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THIS WEEK IN PACIFIC FOOTBALL
PACIFIC AT PACIFIC LUTHERAN
Game No. 6/Away Game No. 4
Sat., Oct. 19, 12:30 p.m., Sparks Stadium, Puyallup, Wash.
Radio: 1360 AM KUIK (Hillsboro, Live)
Live Stats | Live Audio
BOXERS' TOUGHEST TEST YET AWAITS IN RANKED PACIFIC LUTHERAN
Pacific football finished the first half of the 2013 season with the program's first 5-0 start after an impressive 56-14 Homecoming victory over Puget Sound. The second half of the schedule figures to be tough, starting with their opponent this week. The Boxers head north to Puyallup, Wash., to take on No. 17/20 ranked Pacific Lutheran. The Boxers will aim to break a 16-game losing streak to the Lutes dating back to 1973.
• The Pacific defense came up with five interceptions and rolled offensively with 443 yards of total offense as the Boxers posted a 56-14 victory over Puget Sound. The win marked the third time this season that the Boxers have scored 30 or more points.
• The defense set up the offense well as the Boxers finished with five interceptions, four of which led to Pacific touchdowns. Brandon Harms returned an interception 23 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter and Bryan Mills picked up two interceptions. The two picks by Mills earned him selection as NWC Defensive Student-Athlete of the Week.
• Four Pacific quarterbacks combined to complete 23 of 26 passes for 309 yards and five touchdowns. P.J. Minaya and T.C. Campbell combined to go 16 of 17 with five touchdown passes in the first half. Seth Siddle-Mitchell and Warner Shaw combined to go 7 for 9 in the second half.
• Wide receiver Jordan Fukumoto finished with 103 yards on seven catches with two touchdowns. The second touchdown was on a 45-yard pass from T.C. Campbell in the second quarter that put Pacific up 35-0.
• Running back Gunther Schultze led the rushing game with 44 yards on six carries and also caught one ball for 22 yards and a touchdown. In all, Pacific rushed for 134 yards while limiting Puget Sound to just 79 yards on the ground.
• Kicker Moses Villareal-Gomez tied his own school single game record by making eight point-after attempts against Puget Sound. The effort earned the junior selection as the NWC Special Teams Student-Athlete of the Week. He set the school record in last year's match-up against the Loggers and enters this week with 69 career point-after attempts made.
• Pacific enters the week ranked in the top-100 of the NCAA Division III statistics in 17 different categories. The Boxers are sixth nationally in passing efficiency (184.46), 13th in third down conversion percentage (.508) and 19th in red zone offense (.889).
• The Boxers' 5-0 start is their first in program history dating back to 1891. The Boxers need one more win in their last five games to secure their first winning season since 1987. The Boxers went 4-3-2 that season. Additionally, the team's five wins are the most for the program since 1972.
SCOUTING THE OPPONENT - PACIFIC LUTHERAN LUTES
Location: Tacoma, Wash.
Colors: Black & Gold
Conference: Northwest (NCAA III)
Stadium: Sparks Stadium (4,500, covered, FieldTurf)
President: Dr. Loren Anderson
Athletic Director: Laurie Turner
Head Coach: Scott Westering (PLU 1972)
Westering's Record At PLU: 47-35 (9 Yrs.)
Westering's Record Overall: 47-35 (9 Yrs.)
All-Time Series: PLU leads 28-8-3
Last Meeting: PLU won 41-23 in Forest Grove on Oct. 13, 2012
ABOUT THE COACH: Scott Westering is in his 10th season as Pacific Lutheran head coach and has been on the PLU staff for the last three decades. In 2012, Westering led the Lutes to a 7-3 record, a second place finish in the NWC standings and a berth in the NCAA Division III playoffs. Prior to taking over for his legendary father, Frosty Westering, Scott spent 21 years as the Lutes' offensive coordinator. Scott Westering played football at UCLA for one year before transferring the PLU, where he was a captain and an All-America tight end on the Lutes' 1980 NAIA national championship team. He was inducted into the PLU Hall of Fame in 1998.
THE SERIES: Pacific Lutheran leads 28-8-3, with the Lutes having won the last 16 meetings. PLU won the last meeting, 41-23, in Forest Grove on Oct. 13, 2012.
