/seasons/2018/contrib/20180901mvirzg

Pirates Shut Down La Verne in Opener

SPOKANE, Wash. – Whitworth University opened the 2018 football season with a 38-2 victory over visiting University of La Verne on a sunny Saturday at the Whitworth Pine Bowl.

The Pirates (1-0) kept the Leopards (0-1) out of the endzone for the second straight season, following a 53-0 win last year.  Whitworth outgained ULV 459-255, holding the visitors to only 3.1 yards per play.

Leif Ericksen completed 16 of 25 passes for 239 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions in his second career start at quarterback.  Back up QB Connor Johnson broke free for a 76 yard touchdown in the fourth quarter and ended up leading the Pirates in rushing with 93 yards on three carries.

Whitworth ran the ball 35 times and picked up 213 yards, an average of 6.1 yards per carry.  Mason Elms did the bulk of the work, gaining 63 yards on 10 attempts with two touchdowns. 

The Pirates scored on their second possession of the game, going 55 yards in eight plays.  Elms carried in from four yards out to get the Bucs on the board.

Ericksen hit a streaking Garrett McKay up the right sideline for a 37-yard score on the next Whitworth possession, increasing the lead to 14-0.  Ericksen then avoided a heavy rush, scrambled away from several defenders and passed to Nick McGill in the center of the endzone to cap an 80-yard drive halfway through the second quarter.  Kevin Ramsey's PAT made it 21-0.

The Leopards scored their only points of the game when Austin Brown sacked Ericksen in the endzone for a safety with 4:11 to play in the first half.  After the ensuing free kick, a personal foul and a 32-yard run by James Gonsalves gave La Verne a first down at the Whitworth 16 yard line.  But on fourth and two at the Whitworth eight-yard line, QB Josh Evans was hit in the backfield and dropped for a loss by Jack McLeod with only 27 seconds left in the half.

Earlier in the second quarter, Tyler Adamson – normally Whitworth's starting left tackle on offense – blocked Diego Garcia's 31-yard field goal attempt.

The Pirate defense then held the Leopards to only 100 yards of total offense and four first downs in the second half of play.  ULV only had 44 yards in the third quarter.

Ramsey increased Whitworth's lead to 24-2 with a 22-yard field goal with 5:33 left in the third quarter.  Elms then scored from six yards out one possession later for a 31-2 lead after three periods.

With the bench playing the entire fourth quarter, the Pirates appeared content to just run out the clock.  But Johnson rolled right, broke several tackles at the line of scrimmage, and outraced the defense for his 76-yard touchdown run with 8:15 to play for the final margin of victory.

McKay led Whitworth's receivers with six catches for 74 yards.  McGill caught three balls for 52 yards.

Evans completed 11 of 25 passes for 96 yards for La Verne.  He was intercepted twice, once by Colten Chelin and once by Shai Pulawa.  Gonsalves ran 18 times for 64 yards to lead the Leopards on the ground.  Nathaniel Sagastume caught five passes for 95 yards.

Jaylen Gonzales led Whitworth's defense with 11 tackles and he forced a fumble in his first career start at middle linebacker.  Kale Wong had ten stops.  The Pirate defense made 17 tackles for loss in the game, including three sacks.

Brown, Andrew Camargo and Conner Johnson were among several La Verne defenders with five stops each.  Camargo recovered a fumble, which was forced by Johnson.

Whitworth will return to action in two weeks (Sept. 15), hosting Chapman University in the Pine Bowl at 1:00 pm.

