIFIC 23
Pacific found themselves within striking distance of Pacific Lutheran until the Lutes scored 19 fourth quarter points to beat the Boxers at Lincoln Park Stadium. Pacific trailed 25-10 at halftime, but came back to score two third quarter touchdowns, one on a Kelson Kawai 23-yard reception from T.C. Campbell and a 12-yard completion to Brian Taylor. PLU put the game out of reach by scoring three fourth quarter touchdowns. Campbell completed 17 of 25 passes for 159 yards and two touchdowns. PLU quarterback Jordan Rasmussen completed 26 of 38 for 313 yards and four touchdowns. The Lutes outgained Pacific 580-254.
PACIFIC LUTHERAN NOTES
• Pacific Lutheran gave up a 20-7 lead in the third quarter to Lewis & Clark as the Pioneers rallied for a 34-32 victory. It was the Pioneers' first victory over the Lutes in 17 meetings dating back to the 1990 season.
• Quarterback Zack Halverson gave the Lutes a chance to tie it at the end of the game, finding Kyle Warner for a two-yard touchdown pass with 30 seconds left, but could not complete the two-point conversion. Halverson completed 26 of 39 passes for 364 yards and four touchdowns, was intercepted once and was sacked twice.
• Dalton Ritchey led the Lutes' receivers with 104 yards on seven catches with two touchdowns. Of the Lutes' 435 yards of total offense, 364 of those came in the air.
• Pacific Lutheran enters the week ranked seventh in total offense with a total of 309.1 yards per game. The Lutes are fifth in passing offense with an average 210.7 yards per contest.
• The Lutes feature one of the top defenses in the league. They enter the week ranked second with 42.1 tackles per game and are allowing 19.6 points per game. The Lutes' 340 yards allowed per game is third best in the NWC.
PACIFIC NEWS & NOTES
ANOTHER RECORD DAY: It seems only fitting that a historic day for Pacific football would have been led by a record performance by T.C. Campbell (So., Kaimuki, Hawaii). Campbell was nearly unstoppable, completing 21 of 27 passes for a season high 387 yards in the victory over Puget Sound. He completed a total of five touchdown passes, which tied his own single game record that he set against Menlo last season, which tied the record set by Pacific Hall of Famer Ralph Nickerson in 1972. All of Campbell's touchdown passes came on passes of 15 yards or more, including a 67-yard strike to Caleb Roher (Fr., Gresham, Ore.) and a 72-yard pass play to Jordan Fukumoto (So., Mililani, Hawaii). Campbell enters the final week of the season as one of the top quarterbacks not only in the conference, but in the nation at the NCAA Division III level. Campbell ranks fifth in the NWC with an average of 219.4 yards per game, leads the league with a total of 1,755 yards and ranks second with 13 touchdowns. Campbell enters the week ranked 36th among NCAA Division III quarterbacks with a 145.93 pass efficiency rating and is ranked 95th with 210.6 yards of total offense per game.
MAJOR AIR TIME: For the first time since the program returned to the field in 2010, Pacific finished a game with two receivers going over 100 yards. Caleb Roher led the Boxers on Saturday against Puget Sound with three catches for 123 yards and two touchdowns. He caught a 44-yard pass for Pacific's first touchdown of the game with 1:16 left in the first quarter. He then added an exciting 67-yard touchdown reception to open Pacific's scoring in the third quarter. Jordan Fukumoto, meanwhile, was good for five catches for 115 yards and two touchdowns. He leaped high to pull down a 27-yard touchdown reception from T.C. Campbell with 16 seconds left in the first half. He then turned a Craig Bailey (So., Fairfield, Calif.) interception into a touchdown, taking the pass from the next play from scrimmage for a 72-yard score.
Fukumoto comes into the week continuing to rank among the top receivers in the Northwest Conference. He ranks second in the NWC with 761 yards, 95.1 yards per game and eight touchdowns. Fukumoto is fourth in the league with 48 points, fifth with six points per game and sixth with 42 receptions. Among the NCAA Division III stats, Fukumoto ranks 27th nationally with 95.1 yards per game and is ranked tied for 91st with 5.35 receptions per game. Roher, meanwhile, has proven to be an up and coming receiver for the Boxers. He enters the week ranked second in the NWC with 21.8 yards per recpetion. On special teams, Roher ranks fourth in the league with 17 kick returns and 309 kick return yards.
