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THIS WEEK IN PACIFIC FOOTBALL
WHITWORTH AT PACIFIC
Game No. 4/Home Game No. 2
Sat., Sept. 29, 1 p.m., McCullough Stadium, Salem, Ore.
Live Radio: 1360 AM KUIK (Portland)
Live Stats: www.goboxers.com/livestats
Live Audio Webcast: www.goboxers.com/webcasts
Live Video Webcast (Pay-Per-View): www.goboxers.com/webcasts
BOXERS MAKE THEIR RETURN TO FOREST GROVE FOR HOMECOMING
It has been nearly a month since the Pacific football team played their home opener against Simon Fraser on Thurs., Aug. 30. After two road games, the Boxers look forward to a game in front of a Pacific homecoming crowd on Saturday. It will also be the Northwest Conference season opener as the Boxers host undefeated Whitworth.
• Pacific was snake bitten by six turnovers Saturday, four of which were converted into Willamette scores as the Bearcats went on to a 51-17 non-conference victory. Willamette outgained Pacific 559 to 360 in the game.
•After living on the rush for much of their win over Occidental, the Boxers moved back to the pass with 260 yards in the air. P.J. Minaya completed 22 of 36 passes for those 260 yards and one of the Boxers' two touchdowns.
• Darin Kamelaloha led nine Pacific players to catch passes, finishing with six receptions for 112 yards. The sophomore, who missed all of the 2011 season with injuries, enters the week ranked sixth in the NWC and 54th among NCAA Division III receivers with an average of 86.7 yards per game.
• Bobby Ladiges led the Pacific ground game for the second straight week, rushing 17 times for 44 yards and had the Boxers' lone first half touchdown. Ladiges enters the week ranked ninth in the NWC with his 34.3 rushing yards per game.
• Josh Brinkworth enters the week ranked first in the NWC and is tied for 65th among NCAA Division III players with 31 tackles. Brinkworth came up with 11 tackles in Saturday's loss, eight of which were solo efforts.
• In addition to the live audio and video webcasts, Saturday's game will air live in the Portland area on 1360 AM KUIK. It is the first live broadcast for the team this season.
SCOUTING THE OPPONENT - WHITWORTH PIRATES
Location: Spokane, Wash.
Colors: Crimson & Black
Conference: Northwest (NCAA III)
Stadium: Pine Bowl (2,200, uncovered, FieldTurf)
President: Dr. Beck Taylor
Athletic Director: Aaron Leetch
Head Coach: John Tully (Azusa Pacific 1975)
Tully's Record At Whitworth: 89-74/17 Years
Tully's Record Overall: 120-95/22 Years
All-Time Series: Whitworth leads 18-2-1
Last Meeting: Whitworth won 48-6 at Spokane, Wash., on Oct. 22, 2011
ABOUT THE COACH: John Tully is in 18th season leading the Whitworth football program and is the winningest coach in Pirates' history. During his tenure, Tully has led Whitworth to three Northwest Conference titles and two NCAA Division III playoff appearances as well as three NWC Coach of the Year awards. Tully's 2006 team finished the regular season with a perfect 10-0 record and a second round appearance in the NCAA Playoffs. The 6-3 record by his 2000 team was the first winning season at Whitworth since 1990. Prior to his arrival in Spokane, Tully spent five seasons at Eureka College (Ill.), where he helped turn the program around. Tully was a four-year starter at quarterback for then-NAIA power (now NCAA Division II) Azusa Pacific.
THE SERIES: Whitworth leads the all-time series 18-2-1.
LAST MEETING - WHITWORTH 48, PACIFIC 6: Pacific found themselves stymied by an aggressive Whitworth defensive attack, while the Pirates put together a season-best day for their running game as they disaptched the Boxers 48-6 at the Pine Bowl. The Whitworth defense limited the Pacific offense to just 11 first downs and two scores on Moses Villareal-Gomez field goals. Pacific was limited to a season-low 193 yards of total offense while the Pirates went off for 474 yards. Whitworth's Ronnie Thomas rushed 20 times for 159 yards with three touchdowns. Quarterback Zac Hill completed 10 of 16 passes for 161 yards and two touchdowns. P.J. Minaya completed 10 of 18 passes for 85 yards to lead the Boxers. Jordan Fukumoto led seven Pacific receivers to make catches with 44 yards on four catches.
