Pacific University Football Weekly Notebook
QUICK LINKS: 2012 Roster | 2012 Schedule & Results | Pacific Statistics | NWC Standings | NWC Schedule | NWC Statistics | NCAA.com Division III Football | D3Football.com
THIS WEEK IN PACIFIC FOOTBALL
PACIFIC LUTHERAN AT PACIFIC
Game No. 6/Home Game No. 3
Sat., Oct. 13, 1 p.m., Lincoln Park Stadium, Forest Grove
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 LOOK TO CARRY MOMENTUM GAINED AGAINST LOGGERS
After an epic road victory that saw the team run up 62 points and 526 yards on Puget Sound, the Pacific football program is hoping the momentum of that game can carry over to their second to last home game of the year. The Boxers will be challenged again this week as Pacific Lutheran comes to town on Saturday. The Lutes will be coming off a weekend where they handed the potent Lewis & Clark offense their first loss of the season.
• Pacific posted just the seventh 60-plus point performance in program history history Saturday, running up 526 yards in total offense in a 62-21 rout of Puget Sound in Tacoma.
• Quarterback P.J. Minaya was near perfect in his passing performance on Saturday, completing 25 of 30 passes for 276 yards. He passed for four touchdowns and rushed for a fifth.
• The Boxers finished with 250 yards rushing, their best performance on the ground since the program was reinstated in 2010. Bobby Ladiges once again led the way with 15 carries for 72 yards and a touchdown. Of the Boxers' seven touchdowns, three came on the rush.
• A total of 10 players caught passes for the Boxers' 276 receiving yards, led by Jakob Lawrence's six catches for 77 yards. Caleb Roher caught four passes for 41 yards and two touchdowns while Kelson Kawai and Jason Smith also caught passes for scores.
• Place kicker Moses Villareal-Gomez was perfect on the afternoon, making field goals from 23 and 28 yards and also went 8 for 8 on point after attempts. Villareal-Gomez enters the week perfect on point-after attempts and 6 for 8 on field goal tries.
• The Pacific defense came up with two fumbles and an interception to go along with one sack and three tackles for loss. Kamu Morita and Cade Schultz each forced fumbles, one of which led to a Pacific score, while Craig Bailey ran his interception back 38 yards for a touchdown.
• Pacific enters the week ranked fifth in the NWC with an average of 260.2 passing yards per game and 125.2 rushing yards per game. The Boxers rank fourth in the league in both scoring (145) and total offensive yards (1,927).
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: 40-32/8 Yrs.
Westering's Record Overall: 40-32/8 Yrs.
All-Time Series: PLU leads 26-8-3
Last Meeting: PLU won 35-24 at Puyallup, Wash., on Nov. 5, 2011
ABOUT THE COACH: Scott Westering is in his ninth year as PLU head coach after having taken over from his coaching legend father, Frosty Westering. The younger Westering has led the Lutes to a winning record and a second place NWC finish each of the last two seasons, which included an 8-1 record in 2010. Scott Westering joined the PLU coaching staff in 1981 and became the offensive coordinator two years later. During his tenure running the offense, the Lutes won three NAIA Division II championships and one NCAA Division III national title. He has coached 11 First Team All-Americans, including the 1999 NCAA Division III Player of the Year, Chad Johnson. A 1982 graduate of PLU, Scott Westering was an All-American for the Lutes at tight end.
THE SERIES: Pacific Lutheran leads the all-time series 26-8-3.
