Since football came back to Forest Grove in 2010, there have been a lot of occurrences, but on Saturday, there was a first – overtime. It was just the second time that Pacific has played in overtime since the return of football. The last time that the Boxers had played in overtime was in a 48-42 win at Lewis & Clark on November 1, 2014.
The Boxers (2-2, 1-0 NWC) overcame a double-digit deficit en route to a 19-13 win in overtime. Ironically the last time Pacific came back from a double digit deficit it was against the Bruins on November 7, 2015 as the Boxers rallied from a 13-point deficit in Forest Grove. Pacific senior quarterback J.T. Greenough completed 26 of 53 passes for 209 yards – 13 of the completions went to sophomore Ty Hargis. The 13 receptions by Hargis are the most receptions by a Pacific receiver since Kobe Williams had 14 against PLU on October 7, 2017.
It was not just the offense for Pacific as the Boxer defense racked up double digit tackles for loss for the second-straight game with 15 tackles for -59 yards. It is the first time since the return of football in 2010 that the Boxers have achieved this feat. Seniors Garrett Willmon and Tristan Smith each had four tackles for loss. Willmon was credited with two forced fumbles – it is the first time since Josh Brinkworth forced two fumbles against Linfield on November 10, 2012.
The Bruins (2-2, 0-1 NWC) had went ahead 13-3 with 3:34 left in the third quarter on a one-yard touchdown run by Wesley Riddell. George Fox began to march down the field on its next possession.
Then, George Fox running back Jaden Sheffey was greeted by Willmon, who found himself in the backfield and put his helmet on the ball to force a fumble. Alertly, safety Cole Thomas picked up the ball and raced in for the touchdown. The touchdown cut the Bruins' lead to 13-10 with 3:34 left to go in the third quarter.
Later in the game, Greenough organized a nine play, 49-yard drive for a game-tying field goal by Caden Almer. To set up the field goal, Greenough organized a two-minute drive, completing four of five passes – three of which went for first downs. After the Boxers got the ball down to the 10-yard line, Pacific called on Almer with :57 left to go to tie the game on a 26-yard field goal. The freshman made his second field goal of the game, tying the game at 13.
To begin the overtime period, the Boxers won the coin toss for the second time on the day. Pacific called on its defense to keep the Bruins off the scoreboard. And they delivered. Senior defensive lineman Bobby Ulrich and Smith forced an incomplete pass and bottled up the Bruins ball carrier. Then, on third down, sophomore defensive back Declan Brown broke up a pass to force a 42-yard field goal by the Bruins. Ulrich broke through on the field goal attempt, blocking the kick.
With the momentum on the Pacific side of the field, the connection between Greenough and Hargis moved the Boxers down the field. The first completion in the extra period between the two gave Pacific a first down. Facing a 3rd and 4, the duo connected for the game-winning touchdown from six yards out.
Pacific, who starts Northwest Conference play with a win for the first time since 2015, will be on the road for its next two games where they will face Pacific Lutheran on Saturday, Oct. 6 and Puget Sound on Saturday, Oct. 13. The contest against the Lutes will kickoff at 12:30 p.m.