• Whitworth enters the week leading the NWC in total offense with 834 yards in four games. They rank third in the NWC with an average of 156.8 rushing yards per game.
• Running back Ronnie Thomas leads the NWC in total rushes (112), rushing yardage (539), rushing average (134.8 yards per game) and touchdowns (7). Thomas also enters the week ranked 13th nationally in rushing and 49th in all-purpose running.
• Whitworth's 4-0 start is the team's best since their undefeated 2006 season. The Pirates' 3-0 start in road games marks the third time a Whitworth team has accomplished the feat.
• Quarterback Bryan Peterson enters the week having completed 40 of 75 passes for 527 yards and an average of 131.8 yards per game. Peterson's top target is Jake DeGooyer, who is averaging 117.2 receiving yards per game with five touchdowns.
• Wide receiver Austin Ehlo is the son of former NBA guard Craig Ehlo, who played 14 seasons with the Houston Rockets, Cleveland Cavaliers, Atlanta Hawks and Seattle SuperSonics. He is now an assistant coach at nearby Eastern Washington under former Whitworth head men's hoop coach Jim Hayford.
PACIFIC NEWS & NOTES
DARIN TO CATCH BALLS: With his enhanced role due to the season-ending injury to Jordan Fukumoto (Jr., Mililani, Hawaii), Darin Kamealoha (So., Waipahu, Hawaii) has shown the same flare for dramatic receiving that Boxer fans saw glimpses of in his freshman campaign. Kamealoha led the Boxers with 112 yards on six catches in the loss to Willamette on Saturday, which included a 49-yard completion from P.J. Minaya (Jr., Wahiawa, Hawaii) that set up the Boxers' first quarter field goal. Kamealoha, who missed most of the 2010 season and all of the 2011 campaign due to injuries, enters the week ranked sixth in the NWC and 54th among all NCAA Division III receivers with an average of 86.7 yards per game. He is also ranked sixth in the NWC with his 17.3 yards per reception and seventh with his 15 receptions on the season.
DEFENSIVELY SOUND: Josh Brinkworth (So., Elk Grove, Calif.) is having a breakout season that is making his presence as one of the Boxers' starting defensive lineman extremely valuable. Brinkworth enters the week leading the NWC and tied for 65th among all NCAA Division III players with 31 tackles. He added 11 tackles, includig eight solo efforts, in Saturday's loss at Willamette and picked up his first collegiate interception. The Boxers' leading tackler in all three games, Brinkworth also leads the conference with 23 solo tackles. To illustrate the growth, consider that Brinkworth had 42 tackles in 2011 while playing in all nine games with five starts as a freshman.
RAMBLIN' DOWN THE FIELD: As the presence of the Pacific ground game continues to grow, so will the work for Bobby Ladiges (So., Escalon, Calif.). Ladiges was the Boxers' leading rusher for the second game in a row, carriyng 17 times for 48 yards in Saturday's game at Willamette. He also scored the Boxers' first touchdown of the game, scampering in from three yards out with 1:40 left in the first half. Ladiges enters the week ranked in the NWC top 10 in six different statistical categories. He is ranked ninth with an average of 34.3 yards per game and is tied for fourth in the league with his two rushing touchdowns.
HOLDING THEM BACK: When Michael Smith (Jr., Tumwater, Wash.) gets a hond of an opposing player, chances are that the results will be good for the Boxers. The defensive tackle finished Saturday's game with Willamette with three of the Boxers' eight tackles for loss, which included one of the Boxers' four sacks on Willamette quarterback Josh Dean. Smith finished the day with four tackles. By virtue of his three tackles for loss, Smith enters the week tied for 10th in the NWC in the category.
RETURN MAN: Pacific continues to rely on Kelson Kawai (Jr., North Kohala, Hawaii) to put the Boxers in good field position on kickoffs. Kawai finished with a total of 167 yards on seven returns for the Boxers on Saturday against Willamette. His ledger included a 25-yard return in the second quarter and a 31-yard return in the fourth quarter. Kawai enters the week having averaged 21.2 yards per return with 10 returns to rank third in the NWC. His teammate on the return squad, Caleb Roher (So., Gresham, Ore.) enters the week ranked fifth in the NWC with 19.7 yards per return.
