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THIS WEEK IN PACIFIC FOOTBALL
PACIFIC AT LINFIELD
Game No. 9/Away Game No. 5
Sat., Nov. 10, 1 p.m., Maxwell Field, McMinnville, Ore.
Radio: 1360 AM KUIK (Hillsboro)
Live Stats: http://bit.ly/VvGnQ5
Live Audio Webcast: www.goboxers.com/webcasts
Live Video Webcast (Pay Per View): http://bit.ly/Ws3nkq
A SEASON OF GROWTH ENDS WITH TOUGHEST CHALLENGE OF YEAR
A season of profound growth for the third year Pacific football program ends this weekend with their toughest on field challenge of the season. The Boxers will travel down to McMinnville on Saturday for their annual match-up with traditional rival Linfield. The Wildcats enter the week ranked No. 3 in the D3Football.com Top-25 poll having already wrapped up the 2012 NWC Championship.
• After being blown out 51-17 by Willamette in their first matchup of the season, Pacific gave the Bearcats all they could handle in their conference-counting recap. In the end, Dylan Jones' touchdown run with 27 seconds left led Willamette to a 35-31 come-from-behind victory over Pacific in the home season finale.
• Quarterback P.J. Minaya put together another strong effort, completing 25 of 46 passes for 354 yards and four touchdowns. The junior enters the week leading the NWC with a 64.9 completion percentage and ranked second in passing yards per game and pass competions and third in passing yards and touchdowns.
• Kicker Moses Villareal-Gomez eclipsed the Pacific career record on Saturday with his 15th field goal, hitting a season-long 41-yarder to close out the first half. His two point-after attempts also earned his the season record with 26 made this season. The sophomore needs just just two more made PATs to become the Boxers' career leader.
• Caleb Roher led the Boxers in the receiving department, making eight catches for 123 yards and a touchdown. Jakob Lawrence caught five balls for 112 yards and was on the receiving end of an exciting "flea flicker" touchdown in the second quarter.
• The two teams on Satuday ended up with fairly even offensive numbers. Willamette outgained Pacific in total offense 486 to 464. Willamette had 27 first downs to the Boxers' 26 while Pacific dominated the time of possession, controlling the ball for over 33 minutes.
• The Boxers also proved efficient in third and fourth down situations. Pacific converted 7 of 17 third down situations and were 3 of 3 in fourth-down conversions.
• Pacific enters final week of the 2012 season ranked 22nd among all NCAA Division III teams in passing offense (304.88 yards per game), 37th in pass efficiency (152.51) and 47th in total offense (426.33). Defensively, the Boxers rank 41st in rushing defense, allowing 107.75 yards per game.
SCOUTING THE OPPONENT - LINFIELD WILDCATS
Location: McMinnville, Ore.
Colors: Cardinal Red & Purple
Conference: Northwest (NCAA III)
Stadium: Maxwell Field (3,000, covered, FieldTurf)
President: Dr. Thomas Hellie
Athletic Director: Scott Carnahan
Head Coach: Joseph Smith
Smith's Record At Linfield: 49-13/6 Years
Smith's Record Overall: 49-13/6 Years
All-Time Series: Linfield leads 39-25-4
Last Meeting: Linfield won 49-6 at Forest Grove on Oct. 15, 2011
ABOUT THE COACH: Joseph Smith is in his seventh season leading the vaunted Linfield football program and has led the Wildcats to four straight NWC titles, which includes clinching the 2012 championship last week against Puget Sound. In addition to his head coaching duties, Smith serves as the Wildcats' offensive coordinator. Prior to taking over from Jay Locey as head coach, Smith served as a Linfield assistant coach for 13 years, which included seven seasons as defensive coordinator. During that time, the Wildcats ranked No. 1 in the NWC in total defense and scoring defense four times. Smith is a 1993 graduate of Linfield, was a NAIA All-American at defensive back and was Linfield's 1993 Male Athlete of the Year.
THE SERIES: Linfield leads the all-time series 39-25-4.
LAST MEETING - LINFIELD 49, PACIFIC 6: Linfield used big plays to take a large lead in the first half and relied on rock steady defense to knock off the Boxers 49-6 in Forest Grove. The Wildcats scored twice on plays of 50 yards or more, one of which came on an 86-yard kickoff return to begin the third quarter. The Linfield defense aso came up big, stunting two Pacific drives that finished inside the Linfield five-yard line and returned a blocked punt for a touchdown. Linfield outgained the Boxers in total offense 477-238, but Pacific controlled the ball for over 38 minutes. Mickey Inns completed 16 of 25 passes for 239 yards and three touchdowns for the Wildcats. Lucas Jepson made three catches for 91 yards and two touchdowns. T.C. Campbell completed 12 of 24 passes for 129 yards while Jordan Fukumoto caught five balls for 82 yards.