LAST MEETING - PACIFIC LUTHERAN 35, PACIFIC 24: P.J. Minaya led Pacific in a spiritied second half comeback that fell just short as the Boxers fell 35-24 in Puyallup, Wash. After being held scoreless in the first half, the Boxers rebounded to score 24 second half points, 21 of those in the fourth quarter. The Lutes scored the first five touchdowns of the game before Moses Villareal-Gomez put Pacific on the board with a 28-yard field goal with 5:12 left in the third. Minaya found Matt Nyberg for a three-yard scoring pass and then found Bryce Kershner for a 2-yard scoring pass on their next drive. After recovering the ensuing onside kick, Minaya found Brian Taylor with 40 seconds left to bring the Boxers within 35-24. Pacific could not recover the next onside kick and PLU ran out the clock. Minaya completed 23 of 34 passes for 223 yards. Kelson Kawai caught six passes for 89 yards. PLU quarterback Zack Halverson completed 18 of 26 passes for 336 yards and five touchdowns.
PACIFIC LUTHERAN NOTES
• Pacific Lutheran enters Saturday's game ranked fifth in total offense (400.8 yards per game), third in passing yardage (299.2 yards per game) and sixth in rushing yards (101.5 yards per game).
• Quarterback Dalton Ritchey is ranked second in passing with an average of 297.8 yards per game, but also has been sacked 16 times, which leads the conference.
• Brandon James ranks as one of the top running backs in the NWC. He enters the week ranked sixth with 67.2 yards per game and second with his 5.5 yards per rush. Receiver Kyle Warner ranks first in the NWC with his 20.2 yards per catch and third with 116.2 yards per game.
• Defensively, Pacific Lutheran leads the NWC with nine interceptions and is fourth with a total of 11 sacks.
• The current PLU logo, depicting a knight in armor, harkens back to the university's former nickname. PLU went by "Knights" throughout most of the 1950s and 1960s. The school's teams were previously known as Greyhounds and Gladiators.
PACIFIC NEWS & NOTES
A NEAR PERFECT PERFORMANCE: P.J. Minaya (Jr., Waipahu, Hawaii) was pretty close to perfect as he led the Boxers to their best scoring performance in 82 years. Minaya completed 25 of 30 passes for 276 yards in the victory over Puget Sound on Saturday and threw for four touchdowns. He also ran in for a fifth touchdown, scampering in from 13 yards out for the Boxers' first touchdown in the first quarter. His pass efficiency rating for the game was an impressive 204.61. Minaya has performed well for the Boxers after assuming the starting role for the second game of the season. He enters the week ranked second in the NWC with a 66.2 completion percentage, having completed 92 of 139 passes this season. He also ranks fourth with his 92 completions and sixth with 212.8 passing yards per game. Minaya also enters the week ranked 59th among NCAA Division III quarterbacks with a pass effiiciency rating of 143.22 and 90th with his 219.4 yards of total offense per game.
ADD PERFECTION: The work of place kicker Moses Villareal-Gomez (So., Stockton, Calif.) continues to be superior. The sophomore was perfect in Saturday's victory over Puget Sound as he went 8 for 8 on extra point attempts and 2 for 2 on field goals. He opened scoring for the Boxers in each half, kicking a 28-yard field goal at the 10:54 mark of the first quarter and a 23-yarded with three minutes gone in the third quarter. After a shaky start, Villareal-Gomez has settled down to once again be one of the most accurate kickers in the league. He leads the NWC with his six field goals made on eight attempts. He ranks second with his 35 points scored by kicking and seventh in total scoring. He also enters the week tied for 19th among NCAA Division III kickers with his average of 1.20 field goals per game.
MARKED IMPROVEMENT: Tagged as a major point of emphasis for the Pacific coaching staff in 2012, the Boxers' rushing game has continued to show tremendous signs of growth. The Boxers' 250 rushing yards against Puget Sound was the best single game performance since the program was reinstated in 2010. After averaging a paltry 50.3 yards per game on the ground in 2011, the Boxers enter the week averaging 125.2 yards per game. Bobby Ladiges (So., Escalon, Calif.) once again led the Boxers individually, carrying 15 times for 72 yards and a touchdown against the Loggers. Of the Boxers' eight touchdowns scored at Puget Sound, three came on the ground. Both P.J. Minaya and Bronson Barretto (Fr., Mililani, Hawaii) joined Ladiges with rushing touchdowns.