Sep. 19: All times Eastern
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Manchester 52, at Defiance 21
@ Defiance, Ohio
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Sep. 20: All times Eastern
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at Johns Hopkins 41, Moravian 0
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at St. Lawrence 32, Morrisville State 22
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MIT 13, at Becker 6
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Sep. 21: All times Eastern
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Alfred State 27, at Rochester 21
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Brockport 55, at Buffalo State 22
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DePauw 21, at Kenyon 7
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Massachusetts Maritime 42, at Maine Maritime 21
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Salve Regina 62, at Dean 35
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at Hobart 20, Rowan 17
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at St. John Fisher 40, TCNJ 16
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Juniata 44, at Ursinus 38
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at Framingham State 48, Westfield State 21
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Wesley 20, at Endicott 17
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Amherst 24, at Colby 10
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at Methodist 30, Catholic 14
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Middlebury 28, at Bates 0
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at Merchant Marine 45, SUNY-Maritime 0
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at Trinity (Conn.) 61, Bowdoin 7
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at Union 27, Springfield 17
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at Apprentice 49, Gallaudet 13
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Hanover 31, at Maryville (Tenn.) 10
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at Trine 21, Concordia (Wis.) 16
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at Westminster (Pa.) 42, St. Vincent 14
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Wesleyan 28, at Hamilton 10
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at Hope 34, Aurora 32
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at Carnegie Mellon 20, Washington and Jefferson 13
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at Washington and Lee 52, Guilford 14
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WPI 31, at Husson 12
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at Albion 56, Eureka 41
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Averett 35, at Ferrum 12
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at Southern Virginia 29, Hampden-Sydney 17
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at Randolph-Macon 20, Emory and Henry 17
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at Franklin and Marshall 34, McDaniel 17
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at Plymouth State 34, Worcester State 9
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at Ithaca 27, Alfred 9
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Final - 2OT
Wilkes 24, at Lycoming 17
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at Ohio Wesleyan 55, Oberlin 3
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at Muhlenberg 24, Susquehanna 17
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Wabash 48, at Allegheny 35
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at Delaware Valley 28, Stevenson 21
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at Widener 48, FDU-Florham 10
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at Lebanon Valley 31, Alvernia 12
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Dickinson 56, at Gettysburg 20
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Lakeland 28, at Kalamazoo 7
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Concordia-Chicago 23, at Finlandia 12
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Greenville 42, at Northwestern (Minn.) 14
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at UW-Oshkosh 44, Huntingdon 14
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MacMurray 38, at Minnesota-Morris 14
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at Carthage 36, Carroll 7
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Westminster (Mo.) 35, at Iowa Wesleyan 7
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at Williams 44, Tufts 8
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at Mount Union 45, Baldwin Wallace 7
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Franklin 34, at Bluffton 19
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at Mount St. Joseph 34, Anderson 7
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Bethany 41, at Waynesburg 17
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John Carroll 14, at Otterbein 7
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Nichols 37, at Anna Maria 20
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at Norwich 17, Coast Guard 14
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at Wilmington 42, Ohio Northern 38
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at Alma 51, Rockford 16
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at UW-Platteville 41, Thomas More 10
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at St. Olaf 36, Carleton 19
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at St. John's 33, Gustavus Adolphus 21
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at Concordia-Moorhead 48, Augsburg 0
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Nebraska Wesleyan 37, at Buena Vista 16
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Hardin-Simmons 63, at Howard Payne 20
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at Austin 20, Centre 13
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Wartburg 62, at Luther 10
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Millikin 41, at North Park 7
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UW-Whitewater 28, at St. Xavier 20
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at Lewis and Clark 44, Whittier 41
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St. Thomas 74, at Hamline 14
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King's 41, at Hartwick 19
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at University of New England 31, Castleton 21
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at Olivet 21, Benedictine 6
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Final - 2OT
at Adrian 32, Wisconsin Lutheran 29
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Sul Ross State 21, at McMurry 7
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at Dickinson St. 23, UW-La Crosse 17
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at Waldorf 27, UW-River Falls 24
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at Willamette 34, Occidental 31
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Western Connecticut 42, at Bridgewater State 33
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at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 24, Pacific Lutheran 17
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at Puget Sound 28, La Verne 24
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at Mass-Dartmouth 37, Fitchburg State 13
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at Wittenberg 14, Wooster 12
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at Dakota St. 38, UW-Stevens Point 21
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at RPI 35, Utica 33
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at Stetson 59, Western New England 28
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North Central (Ill.) 46, at Washington U. 13
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at Marietta 31, Muskingum 25
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at Denison 66, Hiram 7
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Bridgewater 35, at Shenandoah 17
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at Brevard 27, Christopher Newport 6
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at Heidelberg 55, Capital 6
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at Case Western Reserve 52, Grove City 14
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at Geneva 45, Thiel 10
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Coe 24, at Loras 7
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at Augustana 55, Elmhurst 13
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at St. Scholastica 35, Crown 32
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Berry 14, at Trinity (Texas) 10
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Simpson 21, at Dubuque 14
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Birmingham-Southern 49, at Sewanee 30
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Texas Lutheran 31, at East Texas Baptist 21
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at Wheaton (Ill.) 24, Illinois Wesleyan 10
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at Southwestern 50, Louisiana College 3
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at Mary Hardin-Baylor 23, Belhaven 13
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at Millsaps 14, Rhodes 0
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at George Fox 26, Pomona-Pitzer 15
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at Redlands 27, Linfield 19
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at Chapman 37, Whitworth 30
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at Cal Lutheran 45, Pacific 28
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Sep. 5: All times Eastern
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Johns Hopkins 17, at Randolph-Macon 12
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Sep. 6: All times Eastern
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Salisbury 63, at Albright 28
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Delaware Valley 37, at Kean 7
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Sep. 7: All times Eastern
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North Central (Ill.) 43, at Christopher Newport 13
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Wesley 69, at Franklin Pierce 0
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at Muhlenberg 45, TCNJ 26
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Ithaca 66, at St. Vincent 28
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at Susquehanna 42, Lycoming 26
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at Washington and Jefferson 16, Wittenberg 8
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at John Carroll 21, UW-Stevens Point 7
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Centre 45, at Hanover 31
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Berry 31, at Maryville (Tenn.) 10
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at Bethel 42, Simpson 10
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Wheaton (Ill.) 38, at Monmouth 0
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St. John's 14, at UW-Stout 7
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Final - OT
at UW-La Crosse 21, Concordia-Moorhead 14
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Whitworth 50, at La Verne 24
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at St. Thomas 69, Trinity International 3
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at UW-Whitewater 42, Dubuque 7
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Mount Union 66, at Rose-Hulman 14
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Hardin-Simmons 64, at Sul Ross State 0
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Washington U. 43, at Chicago 7
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