• Linfield secured their fourth straight NWC title on Saturday with a 47-7 victory over Puget Sound on Saturday. The Wildcats also continued their streak of 57 consecutive winning seasons (most at all divisions) with their 54-14 win over Whitworth on Oct. 13.
• Linfield enters the week ranked first in the nation in sacks (5.13 per game) and tackles for loss (10.75 per game), eighth in scoring offense (44.0 points per game) and net punting (36.14 yards per rush) and ninth in rushing defense (78.13 yards allowed per game).
• Quarterback Mickey Inns enters the game ranked third in the NWC and 43rd nationally in passing efficiency (149.88) and 44th in total offense (266.62 yards per game). He ranks second in the NWC with 23 touchdown passes.
• Linfield's defense is among the stoutest in the nation. Brynnan Hyland is tied for second in the nation for sacks (1.56 per game) and Kealli Poomaihealani tied for 72nd with 0.69 sacks per game. Hyland is also tied for 12th in tackles for loss, averaging two per game.
PACIFIC NEWS & NOTES
KICKING HIS WAY INTO THE RECORD BOOK: He is only a sophomore, but Moses Villareal-Gomez (So., Stockton, Calif.) is making his mark as the most prolific kicker in Pacific history. With his season-long 41-yard field goal to end the first half against Willamette on Saturday, Villareal-Gomez made his 15th field goal in a Pacific uniform to earn the Boxers' career mark. He surpassed the record of 14 made by Willie Brosseau from 1976 to 1979. In addition, Villareal-Gomez's 25th and 26th PAT kicks made against the Bearcats eclipsed the single season mark of 25 set by Cub Shulund in 1986. Villareal-Gomez also stands close to breaking two more records. He stands one shy of the career record for PATs made of 44 by Shulund from 1986 to 1987. He needs just one more field goal made to tie the mark of 10 made by Kevin Buckner during 1988 season. Villareal-Gomez stands poised to earn All-Northwest Conference honors for the second straight season. He leads the NWC with his nine field goals made, is tied for third with 26 extra points made and seventh in total points scored with 53. In this week's NCAA Division III statistics, he is tied for 11th nationally with his average of 1.12 field goals made per game.
REMAINING STEADY: P.J. Minaya (Jr., Wahiawa, Hawaii) put together yet another steady and consistent performance for the Boxers against Willamette. Minaya completed 25 of 46 passes for 354 yards and four touchdowns in the loss while being intercepted twice. Minaya connected with Caleb Roher (So., Gresham, Ore.) for a season-long 68-yard touchdown pass to open Pacific's scoring in the first quarter. Towards the end of the half, Minaya combined with Gunther Schultze (Jr., Bellflower, Calif.) for a "flea flicker" play that ended in a 36-yard touchdown pass to Jakob Lawrence (So., Sherwood, Ore.). Minaya is putting up numbers that should make him a candidate to earn All-NWC honors for the first time in his career. He enters the week leading the league with a 64.9 completion percentage and is in line to break the Boxers' single season record in the category. He also ranks second in the NWC with his 275.2 passing yards per game and 170 pass completions and ranks third with 2,202 passing yards and 20 touchdowns. Among NCAA Division III quarterbacks, Minaya ranks 32nd with 280.62 yards of total offense per game and 38th with a pass efficiency rating of 151.51.
Additionally, Minaya finds himself in position to rewrite a number of lines in the Pacific record books. The junior already owns Pacific's single game record for passing yards and pass completions with his 442 yards on 32 completions against Lewis & Clark on Oct. 27. He stands within striking distance of the single season records for passing yards (2,564), pass completion percentage (59.4), passing yards per game (173.3) and touchdowns (22).
CALEB FOR THE CATCH: The performance this season of Caleb Roher has been another great illustration of the depth in the Pacific wide receiver corps. Roher came up with eight catches for 123 yards against Willamette on Saturday to lead the Boxers. He was on the receiving end of the Boxers' first touchdown of the game, a 68-yard bomb from P.J. Minaya with 1:11 left in the first quarter. The sophomore has been a key contributor for the Boxers on both offense and special teams, seeing increased time after injuries to Jordan Fukumoto (Jr., Mililani, Hawaii) and Darin Kamealoha (So., Waipahu, Hawaii). Roher leads the Boxers and ranks 10th in the NWC with 470 receiving yards and ranks ninth in the league with 14.7 yards per catch. While not having returned a kick for the Boxers three weeks, Roher continues to rank second in the NWC with his average of 25.9 yards per kickoff return. His total of 311 return yards ranks sixth in the league.
