/seasons/2012/contrib/20121117sd42pi

Linfield converts turnovers into points, beats PLU 27-24

More news about: Linfield

McMINNVILLE, Ore. – With its offense flagging and its conference rival driving for the winning score, third-ranked Linfield reached down deep to pull out a thrilling 27-24 victory over No. 20 Pacific Lutheran in a NCAA Division III first-round playoff game Saturday at rainy Maxwell Field.

Linfield (9-0), the Northwest Conference champion, advances to play North Central (Ill.) Nov. 24 at a site to be announced on Sunday. Though Linfield does expect to host a second-round game, official pairings won't be confirmed by the NCAA until Sunday. Kickoff will be noon local time.

Pacific Lutheran (7-3) came up just a bit short in its best season in many years. All three of the Lutes' losses came against playoff-qualifying teams, two were by the Wildcats.

The Lutes outgained the Wildcats in total yards, 339-249, had more first downs, 17-12, and controlled the ball for 33 of the game's 60 minutes. But five turnovers proved costly, three of which were subsequently and suddenly turned into touchdowns on the first or second play.

Mickey Inns passed for 210 yards but was held without a touchdown pass for the first time this season. Inns completed 22 of 35 attempts but suffered his first interception since the third week of the season – a 31-24 road victory over PLU.

The Wildcats had to overcome a brilliant performance by the Lutes' 6-foot-3 receiver Kyle Warner, who riddled the Linfield secondary for 12 catches and 205 yards. Warner was held without a touchdown on a day when PLU needed it most.

Linfield drew first blood when Josh Kay capped a 10-play drive with a 47-yard field goal at 7:13 of the first quarter.

PLU responded with its own scoring drive on the ensuing possession, moving 75 yards in eight plays to the end zone. Halfback Niko Madison swept 6 yards around left end as the Lutes took a 7-3 lead.

Linfield moved inside the red zone to the PLU 12-yard line but Inns was sacked by Doug Sullivan on third down and the Wildcats settled for a 42-yard field goal from Kay.

Linfield capitalized on a PLU miscue moments later. On the first play following the kickoff, Lutes quarterback Dalton Ritchey was stripped of the ball and Dominique Forrest recovered at the PLU 9. Two plays later, Chad Coburn ran straight ahead with the ball from the Wildcat formation, scooting 4 yards into the end zone. After Kay's extra point, Linfield led 13-7 with 6:13 left in the first quarter.

Forrest came up big once more, snagging a Richey pass at the PLU 36 to set up Linfield's next touchdown. Coburn again wriggled his way to paydirt from the four-back formation, scoring on a 1-yard run six plays later. The 'Cats led 20-7 with 3:22 left in the quarter.

The Lutes forced a turnover of their own, jarring the ball losse from tailback John Shaffer, but PLU's drive stalled when freshman tackle Marq Randall sacked Ritchey on a third-and-long play from the 35.

With steady rain falling throughout, both defenses dominated the first half as the team combined for five turnovers, three by the Lutes. Linfield outgained PLU 161-93 during the first two quarters.

PLU kept the pressure on the third quarter, driving 80 yards in seven plays after a punt to pull within 20-14. Ritchey passed 21 yards to Lucas Sontra with 8:30 left in the period. The Lutes put together another long drive following a punt, netting a 20-yard field goal from Jacob Schrader with 1:35 left in the third quarter. The Lutes saw their chance to take the lead thwarted when Ritchey's pass to Kellen Westering in the corner of the end zone was batted away by Colin Forman.

Inns and the Wildcats moved to the PLU 3, but Evan Peterson fumbled as he fought for extra yardage, momentarily taking the wind out of Linfield's sails. But on the first play following, Ritchey was picked off in open space by linebacker Tyler Robitaille, who waltzed 10 yards into the end zone and putting the  hosts back in front by 10, 27-17.

The Lutes refused to fade, convert two fourth down plays, plus three third-down plays, on the way to Ritchey's 13-yard keeper around right end that trimmed the margin the 27-24.

PLU got the ball back at its own 22 with 1:33 left but had already expened all of their time outs. Ritchey was sacked on first down by Mike Maierhofer and on second down, the Wildcats were penalized 15 yards for a facemask after stopping Warner short of the first down. A 21-yard pass over the middle to Daniel Herr pushed the Lutes into Linfield territory. With the crowd on the edge of its seats, Ritchey was sacked by Bryan Dundas on the next play and on fourth and 16 from the 47, Ritchey threw incomplete, ending any remaining hope of a PLU upset.

Ritchey completed 22 of 33 passes for 284 yards but the sophomore was sacked six times on the day with Dundas and Maierhofer chalking up two each.

Forrest piled up a game-high 10 tackles to go with his interception and fumble return. Forman had seven tackles as well as a pair of fumble recoveries and a key pass breakup in the end zone. Robitaille was credited with six tackles along with his game-changing interception return for a touchdown.