LAST MEETING: Pacific Lutheran took advantage of turnovers and big plays as the Lutes knocked out the Boxers 41-23. The Lutes opened scoring with Brandon James' four-yard run with 45 seconds left in the first quarter and scored again after Kellen Westering intercepted P.J. Minaya midfield. The Lutes then scored on their next series on a Niko Madison rush 4:31 left as the Lutes went into halftime with an 18-2 lead. The Lutes went on to add a field goal and touchdown in the third and two more touchdowns in the fourth. Pacific held the slight advantage on total offense 415 to 413. Minaya completed 32 of 45 passes for 342 yards and three touchdowns, but was intercepted three times. PLU quarterback Dalton Ritchey completed 24 of 31 passes for 262 yards and a touchdown. Kyle Warner caught 11 balls for 142 yards. Kelson Kawai caught seven balls for 114 yards to lead the Boxers.
PACIFIC LUTHERAN NOTES
• PLU rebounded from a 29-0 shutout at Linfield on Oct. 5 to score a big 42-21 win over Lewis & Clark on Saturday. After the Pioneers scored the first touchdown, the Lutes came back to score five unanswered touchdowns.
• The Lutes are a run heavy team and are ranked second in the NWC with 876 rushing yards. They are third with an average of 175.2 rushing yards per game and lead the league with 5.5 yards per rush. Niko Madison is the NWC's leading rusher, averaging 96.2 yards per game.
• Kyle Warner is one of the rop receivers in the NWC, ranking third in the league 102.4 passing yards per game and six touchdowns.
• The Lutes' defense enters the week with 16 sacks and 27 tackles for loss. Joel Anthony leads the way with three sacks and 3.5 tackles for loss.
• Pacific Lutheran lost two Hall of Fame coaches last spring. Legendary football coach Frosty Westering and legendary basketball coach Marv Harshman both died on Apr. 12. Westering coached PLU football for 32 years, compiling a 305-96-7 record. Harshman, a PLU alum, led the Lutes' men's basketball program for 12 seasons before moving to Division I to coach both Washington State and Washington.
PACIFIC NEWS & NOTES
HISTORY IN THE MAKING: Saturday's victory over Puget Sound was one of historic proportions for Pacific football. The 56-14 rout moved the Boxers to a 5-0 on the season, a benchmark never before reached in the history of the program. The closest the Boxers had come before this weekend was in 1950, when Pacific opened at 4-0 before taking a 24-0 shutout loss to Lewis & Clark. The 2-0 conference mark is the first time since 1950 that the Boxers have gone undefeated in their first two league contests.
Head Coach Keith Buckley acknowledged the record as an important milestone in the rebirth of the Pacific program. "We are proud that we have represented Pacific University in the way that we have this year," he said. "When we started the program, we set out to build a program that not just our kids but the Pacific community could be proud of. We have made great strides and have a long way to go, but 5-0 is great and as a team we are definitely proud of it."
GIMME FIVE: The Pacific defense came up big in the win over Puget Sound on Saturday. The Boxers' five interceptions are the most in a single game since the program's reinstatement in 2010 and came just two short of the school record of seven picks set against Whitman in 1962. Four of the five interceptions eventually resulted in Pacific touchdowns. Safety Bryan Mills (Sr., Imbler, Ore.) came up with two of the interceptions, which along with four solo tackles earned the senior selection as the NWC Football Defensive Student-Athlete of the Week. Brandon Harms (Jr., Canby, Ore.) started the pick parade when he intercepted Puget Sound quarterback braden Foley with 4:39 left in the first quarter and returned the ball 23 yards for a touchdown. Jaquari People (So., Merced, Calif.) and Alex McGann (Fr., Molalla, Ore.) had the game's other two interceptions.
Pacific enters the week ranked first in the NWC with 11 interceptions, wee ahead of three teams tied for second with seven. Mills now has four picks on the season, ranking him first in the NWC and sixth among NCAA Division III players. Craig Bailey (Sr., Fairfield, Calif.) is tied for third in the NWC and is 30th among Division III players with three interceptions.