IN THE NCAA RANKINGS: In this NCAA Division III statistical rankings, Pacific ranked 41st in passing offense with an average 270.67 yards per game. The Boxers are also ranked 50th in punt returns (11.5 yards per return), tied for 60th in sacks (2.67 per game), 69th in tackles for loss (7.33 per game), tied for 76th in sacks allowed (1.33 per game) and 77th in rushing defense (119 yards allowed per game).
Individually, Moses Villareal-Gomez (So., Stockton, Ore.) is tied for 20th in field goals with an average of 1.00 per game. Landon Aano (Jr., Ewa Beach, Hawaii) is tied for 32nd with an average of one sack per game. Darin Kamealoha is ranked 54th in receiving with an average of 86.6 yards per game and Josh Brinkworth is tied for 65th with 10.33 tackles per game. The NCAA Division III statistics are updated weekly by Monday and can be viewed online at http://bit.ly/V5rq48.
PUTTING AN END TO THE ROAD BLUES: Pacific's road victory on Sept. 8 at Occidental was a long time in coming. Not only was it the first road win for the reinistated Pacific program, but it the first road win for the Boxers since Oct. 20, 1990. That Saturday, the Boxers were 24-17 winners over Western Oregon at McArthur Field in Monmouth. The next week, on Oct. 27, 1990, the Boxers battled Lewis & Clark to 22-22 tie in Portland. Pacific went 0-9 in the 1991 season before the program was discontinued.
INJURY REPORT: Quarterback T.C. Campbell was lost for the season with a torn ACL suffered against Simon Fraser on Aug. 30...Linebacker Chris Santiago (So., Waipahu, Hawaii) was lost for the season against Simon Fraser on Aug. 30 with a torn ACL...First Team All-NWC receiver Jordan Fukumoto was lost for the season in the Sept. 8 Occidental game with a broken leg.
LOCAL TIES: The Pacific roster in 2012 features four 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 for the third consecutive year. Gietzen native spent a year at Portland State (did not play football) before returning to The Grove. Jon Dober and Lee Holscher also made the decision to attend and play for Pacific after careers at Forest Grove. David Carr is in his first season for the Boxers and is the first player in the new era of the program from Gaston High School.
PERFECT WEEK, PERFECT HONOR: After struggling in the Boxers' first game of the season, Moses Villareal-Gomez turned his game around to help Pacific earn the 27-6 win at Occidental on Sept. 8. For his efforts, Villareal-Gomez was selected as the NWC Football Special Teams Student-Athlete of the Week for the week of Sept. 3-9. Villareal-Gomez hit a 37-yard field goal to close out the first half and give Pacific a 17-0 halftime lead. He then opened the second half by kicking a 32-yard field goal. He also went 3 for 3 on point after attempts.
IN HOMECOMING GAMES: Saturday's game will be the third homecoming game since the Pacific football program was reinstated in 2010. Pacific is 1-1 in homecoming games since the program's return after beating Puget Sound 44-25 in the 2011 game. This will be the second time that Whitworth has been Pacific's homecoming opponent. The Pirates were the Boxers' foe in 2010, with the Pirates taking home the 24-12 victory.
KUIK PICKS UP REMAINING FOOTBALL SCHEDULE: For the third straight season, the bulk of the Pacific football season will be aired in the Portland area on 1360 AM KUIK. Saturday's game against Whitworth will air live with the pregame show scheduled to begin at 12:45 p.m. In addition, a live audio webcast will also be available for all nine football games and a video webcast will be available for the four home Pacific games. The audio webcast is offered free of charge, video webcast will be available for $10 per game. The webcasts are available a link at www.goboxers.com.
Matt Richert returns for his third season as the play-by-play voice for Pacific football. A 20-year broadcast veteran, Richert also works as one of the prep play-by-play voices for KUIK. 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 SIXTH IN NWC PRESEASON POLL: Pacific is picked to repeat their sixth place finish according to the preseason coaches poll released in August. The Boxers received 15 of a possible 49 votes in the poll. Pacific is picked just two points behind fifth place Willamette (17) and four points behind fourth place Lewis & Clark (19). Puget Sound is picked behind the Boxers in seventh, receiving six points. Linfield is picked to win their fourth consecutive NWC title, picking up six of seven first place votes for 42 points. Pacific Lutheran is picked second with 29 points and Whitworth third with 26 points, including one first place vote.