'CAT SCRATCH: Saturday's paid attendance was 1,804. . . since 2009, the Wildcats are 9-0 in games played at Maxwell Field during the month of November. . . Inns suffered his first interception in seven games on the Wildcats' opening drive. . . the Lutes turned the ball over on the first or second play of drives four times. . . Linfield ran its win streak over PLU to 12 games. . . Linfield punter Josh Repp averaged 45 yards on five punts, including a 49-yarder that was downed at the PLU 9. . . Linfield is now 15-7 all-time in the NCAA playoffs and has reached the second round of the postseason tournament for the fourth straight year.

Oct. 19: All times Eastern
Final
Martin Luther 21, at Northwestern (Minn.) 6
Video Box Score Recap
Oct. 20: All times Eastern
Final
at Stevenson 33, Wilkes 21
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at RPI 31, Hobart 24
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at MIT 13, Coast Guard 0
Video Box Score
Final
Norwich 15, at Maine Maritime 7
Video Box Score
Final
at Moravian 31, Juniata 14
Video Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at Dean 53, Gallaudet 21
Box Score
Final
Endicott 45, at Becker 13
Video Video Box Score
Final
Frostburg State 24, at Montclair State 17
Video Box Score Recap
Final
SUNY-Maritime 68, at Castleton 41
Video Box Score
Final
at Trinity (Texas) 28, Sewanee 14
Video Box Score
Final
Johns Hopkins 51, at Gettysburg 14
Video Video Box Score Recap Recap
Final
N.C. Wesleyan 29, at Brevard 21
Video Box Score
Final
at Misericordia 37, FDU-Florham 33
Video Box Score
Final
Union 29, at St. Lawrence 7
Video Box Score
Final
at Ithaca 28, Rochester 3
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Colby 23, Hamilton 21
Video Box Score
Final
at Middlebury 35, Bates 34
Video Box Score
Final
Trinity (Conn.) 48, at Bowdoin 6
Video Box Score Photos
Final
Springfield 23, at Catholic 11
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Amherst 33, at Wesleyan 3
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at Plymouth State 17, Massachusetts Maritime 14
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at Husson 54, Anna Maria 14
Box Score
Final
TCNJ 13, at Kean 8
Video Box Score
Final
Carnegie Mellon 41, at Thiel 7
Video Box Score
Final
Salve Regina 30, at Curry 21
Box Score Video Photos
Final
King's 37, at Albright 26
Video Box Score
Final
Trine 31, at Finlandia 0
Video Box Score
Final - OT
Susquehanna 41, at Ursinus 35
Video Video Box Score
Final
Delaware Valley 52, at Lebanon Valley 7
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Western New England 70, University of New England 13
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Franklin and Marshall 35, at Dickinson 14
Video Video Box Score
Final
at Wittenberg 38, DePauw 23
Box Score
Final
at Emory and Henry 52, Shenandoah 50
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at Wabash 32, Oberlin 7
Video Box Score
Final
at Westminster (Pa.) 27, Washington and Jefferson 20
Video
Final
at Hampden-Sydney 38, Guilford 35
Box Score Recap
Final - OT
at Randolph-Macon 44, Bridgewater 41
Video Box Score Recap Audio Audio
Final
Cortland 56, at Hartwick 3
Box Score Recap Recap
Final
at Denison 27, Ohio Wesleyan 10
Video Box Score Photos
Final
Waynesburg 12, at St. Vincent 10
Video Box Score
Final
Salisbury 33, at Southern Virginia 0
Video Box Score
Final
at Methodist 42, Greensboro 6
Video Box Score
Final
Christopher Newport 39, at William Paterson 10
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Albion 49, at Adrian 42
Video Box Score
Final
Thomas More 35, at St. Scholastica 0
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Westminster (Mo.) 25, Minnesota-Morris 7
Video Box Score
Final
Lake Forest 24, at Grinnell 0
Video Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Greenville 41, Crown 14
Video Box Score
Final
at Merchant Marine 25, WPI 24
Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at John Carroll 27, Marietta 24
Video Box Score Recap Recap
Final
at Tufts 28, Williams 21
Video Box Score Photos
Final
Ohio Northern 49, at Capital 46
Video Box Score Photos
Final
Baldwin Wallace 35, at Wilmington 33
Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at Mount Union 54, Heidelberg 0
Video Box Score Photos Photos
Final
at Lycoming 52, Alvernia 0
Video Box Score
Final
at Rose-Hulman 44, Anderson 6
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at Franklin 64, Earlham 20
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Hanover 48, at Manchester 14
Video Box Score
Final
Mount St. Joseph 20, at Defiance 0
Video Box Score
Final
at Utica 30, Alfred 22
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Maryville (Tenn.) 37, at LaGrange 17
Video Box Score
Final
Framingham State 27, at Westfield State 2
Video Box Score
Final
Morrisville State 35, at St. John Fisher 7
Video Box Score
Final
at Muskingum 21, Otterbein 14
Video Box Score Photos
Final - OT
at Berry 28, Millsaps 21
Video Box Score Recap Live stats Audio
Final
at Muhlenberg 42, McDaniel 18
Video Video Box Score
Final
at Rowan 28, Wesley 27
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Wooster 28, Hiram 21