ALMOST PERFECT: In Saturday's first half against Puget Sound, Pacific's quarterback tandem of P.J. Minaya (Sr., Wahiawa, Hawaii) and T.C. Campbell (Jr., Kaimuki, Hawaii) were as close to perfect as you could get. The pair combined to complete16 of 17 passes for 238 yards and five touchdowns to lead the Boxers to a commanding 42-0 halftime lead. Minaya completed 9 of 10 for 101 yards and three touchdowns while Campbell was a perfect 7 for 7 for 137 yards and two scores. Neither player saw action in the second half, instead yielding duties to Seth Siddle-Mitchell (Sr., Lodi, Calif.) and Warner Shaw (So., Waimea, Hawaii). Minaya and Campbell have led what has become again one of the top passing offenses in the nation. Pacific enters the week ranked sixth in Division III with a pass efficiency rating of 184.46. Pacific's 291 yards of passing offense per game ranks 32nd nationally. Minaya enters the week ranked seventh in pass efficiency (183.5), 29th in touchdowns (12), 31st in completion percentage (.659) and 58th in points responsible for (58th). Campbell is ranked 44th in passing yards per completion (19.16).
AIR JORDAN: Wide receiver Jordan Fukumoto (Jr., Mililani, Hawaii) has shown well this year, beginning to return to the form that made him a First Team All-NWC performer in 2011. Fukumoto led the Boxers on Saturday with 103 yards on seven catches, which included a pair of first quarter touchdowns. He scored the Boxers' opening touchdown, a 13-yard pass from P.J. Minaya with 5:20 left in the first quarter. He then pulled in a 45-yard touchdown pass that actually slipped out of the hands of T.C. Campbell with 1:42 left in the first half that made it a 35-0 game. Fukumoto enters the week tied for first in the NWC and ranked ninth among NCAA Division III players with seven receiving touchdowns. Fukumoto also ranks 58th among Division III in scoring with 8.8 points per game and 85th in receiving yards with an average of 79.8 yards per game.
TWO-WAY THREAT: While running back Gunther Schultze (Sr., Bellflower, Calif.) enters the week as one of the Boxers' top rushers, he also showed that he can be a two-way threat on offense. Schultze led the Boxers in rushing with 44 yards on six carries, but also caught one ball for 22 yards and a touchdown. The score came late in the second quarter and allowed the Boxers to go into halftime with a commanding 42-0 halftime lead. Schultze enters the week second for the Boxers in rushing with 209 total yards and an average of 41.8 rushing yards per game. He ranks eighth in the NWC in total rushing yards and fourth with an average of 4.6 yards per rushing attempt.
ANOTHER RECORD KICKING PERFORMANCE: Kicker Moses Villareal-Gomez (Jr., Stockton, Calif.) equaled his own school single game record on Saturday by going 8 for 8 on point-after attempts. The junior matched a record that he set against Puget Sound the year before, on Oct. 6, 2012. The effort earned Villareal-Gomez selection as the NWC Football Special Teams Student-Athlete of the Week and helped to pad his career record numbers. He enters the week with 69 extra-point attempts made in two-plus years with the program. He enters the week leading the NWC in points by kicking (36) as well as extra points made (24), extra points attempted (25), field goals made (4) and field goals attempted (6). In the NCAA Division III statistics, Villareal-Gomez enters the week ranked 53rd in field goals (0.8 per game) and 86th in field goal percentage (86th).
COMING FROM BEHIND: Pacific has shown that they don't quit when they are down. Twice this season that Pacific has won after being in a significant first half hole, the most recent on Oct. 5 at Whitworth. The Boxers found themselves down 14-0 before scoring 31 of the game's final 38 points, including 24 in the second half. The Boxers were down 10-0 to Occidental on Sept. 14 before beating the Tigers 67-30.
SECOND HALF TEAM: Pacific turns on the offense after they have lured teams in with a good first quarter. The Boxers are outscoring opponents 92-45 in the second half and 161-65 over the final three quarters this season.
SEEING RED: Pacific is making the most of their opportunities inside the red zone. The Boxers enter the week ranked 19th among NCAA Division III teams in red zone offense, converting on 88.9 percent of their opportunities. The Boxers have scored 16 of the 18 times that they have been inside the 20-yard line. Conversely, the Pacific defense ranks 81st in red zone defense, limiting to opponents to scoring 70.6 percent of the time (12 of 17).