A TOTAL PACKAGE: When combining his receiving skills and return ability, Caleb Roher (So., Gresham, Ore.) is proving to be a total offensive package. Roher finished with 143 all-purpose yards against Puget Sound on Saturday, with 85 on kick returns and 41 receiving yards on four catches. His work on returns included a season-long 48-yard kickoff return to open the second half. He also caught two touchdown passes, both in the second quarter. Roher enters the week ranked second in the NWC and 40th among NCAA Division III players with his average of 26.3 yards per return. In addition, Roher ranks fifth with his 178 total return yards and is tied for eighth with his three receiving touchdowns.
A PERFORMANCE FOR THE AGES: The scoring performance Pacific put up against Puget Sound on Saturday unlike the Boxers had seen for 82 years. The 62 points is tied for the third most points scored in a game in school history. The last time the Boxers had scored 62 points was in 1930 when Pacific beat Lewis & Clark (then known as Albany College) 62-0. The last time the Boxers had scored over 60 points was against Whitman in 1975. Pacific's 62-point performance is tied for the 18th best point total of the season in Division III football and the highest total by a Northwest Conference school this season. The game also marked the third time in a row that Puget Sound has had 55 or more points scored against them and are giving up 51.4 points per game over five games.
TAKING IT TO THE HOUSE: Craig Bailey (Jr., Fairfield, Calif.) did something that had only been done once before since the Pacific football program's 2010 reinstatement: return an interception for a touchdown. Bailey picked off Puget Sound quarterback James Korn with 10:15 left in the second quarter and ran the ball back 35 yards for the score. The touchdown gave Pacific the commanding 31-7 lead. No Boxer had returned an interception for a score since Bryan Mills (Jr., Imbler, Ore.) ran a pick back 66 yards against Menlo on Nov. 13, 2010. Pacific enters the week ranked fifth in the NWC with four interceptions on the season.
GETTING DEFENSIVE: When it comes to defending the rush, there are few teams in the NWC doing it better than Pacific. The Boxers have allowed just 99.60 rushing yards per game, which ranks 34th among all NCAA Division III teams. In Saturday's victory over Puget Sound, the Boxers limited the Loggers to just 42 yards on the ground on 16 carries. The Pacific defense finished the game with three tackles for loss, one sack, two forced fumbles and an interception. Josh Brinkworth (So., Elk Grove, Calif.) continues to lead the NWC with 44 tackles and 33 solo tackles. He finished with four solo tackles on Saturday. Tim Hastie (Jr., Auberry, Calif.) led Pacific against Puget Sound with seven tackles. Kamu Morita (Jr., Honolulu, Hawaii) had the Boxers' one fumble recovery against the Loggers, which came on Puget Sound's opening drive and led to the opening field goal by Moses Villareal-Gomez.
IN THE NCAA RANKINGS: In this NCAA Division III statistical rankings, Pacific ranked 334th in rushing defense, allowing opposing teams 99.60 yards per game. The Boxers also rank 43rd in kickoff returns (22.68 yards per return), 48th in both pass efficiency (146.08) and sacks allowed (1.20 per game), 49th in passing offense (260.20 yards per game), 73rd in punt returns (9.75 yards per return), 80th in total offense (305.40 yards per game), 82nd in scoring offense (29 points per game) and 93rd in sacks (2.20 per game).
Individually, Moses Villareal-Gomez moves up to a tie for 19th in field goals with an average of 1.20 per game. Caleb Roher ranks 40th in kickoff returns with an average of 26.30 yards per game, while Blake Anthony (So., Valencia, Calif.) ranks 46th in punt returns with 9.75 yards per return. P.J. Minaya is ranked 50th in total offense (219.40 yard sper game) and 59th in pass efficiency (143.22). 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.
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.
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. 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.