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Allegheny 54, at Kenyon 10
Video Box Score
Final
at Nebraska Wesleyan 23, Luther 15
Video
Final
Wheaton (Ill.) 20, at Augustana 3
Video
Final
at Eureka 50, Benedictine 20
Video Box Score Photos
Final
Mary Hardin-Baylor 49, at Belhaven 0
Video Box Score
Final
at Hardin-Simmons 58, Texas Lutheran 14
Box Score
Final
Chicago 63, at Beloit 0
Video Box Score
Final
at Concordia (Wis.) 45, Concordia-Chicago 34
Video Box Score
Final
Aurora 25, at Rockford 7
Video Box Score
Final
at Bethel 41, Concordia-Moorhead 13
Box Score
Final
Lakeland 38, at Wisconsin Lutheran 12
Video Box Score
Final
at St. John's 57, St. Olaf 7
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Gustavus Adolphus 42, Augsburg 0
Video Box Score Photos
Final
Dubuque 38, at Buena Vista 7
Video Box Score Recap
Final
North Central (Ill.) 26, at Carthage 14
Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at Ripon 58, Macalester 34
Video Box Score
Final
at Monmouth 51, Cornell 0
Video Box Score
Final
at Simpson 38, Loras 33
Video Box Score
Final
at Knox 20, Illinois College 6
Video
Final
UW-Stout 31, at UW-Stevens Point 27
Video
Final
Millikin 14, at Elmhurst 13
Video Box Score Recap Recap
Final
at MacMurray 20, Iowa Wesleyan 13
Box Score Recap
Final
UW-Eau Claire 40, at UW-Platteville 16
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at St. Thomas 68, Carleton 0
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Mass-Dartmouth 41, Worcester State 27
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at Wartburg 47, Central 20
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at UW-Oshkosh 24, UW-La Crosse 13
Video Box Score
Final
at UW-Whitewater 44, UW-River Falls 7
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Birmingham-Southern 47, Austin 35
Video Box Score
Final
Centre 41, at Rhodes 14
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Carroll 23, North Park 0
Video Box Score
Final
at Kalamazoo 17, Alma 10
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Pacific Lutheran 33, Willamette 20
Video Box Score
Final
at Brockport 65, Buffalo State 7
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Averett 45, Huntingdon 17
Video Video Box Score
Final
Washington and Lee 38, at Ferrum 35
Video Box Score
Final
at Pacific 54, Lewis and Clark 22
Video Video Box Score Recap
Final
Redlands 35, at La Verne 17
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Whitworth 47, at Puget Sound 13
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 27, at Occidental 7
Video Box Score
Final
Linfield 14, at George Fox 0
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Hope 35, Olivet 30
Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final - 4OT
at Western Connecticut 50, Bridgewater State 48
Video Box Score Live stats
Final
Case Western Reserve 27, at Geneva 14
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Sul Ross State 28, Howard Payne 27
Video
Final
East Texas Baptist 48, at Louisiana College 27
Video
Final
Illinois Wesleyan 27, at Washington U. 21
Video Box Score Photos
Final
St. Norbert 46, at Lawrence 0
Video Box Score
Final
at Pomona-Pitzer 42, Whittier 17
Video Box Score
Final
Chapman 33, at Cal Lutheran 29
Video Box Score Recap Recap
Oct. 20: All times Eastern
Final
Frostburg State 24, at Montclair State 17
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at RPI 31, Hobart 24
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Trine 31, at Finlandia 0
Video Box Score
Final
at Wittenberg 38, DePauw 23
Box Score
Final
at Westminster (Pa.) 27, Washington and Jefferson 20
Video
Final
Delaware Valley 52, at Lebanon Valley 7
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Johns Hopkins 51, at Gettysburg 14
Video Video Box Score Recap Recap
Final
at Mount Union 54, Heidelberg 0
Video Box Score Photos Photos
Final
at John Carroll 27, Marietta 24
Video Box Score Recap Recap
Final - OT
at Berry 28, Millsaps 21
Video Box Score Recap Live stats Audio
Final
at Rowan 28, Wesley 27
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Muhlenberg 42, McDaniel 18
Box Score Video Video
Final
Wheaton (Ill.) 20, at Augustana 3
Video
Final
Mary Hardin-Baylor 49, at Belhaven 0
Video Box Score
Final
at St. John's 57, St. Olaf 7
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Hardin-Simmons 58, Texas Lutheran 14
Box Score
Final
North Central (Ill.) 26, at Carthage 14
Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at St. Thomas 68, Carleton 0
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at UW-Oshkosh 24, UW-La Crosse 13
Video Box Score
Final
at UW-Whitewater 44, UW-River Falls 7
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Brockport 65, Buffalo State 7
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Whitworth 47, at Puget Sound 13
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Linfield 14, at George Fox 0
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Case Western Reserve 27, at Geneva 14
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Illinois Wesleyan 27, at Washington U. 21
Video Box Score Photos