ADD RECEIVERS: There have plenty of players who have stepped up to continue to give one of the top passing offenses in Division III football. Kelson Kawai (Jr., North Kohala, Hawaii) enters the week ranked seventh in the NWC with 15.4 yards per catch and tied for fifth in the NWC with his six touchdown catches. Kawai had three catches for 65 yards and a touchdown against Willamette on Saturday. Jakob Lawrence, meanwhile, caught five balls for 112 yards and a touchdown against the Bearcats. He ranks third for the Boxers with his 386 yards receiving and four touchdowns. As a team, Pacific ranks 22nd in the nation in passing offense, putting up 304.88 yards per game. The Boxers are also 47th with 426.33 yards of total offense per game.
DEFENSE ON THE BRINK (WORTH): Defensive back Josh Brinkworth (So., Elk Grove, Calif.) continues to run point for a much-improved Pacific defense. Brinkworth added nine tackles to his total on Saturday against Willamette, sharing top honors with linebacker Tim Hastie (Jr., Auberry, Calif.). The nine brings Brinkworth to 65 for the season to lead the NWC. He also leads the league with 46 solo tackles and is tied for sixth with five passes broken up. Entering this week, Pacific continues to be one of the best rush defense teams in the nation. The Boxers rank 41st among Division III teams in rushing defense, allowing teams 107.75 yards per game.
MEN ON THE RUN: Pacific's rushing game continues to play a key role in the Boxers' offensive successes this season. After averaging just 50.3 yards per game in 2011, the Boxers are averaging 121.8 yards per game on the ground in 2012. Bobby Ladiges (So., Escalon, Calif.) leads the way for the Boxers with his average of 45.2 yards per game, which ranks sixth in the NWC. He finished with 52 net yards in Pacific's loss to Willamette on Saturday. Ladiges also ranks fourth in the NWC in rushing attempts (105), sixth in yards per rushing attempt (3.4), seventh with 362 rushing yards and tied for seventh with four rushing touchdowns.
IN THE NCAA RANKINGS: In this NCAA Division III statistical rankings, Pacific enters the week ranked 22nd in passing offense (304.88 yards per game), 37th in pass efficiencty (152.51), 41st in rushing defense (107.75 yards allowed per game), 47th in kickoff returns (21.24 yards per return) and total offense (426.33 yards per game), 76th in scoring (30.13 points per game) and 87th in sacks allowed (1.63 per game).
Individually, Moses Villareal-Gomez is tied for 11th in field goal scoring, averaging 1.12 per game. Caleb Roher ranks 28th in kickoff returns (25.92 yards per return) while P.J. Minaya ranks 32nd in total offense (280.62 yards per game) and pass efficiency (151.51). Blake Anthony (So., Valencia, Calif.) ranks 40th in punt returns (9.75 yards per return), Aaron Koford (Jr., Wilsonville, Ore.) ranks 50th in punting (37.78 yards per punt), Chrystian Johnson (Jr., Rogue River, Ore.) ranks 76th in sacks (0.67 per game) and Kelson Kawai ranks 97th in kickoff returns (22.45 yards per return). 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. Since then, the Boxers have tallied all three of their wins on the road. It is the first three-win season for Pacific since 1990.
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 was the highest point total scored by a NWC team until Whitworth hung 70 on the Loggers on Oct. 20.
SEASON HONORS: Pacific players have been honored three times this season as Northwest Conference Student-Athletes of the Week. Moses Villareal-Gomez has been honored twice. He was named NWC Football Special Teams Student-Athlete of the Week for the week of Sept. 3-9 for his two field goals and three PATs made in the Boxers' 27-6 win over Occidental on Sept. 8. He also earned the honor for the week of Oct. 1-7 for his two made field goals and 8 for 8 on PAT attempts in the 62-21 win over Puget Sound on Oct. 6. P.J. Minaya was selected as the NWC Football Offensive Student-Athlete for the week of Oct. 1-7 after he completed 25 of 30 passes for 276 yards, threw for four touchdowns and ran for a fifth in the victory over Puget Sound.
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 Puget Sound 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.