IN THE POLLS: Pacific's success continues to gain the attention of voters in both of the major Division III football polls. The Boxers moved up to 17 votes in the American Football Coaches Association Top-25 Coaches Poll and is the fourth team listed in voting of other teams receiving votes. The Boxers also gained 10 votes in the D3Football.com Top-25 Poll, receiving 12 votes to be sixth among other teams receiving votes. With Pacific, four of the NWC's seven football teams are represented in both polls. The D3Football.com poll can be viewed at d3football.com/top25, while the AFCA poll can be viewed at http://bit.ly/19wgErV.
AMONG THE PERFECT: Pacific is one of 29 NCAA Division III teams to enter the week with a perfect record. The Boxers are one of 22 teams with a 5-0 mark, joining the likes of Mount Union, North Central (Ill.), Wis.-Whitewater and Mary Hardin-Baylor.
FLAGS A-FLYING: After cleaning up their act with only two penalties against Whitworth, Pacific suffered from issues with penalties. The Boxers committed 11 penalties for 119 yards. Puget Sound was equally as bad, committing 12 penalties for 165 yards. Pacific enters the week as the second most penalized team in the NWC, having committed 36 penatlies for 346 yards for an average of 69.2 penalty yards per game.
MOVING THE CHAINS: Pacific is showing success in keeping the offense moving in third and fourth down situations. The Boxers enter the week ranked second in the NWC and 13th among NCAA Division III teams in third down percentage, gaining first downs in 51 percent of their chances (30-59).
IN HOMECOMING GAMES: With the win over Puget Sound on Saturday, Pacific is now 2-2 in their own Homecoming games since the program's 2010 reinstatement. The Boxers' other Homecoming win came also came against Puget Sound, with the Boxers gaining the 44-25 win on Oct. 29, 2011, in what was the program's first win since reinstatement. Pacific's other Homecoming games included a 24-12 loss to Whitworth on Oct. 23, 2010 and a 28-25 loss to the Pirates on Oct. 6, 2012. At the same time, the Boxers have not been cooperative Homecoming opponents over the last two seasons. Pacific is 3-0 in the last two seasons when they were the Homecoming opponent. The Boxers served as Whitworth's Homecoming for on Oct. 5, and the Boxers scored trhe 31-21 win.
IN THE NCAA STATISTICS: Pacific enters the week ranked in the top-100 in 17 different NCAA Division III statistical categories. The Boxers found themselves ranked in the top-25 in four team statistical categories. Pacific enters the week ranked sixth in passing efficiency (184.46), 13th in third down conversion percentage (.508), 19th in red zone offense (.889) and 22nd in scoring (40.4 yards per game),
Individually, eight different Pacific players show up in the top-100. Bryan Mills leads the list, ranking sixth in interceptions with 0.8 per game. P.J. Minaya is ranked sevneth in passing efficiency at 183.5. The complete NCAA Division III stats can be found at http://bit.ly/166nvOo.
CONFERENCE OPENERS: Pacific's win over Whitworth on Oct. 5 marks their first win in a conference-opening game since 1990. The Boxers opened their Columbia Football Association schedule that season with a 21-14 victory over Simon Fraser (during the CFL years, all of Pacific's games were against conference opponents). Pacific's last NWC season-opening win before Saturday came in 1983, with the Boxers posting a 37-15 victory over Willamette (The NWC discontinued conference football play after 1984 with programs moving to the CFL).
A HISTORIC SCORING NIGHT: The 67 points scored by Pacific over Occidental on Sept. 14 proved to be the biggest scoring output since the program returned in 2010 and the third highest point total in school history. Pacific's record for scoring is 118 points, which came against George Fox back in the 1923 season (Pacific won 118-0). The second highest scoring total was 71 points the year before against Mount Angel Seminary. The 67 points is the fifth most scored by a NCAA Division III team this season and the most since the Boxers rolled up 62 points against Puget Sound in Tacoma, Wash., on Oct. 6, 2012.
LONGEST ROAD TRIP: Pacific's road trip to Adrian was the longest road trip in team history. The Boxers traveled 2,367 miles to play in Adrian, Mich., making this the longest trip in program history in either era. Prior to the trip, Pacific had never traveled out of a five-state area on the West Coast, including Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana and California, and the Canadian province of British Columbia. Prior to that game, Pacific's longest road trip was in 2011 to Claremont, Calif., to play at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, covering a distance of 994 miles.
