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Linfield wins Top 25 matchup easily

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McMINNVILLE, Ore. – West coast rivals Linfield and Cal Lutheran battled Saturday at Maxwell Field in an early season matchup of nationally ranked foes and the result was no contest.

Linfield quarterback Josh Yoder passed for three touchdowns and scored on a 35-yard romp as the third-ranked Wildcats bolted past 22nd-ranked CLU to move to 2-0 for the straight third season.

Linfield receivers Charlie Poppen and Brian Balsiger combined for 12 catches and 220 aerial yards, while tailback Josh Hill rushed 15 times for 71 yards and one touchdown to complement a balanced Wildcats attack.

The Kingsmen never found their offensive groove, scoring single touchdowns in the first and fourth quarters in an otherwise lopsided affair. Linfield outgained Cal Lutheran 655-361, including a 283-180 advantage on the ground.

The home opener went so well that Linfield called on its punting unit just once, though the Wildcats were flagged 14 times for 99 yards and gave away one more turnover than the visitors.

On the game's first possession, Hill scored from seven yards out to cap an 11-play, 75-yard drive, breaking several tackles on the way to the end zone. The senior all-star rushed for 59 yards in the quarter, firmly establishing Linfield's ground game early on.

CLU evened the score at 7 when Kingsmen quarterback Cameron Deen passed two yards to Alix Moise with 2:22 left before Yoder and tight end Westly Meng hooked up for a 32-yard scoring play with 25 seconds left in the opening quarter. Four minutes later, Josh Repp made it 17-7 with a 37-yard field goal.

Linfield padded its lead in the closing seconds of the half as Yoder found Poppen for an 11-yard touchdown. The extra point by Repp made the score 24-7 with nine ticks left on the clock.

Keeping the ball on a fourth-and-2 from the CLU 35, Yoder weaved his way to the goal line, extending the hosts' lead to 24 points on Linfield's first possession of the second half.

Yoder then passed 30 yards over the top to to Colin Nelson for another score and the rout was on. Freshman tailback Spencer Payne added to Cal Lutheran's misery with a 14-yard run with 10:08 left in the fourth quarter.

Wayne Chapman scored on a 5-yard run for CLU with 7:27 to go, but Linfield got the points right back with a 13-yard TD by senior Mikkel Smythe that completed a 12-play, 80-yard march.

On other occasions when the Kingsmen did move the ball, they failed to come away with points. Kicker Sean Belliotti was wide left on two field goal opportunities, the first from 28 yards away in the second quarter, and the other on a 33-yarder early in the third.

Wildcats linebacker Dominique Forrest turned in a 15-tackle performance that included two stops behind the line of scrimmage. Tim Edmonds had nine tackles, 1½ for loss, and broke up two passes. Kyle Wright picked off a pass to go with his four tackles.

Chapman ran for a game-high 113 yards but never smelled the end zone. Deen completed 13 of 25 throws for 147 yards and one TD.

On the other sideline, Yoder finished 16 for 24 for 322 yards and three TDs, but he threw two interceptions and was sacked twice.

'CAT SCRATCH: Saturday's attendance was 2,480. . . among the dignitaries in attendance Saturday were former Oregon coach Mike Bellotti and Nevada Governor Brian Sandovol . . . the Wildcats defeated Cal Lutheran for the fifth straight time and by the widest margin of the eight-game series. . . Linfield was 5-for-5 inside the oppenents' red zone. . . Jorden Walker averaged 62.2 yards on eight kickoffs, including two that went for touchbacks. . . Linfield's 2013 baseball team was presented its national championship rings during special ceremony at halftime. . . Payne, a local product from McMinnville High School, scored a TD in his first collegiate game.

NEXT: Linfield travels three time zones east to Cleveland, Ohio, to face Case Western Reserve Saturday in game that kicks off at 9 a.m. on the west coast. It will be the second long plane trip in three weeks for the Wildcats, who also scored a 71-21 win Sept. 14 over Hardin-Simmons at Abilene, Texas.

