/seasons/2012/contrib/20121013n32vvg

Linfield clinches 57th consecutive winning season

More news about: Linfield

McMINNVILLE, Ore. – Mickey Inns passed for 261 yards and career-high five touchdowns and No. 3 Linfield pounded Northwest Conference rival Whitworth 54-14 on a crisp fall afternoon at Maxwell Field. Saturday's Homecoming victory pushed Linfield's record to 5-0, assuring the Wildcats of their 57th winning season while extending the program's remarkable all-divisions record for sustained success.

The three-time defending NWC champions overwhelmed Whitworth during the opening three periods, building a 54-0 advantage while outgaining the Pirates 524-75 in the game's first 45 minutes. The Linfield offense enjoyed its most productive day by far, turning eight of its 15 drives into touchdowns and converting half of its third-down opportunities.

Sparking the defensive effort was freshman defensive tackle Marq Randall, who ended the game with a team-high seven tackles. Nick Pietrzyk, Jordan Giza and Billy Simon each contributed five stops. KeAlii Poomaihealani made four tackles, two for sacks accounting for 18 yards in losses.

An interception by Brandon Funk of a Bryan Peterson pass deep in Pirates' territory set up the game's first score. Funk's pickoff spotted the ball at the Whitworth 18 and Inns needed just one play to find Deidre Wiersma on a 13-yard touchdown toss. Whitworth went three-and-out on the ensuing possession, and after a short punt, Linfield tailback John Shaffer ran eight yards for a touchdown. The extra point by Josh Kay made it 14-0 with 2:26 remaining in the quarter. The Pirates ran 14 plays in the first quarter, netting a paltry 17 yards in the process.

The Wildcats opened up the second quarter with an immediate score when Inns threw a picture-perfect 31-yard spiral to Charlie Poppen that put the Wildcats up 21-0. Linfield added one more score before the end of the half as Wiersma pulled in his second touchdown of the day from eight yards out.

Linfield handcuffed the Pirates to just 29 yards and three first downs I the first half. Peterson was sacked him four times before intermission, including two by Poomaihealani. In his first career start, Shaffer rolled up 97 of his game-high 108 rushing yards in the first quarter, despite wearing a padded cast that protected a fractured right hand.

The floodgates opening up in the third quarter when Inns and the Wildcats rang up three more scores over a six-minute stretch. Inns tossed two scoring strikes, including a 28-yard missile to David Sigler and an 8-yard dagger to Zach Young that effectively put the game out of reach at 41-0. Reserve quarterback Josh Yoder came replaced Inns and led the Wildcats on back-to-back scoring drives — one a 52-yard pass to Evan Peterson and a 6-yard toss to Derek Priestly with 1:14 left in the third quarter.

The Pirates averted the shutout with a couple of meaningless touchdowns against Linfield backups in the final quarter. Austin Ehlo broke the drought with a 6-yard reception from Peterson with 6:00 to play and D.J. Tripoli ran 20 yards for another score with just over a minute left on the clock.

Linfield outgained Whitworth 585-225, including a 355-142 differential through the air. Nine different Wildcats carried the ball as Linfield rushed for a season-high 230 yards.

Inns completed 23-of-32 throws without an interception and the Wildcats' offensive line did not surrender a sack. Linfield's backup quarterbacks were sparkling in their brief appearances. Yoder competed 5-of-5 for 78 yards and a touchdown. Third-stringer Matt Yarbrough was 3-for-3 for 16 yards.

Thirteen Wildcats were credited with receptions in the game and five different players caught touchdowns. Poppen's five catches for 68 yards and Peterson's four receptions for 86 yards topped the statistical summary. Wiersma finished with four catches for 40 yards and two scores while Lucas Jepson had four catches for 39 yards.

'CAT SCRATCH: Saturday's Homecoming attendance was 3,596. . . after their opening drive, three Whitworth possessions netted minus-14 yards. . . the Pirates managed 29 yards in the first half and just 75 through three quarters. . . Whitworth came into the game averaging 31.5 points and 378 yards of offense. . .Pirates tailback Ronnie Thomas, the NWC's second-leading rusher, was averaging 126.6 yards on the ground but departed with 16 yards rushing on 14 carries. . . Linfield won its Homecoming game for the 15th straight season. . . about 75 former Linfield football players welcomed the team to the field during the annual Walk of Honor. . . Florida State ranks second behind Linfield with 35 consecutive winning seasons while Mount Union is third on the active list with 34 straight winning campaigns.

NEXT: The Wildcats travel to Portland Saturday to play the Lewis and Clark Pioneers at 1 p.m. at Griswold Stadium.