RUNNIN' ON THROUGH: Pacific also managed a strong rushing day to help contribute to the win. The Boxers finished with their second best rushing day of the season with a total of 82 yards. Davis Jacobs (So., Tigard, Ore.) turned in his single best day of the season, finishing with 80 net yards on 20 carries. Bryce Kershner (So., Jordan Valley, Ore.) had the game's lone rushing touchdown, punching in from three yards out with 11:46 to go in the second quarter. Kershner finished the day with 22 net yards.
TIME FOR A LITTLE PICKIN': Pacific's defense came up big in Saturday's victory over Puget Sound, forcing the Loggers into four turnovers, two of which converted into Pacific touchdowns. Craig Bailey had the game's first interception, picking off Puget Sound's Justin Braden in the end zone and running it back 28 yards. That set up Jordan Fukumoto's 72-yard touchdown reception in the third quarter. Bailey was big himself, finishing with four tackles, the interception and four pass break-ups. Bryan Mills (So., Imbler, Ore.) and Chris Santiago (Fr., Waipahu, Hawaii) had the Boxers' other two interceptions, both of which came in the fourth quarter. The Boxers also forced two fumbles with Santiago recovering one which the Boxers converted into a touchdown.
ADD DEFENSE: The Pacific defensive trio of Tim Hastie (So., Auberry, Calif.), Chaz Bajet (Fr., Waipahu, Hawaii) and Josh Brinkworth (Fr., Elk Grove, Calif.) all finished with eight tackles for the Boxers. Hastie added a sack and a tackle for loss and a pass break-up while Brinkworth added a sack, a tackle for loss and two pass break-ups. The Boxers finished with six sacks, the most since the program returned in 2010. The three interceptions equalled the number that the Boxers had during the entire 2010 season.
THAT'S A WINNER: It was only a matter of time, but Pacific's long losing streak has finally come to an end. The win over Puget Sound on Saturday snapped a 16-game losing streak since the program was reinstated for the 2010 season. It also ends a losing streak of 25games that extended back to the end of the old program in 1991. Pacific's current losing streak is nowhere near the record of 30 consecutive losses, which was set between the 1979 and 1982 seasons. In addition, the victory broke a six-game losing streak that the Boxers had against Puget Sound.
A TOP PASSING OFFENSE: Pacific continues to have one of the top passing offenses in the NWC and in the nation at the Division III level. The Boxers enter the week averaging 276.8 passing yards per game. That is second in the NWC (behind the 318 yards per game of Puget Sound) and also ranks 25th among NCAA Division III programs. In addition, the Boxers enter the week ranked 62nd in passing efficiency with a rating of 137.26. The NCAA Division III national statistics are updated every Tuesday and can be seen at www.ncaa.com/stats/football/d3.
WHAT A CATCH: Pacific's lone scoring highlight in their Sept. 18 game at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps is one that puts Jordan Fukumoto into the record book for a second time. Fukumoto caught an 87-yard touchdown pass from T.C. Campbell with 10:32 left in the third quarter, which accounted for the Boxers' only touchdown of the game. The strike ranks as the second longest pass play in school history. The only longer play was a 95-yard pass from Pacific Hall of Fame quarterback Ralph Nickerson to Jim Wills in a game against Eastern Oregon during the 1973 season. Fukumoto now has a part of two of the top-three passing plays in school history. Last year, Fukumoto hooked up with quarterback P.J. Minaya on the Boxers' first play from scrimmage against Linfield for a 79-yard touchdown pass. That play is third longest in school history.