Sep. 16: All times Eastern
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at Worcester State 42, Fitchburg State 26
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at Ursinus 35, Juniata 28
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Salve Regina 27, at Dean 0
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at Johns Hopkins 37, Moravian 7
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Massachusetts Maritime 34, at Maine Maritime 25
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Wesley 33, at TCNJ 0
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at RPI 31, Western New England 14
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Buffalo State 53, at Morrisville State 48
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at Rochester 14, Alfred State 7
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Stevenson 52, at FDU-Florham 14
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Union 31, at Gallaudet 21
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at Williams 28, Bowdoin 14
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Sewanee 29, at Austin 17
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at Middlebury 30, Wesleyan 27
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at Tufts 35, Hamilton 28
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Salisbury 21, at Kean 13
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at Olivet 37, Aurora 21
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at Amherst 41, Bates 17
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at Trinity (Conn.) 35, Colby 0
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at Franklin and Marshall 43, McDaniel 41
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Montclair State 24, at Southern Virginia 0
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Rowan 41, at William Paterson 14
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Springfield 66, at Mount Ida 20
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UW-Platteville 38, at Hampden-Sydney 29
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DePauw 55, at Hiram 28
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at Alma 45, Benedictine 40
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at Trine 55, Wisconsin Lutheran 7
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at Albion 79, Concordia (Wis.) 7
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Dickinson 24, at Gettysburg 21
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at Wooster 38, Ohio Wesleyan 20
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Thiel 28, at Bethany 13
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LaGrange 39, at Methodist 30
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at Wabash 62, Kenyon 7
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King's 44, at Lebanon Valley 39
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at Martin Luther 42, Iowa Wesleyan 20
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at MIT 31, Endicott 26
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at Alfred 24, Utica 17
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Maryville (Tenn.) 56, at Emory and Henry 46
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Averett 19, at Ferrum 7
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at Catholic 25, Randolph-Macon 20
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Susquehanna 14, at Muhlenberg 11
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at Cortland 31, Hartwick 30
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Brevard 63, at Greensboro 7
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Ithaca 24, at St. Lawrence 13
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at St. Scholastica 48, Westminster (Mo.) 18
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MacMurray 48, at Crown 34
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Eureka 48, at Minnesota-Morris 20
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UW-Whitewater 40, at Washington U. 21
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at Widener 34, Misericordia 21
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at Coast Guard 13, Nichols 0
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at Hope 37, Lakeland 35
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Heidelberg 40, at Ohio Northern 21
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Carnegie Mellon 30, at Waynesburg 20
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Mount Union 69, at Marietta 3
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at Centre 52, Hendrix 42
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Albright 21, at Lycoming 17
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Bluffton 32, at Mount St. Joseph 31
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at Franklin 42, Defiance 12
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at Anderson 27, Earlham 16
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SUNY-Maritime 38, at Merchant Marine 31
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Concordia-Chicago 41, at Kalamazoo 29
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at Rose-Hulman 38, Hanover 28
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John Carroll 24, at Baldwin Wallace 21
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at Otterbein 56, Wilmington 28
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Trinity (Texas) 28, at Millsaps 26
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at Buena Vista 39, Central 38
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at Concordia-Moorhead 31, Bethel 7
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St. John's 56, at St. Olaf 7
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Gustavus Adolphus 42, at Augsburg 37
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Coe 35, at Nebraska Wesleyan 25
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Wartburg 40, at Simpson 31
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Elmhurst 23, at North Park 20
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at Huntingdon 41, N.C. Wesleyan 30
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at Hardin-Simmons 55, Louisiana College 10
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UW-River Falls 30, at Missouri Baptist 3
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at Whitworth 53, La Verne 0
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St. Thomas 63, at Carleton 0
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Denison 62, at Allegheny 26
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Lewis and Clark 40, at Pomona-Pitzer 29
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at Wittenberg 34, Oberlin 0
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at Western Connecticut 37, Plymouth State 29
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Washington and Lee 24, at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 14
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Warner at Pacific Lutheran
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Cal Lutheran 28, at Willamette 13
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Mary Hardin-Baylor 24, at Linfield 3
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at George Fox 13, Redlands 10
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at Mass-Dartmouth 51, Westfield State 26
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at Castleton 28, Norwich 14
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at Berry 34, Rhodes 13
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Brockport 38, at St. John Fisher 7
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at WPI 38, Becker 0
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at Adrian 62, Rockford 7
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Frostburg State 33, at Christopher Newport 30
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at Hobart 56, Shenandoah 30
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at Case Western Reserve 42, Grove City 10
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at Davidson 42, Guilford 21
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at Bridgewater 52, The Apprentice School 0
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at Capital 39, Muskingum 28
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at Washington and Jefferson 37, Thomas More 29
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at North Central (Ill.) 26, Illinois Wesleyan 13
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at McMurry 33, Howard Payne 21
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at Dubuque 27, Loras 24
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at Wheaton (Ill.) 37, Carthage 14
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at Texas Lutheran 37, Belhaven 0
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at Carroll 28, Augustana 25
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St. Vincent 31, at Geneva 27
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East Texas Baptist 28, at Southwestern 10
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Pacific at Occidental
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Sep. 16: All times Eastern
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Wesley 33, at TCNJ 0
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at Johns Hopkins 37, Moravian 7
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at Alfred 24, Utica 17
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UW-Platteville 38, at Hampden-Sydney 29
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Mount Union 69, at Marietta 3
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John Carroll 24, at Baldwin Wallace 21
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at Hardin-Simmons 55, Louisiana College 10
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St. John's 56, at St. Olaf 7
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at Concordia-Moorhead 31, Bethel 7
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at Whitworth 53, La Verne 0
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St. Thomas 63, at Carleton 0
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at Wittenberg 34, Oberlin 0
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Mary Hardin-Baylor 24, at Linfield 3
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at George Fox 13, Redlands 10
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Brockport 38, at St. John Fisher 7
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Frostburg State 33, at Christopher Newport 30
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at Case Western Reserve 42, Grove City 10
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at Washington and Jefferson 37, Thomas More 29
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at Wheaton (Ill.) 37, Carthage 14
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at North Central (Ill.) 26, Illinois Wesleyan 13
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