Playing for Parker Moore

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McMINNVILLE, Ore. – On a Saturday afternoon when Maxwell Field was filled with 35s, it was appropriate that Linfield scored the game's first 35 points en route to a 55-24 win over Chapman in the first round of the NCAA Division III football playoffs.
The Wildcats (9-1) were playing seven days after the death of sophomore linebacker Parker Moore, and Moore's jersey number 35 could be spotted on t-shirts and sweatshirts throughout the crowd and on Linfield support staff on the Wildcat sideline. On an emotion-filled day, Linfield scored four touchdowns in the first quarter and added another late in the second before the Panthers (8-2) could get on the board.
With the win, Linfield advances to play the winner of Saturday's game between Mary Hardin-Baylor and Texas Lutheran. That game was delayed six hours by lightning and subsequently suspended with UMHB leading 14-10 in the second quarter. The NCAA announced the game will resume Sunday morning at 11 a.m. local time.

Reaching the second round of the playoffs for a sixth straight season, Linfield plays one of the two Texas schools next Saturday at a site to be finalized Sunday by the NCAA.
Chapman ended its season with its first-ever NCAA Division III playoff appearance.
By the end of Saturday's opening quarter, the Wildcats had outgained the Panthers 139-34. Chapman's first three possessions were three-and-outs and by the time the Panthers earned their initial first down they trailed 21-0.
Linfield finished with a 506-348 edge in total yards, as the Wildcats passed for 279 yards and rushed for 227. Sophomore running back Spencer Payne rushed for 86 yards and a touchdown, junior running back Tavon Willis for 75 yards and sophomore quarterback Sam Riddle for 62 yards and a touchdown for Linfield.
Riddle completed 22 of 36 passes for 279 yards and four touchdowns. Senior wide receiver Charlie Poppen had 10 catches for 158 yards and two scores for the Wildcats, while senior wide receiver Evan Peterson added four catches for 50 yards and two touchdowns.
For Chapman, quarterback Michael Lahey ran for 60 yards and two TDs and running back Cody Chapple added 51 yards. Lahey was 14-for-28 passing for 206 yards and one score.
After Chapman's game-opening possession lost six yards, Linfield took over at the Panther 27-yard line. It took the Wildcats five plays to score, Riddle carrying over from the 1 for a 7-0 lead less than four minutes into the game. Payne rushed four times for 22 yards on the drive, including a 15-yard burst to the Panther 8.
Following another Panthers punt, the Wildcats drove 62 yards in eight plays, Payne scoring on a six-yard run for a 14-0 lead with 7:45 left in the first quarter. The drive included Riddle passes of 15 yards to Poppen and 12 yards to tight end Levi Altringer on a third-and-five play from the Panther 18.
Linfield forced another punt and the score came immediately, senior Jordan Giza returning it for 63 yards and a touchdown. Just under nine minutes into the game, Linfield led 21-0.
The Panthers picked up two first downs on their next possession, reaching the Linfield 49 before punting. The 'Cats took the ball at their own 27 and marched nine plays to the end zone with Poppen catching a four-yard fade on the right side on the final play of the first quarter for a 28-0 Linfield advantage.
Late in the second quarter, the Wildcats added a four-yard pass from Riddle to Peterson to make it 35-0. The six-play, 54-yard drive included a 14-yard run by Riddle and a 15-yard scamper by Payne.
Chapman got within 35-3 on Markus Trujillo's 34-yard field goal with 1:19 left in the half, wrapping up a six-play, 40-yard drive spurred by Chapple's 33-yard run to the Linfield 12.
The Wildcats were able to answer by halftime, getting a 29-yard field goal by Michael Metter as time expired. That quick 62-yard drive was keyed by Riddle's 14-yard scramble on a third-and-five from the Chapman 42.
Linfield widened its lead on the opening possession of the third quarter, going 75 yards in nine plays. Peterson's diving, toe-dragging catch at the left front corner of the end zone for a 26-yard touchdown made it 45-3.
Chapman responded with a pair of third-quarter touchdowns – runs of three and 28 yards by Lahey – to get within 45-17. But Linfield put the game out of reach for good early in the fourth quarter, Payne rushing for 14 yards to the Panthers 1 before fumbling but Poppen fell on the ball in the end zone to put Linfield up 52-17.
The Panthers managed a 38-yard scoring pass from Lahey to running back Kean Stancil midway through the period to narrow the gap to 52-24. Linfield closed the scoring on Metter's 40-yard field goal with 2:48 remaining.

Dec. 14: All times Eastern
at Mary Hardin-Baylor 24, Mount Union 16
@ Woodforest Bank Stadium; Shenandoah, Texas
Box Score Recap Photos
Dec. 8: All times Eastern
at Mary Hardin-Baylor 31, UW-Whitewater 14
Box Score Recap Photos
at Mount Union 28, Johns Hopkins 20
Video Box Score Recap Photos
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