SPORTSCENTER'S TOP PLAY: The fact that Pacific lost to Lewis & Clark on Oct. 1 may be remembered by few after a head's up special teams play by starting safety Bryan Mills was given national attention by ESPN. After the Pioneers' opening touchdown with 12:11 left in the first quarter, Devin Lagorio (So., Stockton, Calif.) blocked Simon Monley's extra point attempt. A Lewis & Clark player, thinking that the play was over, tossed the ball towards referees standing at the goal line. Mills, who may have been the only player on the field who knew the play had not been blown dead, picked up the ball and darted down the Pacific sideline, breaking three tackles and eventually going 100 yards for a rare defensive two-point conversion.
The video of the play was named the Play of the Day by ESPN's SportsCenter on Oct. 1, receiving mutiple plays on the network's anchor show over the weekend as well as SportsNation (anchored that day by former Portland sportscaster Colin Cowherd), and appeared locally on KGW Newshcannel 8 and KATU. The play was also selected by D3Football.com as their Play of the Week, marking the second time in as many years that the Division III football site has highlighted the Boxers. The play was also featured on a number of prominent websites, including CBS News, Larry Brown Sports, Awful Announcing.com and the Huffington Post. Since then, the video clip has received over 238,000 hits on Pacific's YouTube site and has shown up on multiple Internet sports blogs. To view Mills' head's up play, please visit http://youtu.be/tCL-QxQJTuI.
AN UNUSUAL TRADE OF SAFETIES: Two safeties in a game is rare enough, but to have two safeties in the same game awarded because of penalties is even rarer. Pacific was awarded their first safety of the season in the second quarter against Menlo on Sept. 10 when quarterback Matt Pelasasa was flagged for intentional grounding in the end zone. The two points put Pacific ahead 9-0. Pacific was then flagged for a safety in the third quarter when they were called for holding in the end zone with the Boxers starting a drive on their own 1-yard line. Since the program was reinstated in 2010, the Boxers have been involved in four safeties. Ironically, all four were against Menlo. Saturday's safety scored by Pacific is the first since the reinstatement of the program.
LOCAL TIES: The Pacific roster in 2011 features three players with ties to the three high schools in the Forest Grove area. Offensive lineman Eric Gietzen, a 2010 graduate of Forest Grove High School, reprises a starting role at guard. The Fargo, N.D., native spent a year at Portland State (did not play football) before returning to The Grove. Brandon Carow (Fr., Forest Grove, Ore.) comes to Pacific after four years of Forest Grove High School, two of those seasons playing for current Pacific running backs coach Mike McCabe. Carow is competing for a role as the Boxers' kicker. Carow is in competition with Austin Shulund (Fr., Banks, Ore.), who played the same role, as well as punter, kicker and tight end, at Banks High School. Of the 137 players on the Pacific roster, 30 of them hail from the Portland area, northwest Oregon or the Willamette Valley.
HAWAII TIES: Not surprisingly, the Pacific roster has quite a Hawaii flavor to it. A total of 32 players on the team hail from the Islands, right in line with the over 25 percent of students from Hawaii present in Pacific's undergraduate student body. Of those 32 players, 15 are new recruits to the Pacific program.
PACIFIC TO BROADCAST ALL NINE GAMES: All nine Pacific football games will be broadcast both on the radio and online. AM 1360 KUIK (Hillsboro) will air all nine games live with pregame beginning 15 minutes prior to kickoff. For those outside of the Portland area, a live audio webcast will also be available at goboxers.com/webcasts. In addition, a video webcast will be available for all five 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 returns for his second season as 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. He also works as Pacific's assistant sports information director. Scott Hermo will provide the color analysis. Hermo has worked as a color commentator and sports host for KUIK since 1994.
BOXERS PICKED SEVENTH IN THE NWC: Northwest Conference coaches have picked Pacific to finish seventh in the annual coaches preseason poll conducted in August. The Boxers received seven votes in the poll after going 0-9 in their 2010 return to the gridiron. Linfield was picked as the odds-on favorite to win the conference again in 2011, receiving five of seven first place votes for a total of 40 points. Willamette was picked second with 34 points, gaining two first place votes. Pacific Lutheran was picked third (26 pts.), followed by Lewis & Clark (16), Puget Sound (11) and Pacific (7).