Oct. 14: All times Eastern
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Salve Regina 45, at Nichols 10
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Mount Ida 14, at Dean 7
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at Thomas More 59, Waynesburg 7
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at Maine Maritime 34, Coast Guard 16
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at Finlandia 27, Trinity Bible 21
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Hamilton 28, at Bowdoin 7
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at Delaware Valley 49, King's 14
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at Olivet 47, Albion 26
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at Wesleyan 41, Bates 23
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Union 27, at Rochester 0
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Amherst 40, at Colby 7
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at Western New England 41, Endicott 14
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at Brockport 48, Morrisville State 7
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at Plymouth State 16, Framingham State 13
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at RPI 27, Ithaca 14
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Hobart 49, at Hartwick 27
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at Ferrum 34, LaGrange 20
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at Carnegie Mellon 42, Geneva 27
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Ohio Wesleyan 16, at Wabash 13
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DePauw 26, at Denison 17
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at Trine 42, Kalamazoo 7
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at Washington and Lee 47, Guilford 26
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at Husson 49, Castleton 0
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Gallaudet 35, at Alfred State 19
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at Wittenberg 49, Allegheny 15
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Brevard 41, at Methodist 17
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at Lebanon Valley 31, Stevenson 24
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Buffalo State 24, at St. Lawrence 21
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at Cortland 20, Alfred 17
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at Randolph-Macon 52, Emory and Henry 29
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at Wesley 29, Kean 9
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at Hampden-Sydney 58, Apprentice 28
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Frostburg State 59, at William Paterson 7
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at N.C. Wesleyan 45, Greensboro 0
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at Westminster (Pa.) 49, Grove City 27
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Washington and Jefferson 49, at Bethany 14
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at Westminster (Mo.) 56, Crown 15
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at Northwestern (Minn.) 29, Iowa Wesleyan 7
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at Knox 56, Grinnell 14
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at Widener 31, Lycoming 17
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Trinity (Conn.) 23, at Tufts 16
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at Mount St. Joseph 66, Earlham 7
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Ohio Northern 27, at John Carroll 20
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Baldwin Wallace 23, at Muskingum 20
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at Mount Union 72, Capital 14
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Rose-Hulman 44, at Manchester 13
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at Hanover 31, Bluffton 28
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Defiance 45, at Anderson 0
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at Wartburg 42, Loras 11
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Hiram 62, at Kenyon 56
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Springfield 35, at Merchant Marine 13
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Williams 27, at Middlebury 26
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at Westfield State 33, Fitchburg State 21
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Marietta 43, at Wilmington 33
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at Berry 34, Hendrix 10
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Curry 40, at Becker 0
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TCNJ 20, at Rowan 14
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at SUNY-Maritime 51, Anna Maria 15
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Salisbury 28, at Montclair State 10
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at Huntingdon 28, Maryville (Tenn.) 16
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at Austin 33, Millsaps 19
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at Mary Hardin-Baylor 65, Howard Payne 0
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at Washington U. 55, Buena Vista 20
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Alma 27, at Aurora 19
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at Rockford 29, Concordia-Chicago 14
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Wisconsin Lutheran 22, at Concordia (Wis.) 19
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at Lakeland 57, Benedictine 21
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at St. Norbert 10, Chicago 0
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Concordia-Moorhead 45, at Hamline 0
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St. Olaf 22, at Augsburg 20
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Bethel 24, at Gustavus Adolphus 3
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St. John's 35, at Carleton 0
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at Eureka 30, Greenville 19
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Centre 27, at Trinity (Texas) 21
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Dubuque 42, at Nebraska Wesleyan 27
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Central 30, at Coe 19
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Lake Forest 56, at Cornell 28
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at Carthage 31, Elmhurst 8
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at Illinois Wesleyan 30, Carroll 0
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Millikin 28, at Augustana 27
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Ripon 52, at Beloit 28
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MacMurray 49, at Minnesota-Morris 13
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Macalester 21, at Lawrence 18
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at Monmouth 59, Illinois College 14
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at UW-Stevens Point 26, UW-Eau Claire 3
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Case Western Reserve 63, at Thiel 28
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at Wooster 38, Oberlin 28
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Texas Lutheran 41, at East Texas Baptist 34
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at UW-Stout 21, UW-River Falls 16
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UW-Oshkosh 28, at UW-Platteville 14
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Sewanee 34, at Birmingham-Southern 13
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at Hope 22, Adrian 3
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Linfield 49, at Lewis and Clark 14
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La Verne at Occidental
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Whitworth 17, at Pacific Lutheran 14
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at Cal Lutheran 42, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 20
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at George Fox 58, Willamette 12
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at Pacific 35, Puget Sound 27
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Pomona-Pitzer 45, at Whittier 23
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at Western Connecticut 28, Massachusetts Maritime 21
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at St. Scholastica 56, Martin Luther 21
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at St. John Fisher 39, Utica 36
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at Heidelberg 48, Otterbein 45
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at Shenandoah 38, Bridgewater 20
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Southwestern 60, at Belhaven 31
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Hardin-Simmons 35, at Sul Ross State 10
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at Louisiana College 52, McMurry 34
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at Simpson 38, Luther 17
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at Chapman 45, Redlands 26
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Oct. 16: All times Eastern
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at Wheaton (Ill.) 42, North Central (Ill.) 20
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Oct. 20: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Gettysburg at Johns Hopkins
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Oct. 14: All times Eastern
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at Delaware Valley 49, King's 14
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Final - OT
at Cortland 20, Alfred 17
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at Wesley 29, Kean 9
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Final
Frostburg State 59, at William Paterson 7
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Final
at Wittenberg 49, Allegheny 15
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at Brockport 48, Morrisville State 7
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Final
Washington and Jefferson 49, at Bethany 14
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Ohio Wesleyan 16, at Wabash 13
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Final
at Mount Union 72, Capital 14
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Final
at Wartburg 42, Loras 11
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Final
at Berry 34, Hendrix 10
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Final
Springfield 35, at Merchant Marine 13
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at Mary Hardin-Baylor 65, Howard Payne 0
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Final
St. John's 35, at Carleton 0
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at Illinois Wesleyan 30, Carroll 0
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Concordia-Moorhead 45, at Hamline 0
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Final
Case Western Reserve 63, at Thiel 28
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Final
UW-Oshkosh 28, at UW-Platteville 14
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Linfield 49, at Lewis and Clark 14
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at George Fox 58, Willamette 12
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Hardin-Simmons 35, at Sul Ross State 10
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Oct. 16: All times Eastern
Final
at Wheaton (Ill.) 42, North Central (Ill.) 20
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Oct. 20: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Gettysburg at Johns Hopkins
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