SEASON HONORS: Pacific's honor roll of weekly honors for the 2013 season include the following:
Bryan Mills: NWC Defensive Student-Athlete of the Week for week of Oct. 7-13. Mills had four tackles and two interceptions (both eventually resulted in Pacific touchdowns) in the Boxers' 56-14 Homecoming win over Puget Sound on Oct. 12.
Moses Villareal-Gomez: NWC Special Teams Student-Athlete of the Week for week of Oct. 7-13. Villareal-Gomez tied his own school single game record by going 8 for 8 on point-after attempts in the Boxers' 56-14 win over Puget Sound on Oct. 12.
Jordan Fukumoto: NWC Offensive Student-Athlete of the Week and selected to the D3Football.com Team of the Week for the week of Sept. 9-15. Fukumoto finished with 197 receiving yards on seven catches and had three touchdowns in the Boxers' 67-30 home win over Occidental on Sept. 14.
Craig Bailey: NWC Defensive Student-Athlete of the Week and D3Football.com Team for the Week for week of Sept. 2-8. The cornerback finished with two interceptions, both of which set up Pacific touchdowns, in Pacific's 20-10 win ar Adrian on Sept. 6. Bailey also had three tackles in the game.
Aaron Koford: D3Football.com Team of the Week for the week of Sept. 2-8. Koford averaged 31.5 yards per punt on six punts in the Boxers' 20-10 win at Adrian on Sept. 6. Five of his punts landed inside the 20-yard line and two of his punts pinned the Bulldogs at their own two-yard line.
SEASON PREVIEW: The complete 2013 Pacific football season preview can be read online at http://bit.ly/14i8Dv2.
PACIFIC ONE-LINERS (AND SOMETIMES TWO...)
• Head Coach Keith Buckley and Menlo Head Coach Mark Grieb played on the same UC Davis team and both coached for their former head coach, Bob Biggs, on the UC Davis staff. The two met as head coaches for the first time on Sept. 21.
• The Sept. 26 Big Sky Conference match-up at JELD-WEN Field between Portland State and Cal Poly featured two former Pacific coaches. Cal Poly wide receivers coach Jim Craft was Pacific's offensive coordinator while Portland State tight ends coach Matt Leunen was tight ends coach at Pacific in 2010.
• Sophomore offensive lineman Riley Rankin is the nephew of former Dallas Cowboys' standout Don Meredith.
• Junior Jordan Fukumoto's brother, Jayson Fukumoto, played for Pacific in 2010 and is now in special forces in the U.S. Army.
• California is the most represented state on the Pacific roster with 47 players hailing from the Golden State. Oregon has the second most at 39 with Hawaii third at 33.
• Defensive lineman Eddie Carrillo is serving this year as president of Pacific's Student-Athlet Advisory Committee.
• Pacific's victory over Whitworth on Oct. 5 was their first over the Pirates since 1978 (the Pirates had won the last six meetings).
GAMES ONCE AGAIN TO AIR ON KUIK, ONLINE: For the fourth consecutive year, Pacific football fans will have the chance to follow the Boxers both on the air in the Portland and worldwide on their computer or mobile device. KUIK 1360 AM will once again be the on-air home in Washington County, airing all 10 Pacific football contests. In addition, all 10 games (home and away) will be available via a free audio webcast that can be accessed at GoBoxers.com. For the fourth consecutive year, all five home games will be made available via a live video webcast. Games can be viewed for $12.95 each or a "season ticket" for all five games is available for $39.95.
Matt Richert returns for his fourth 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 and spent the summer as the No. 2 voice for the Hillsboro Hops professional baseball team, working alongside former Pacific men's basketball voice Rich Burk. Scott Hermo will provide the color analysis. Hermo has worked as a color commentator and sports host for KUIK since 1994.
BOXERS PICKED FIFTH IN NWC PRESEASON POLL: Pacific has been picked to repeat their fifth place finish according to the annual Northwest Conference coach's preseason poll released in August. The Boxers received 19 of a possible 42 points, falling at the end of a tightly picked group in the middle of the conference race. Willamette was picked third at 24 points while Whitworth was picked fourth with 20 points, one point ahead of Pacific. Linfield was selected to win their fifth straight NWC title, securing 40 points and five first place votes. Pacific Lutheran was picked second with 34 points and also received two first place votes.