Time of Poss.
FOREST GROVE, Ore. – Wyatt Smith passed for 303 yards and four touchdowns and Artie Johnson ran for a career-high 98 yards and two scores to spur the Linfield Wildcats to a resounding 52-14 Northwest Conference victory over the Pacific Boxers Saturday afternoon at Hanson Stadium.
The 25th-ranked Wildcats (2-1, 1-0 NWC) rebounded from their first loss of the season two weeks ago, piling up 529 yards on the winless Boxers (0-4, 0-1 NWC).
Smith completed 24 of 35 passes without an interception. Keegan Weiss caught eight of Smith's passes for 97 yards and three TDs. Eight receivers caught passes for Linfield, including four grabs by Colton Smith, and three each by Johnson, Connor McNabb, Keaton Wood and Tyler Torgerson.
Led by Johnson's 98 yards, the 'Cats finished with a season-best 186 yards.
The Linfield defense confined Pacific to 238 yards. Josh Harris, the NWC's leading rusher coming into the game, was held to 66 yards on the ground on 16 carries. Travis Swanson led the way with seven tackles, including a sack and another tackle for loss. Tyler Bergeron and Keyell Davis were credited with six tackles each.
Linfield bolted to a 24-0 advantage in the game's opening 15 minutes. Weiss capped the Wildcats' opening march with a 13-yard touchdown grab. That capped an efficient seven-play, 78-yard effort.
Linfield cashed in more points following an interception by Davis that gave the Wildcats the ball at the Pacific 31-yard line. Johnson made it 14-0 eight plays later, weaving his way for a nine-yard TD with 9:03 left in the first quarter.
Andrew Starkel padded the Wildcats' advantage, booting a 36-yard field goal four minutes later to push the score to 17-0.
Weiss pulled in his second TD of the afternoon from Smith near the 10-minute mark of the second quarter. Starkel's extra point gave the 'Cats their largest lead of the season.
Pacific got on the scoreboard with 4:20 left before intermission. Kobe Williams pulled in a seven-yard TD catch from Kenyon Harris to make it 24-7. Linfield pushed the spread back to 24 points after Johnson slithered for a three-yard scoring run with 37 seconds left in the half. That capped a seven-play drive.
Linfield outscored Pacific 21-7 over the final two quarters. Weiss and Tyler Torgerson both caught TD passes from Smith, and McNabb scored his first collegiate touchdown with less than a minute to play on a three-yard run.
Saturday's attendance was 2,471…Linfield was a perfect 8-of-8 inside the red zone…the Wildcats were 9 for 14 on third-down conversions…Linfield scored points on four of its first five possessions…backup quarterback Clark Hazlett went 3 for 4 passing for 40 yards in relief of Smith…the victory was Linfield's 12th straight over Pacific.
Linfield plays its first home game of the season on Saturday when the 'Cats welcome the Puget Sound Loggers to Maxwell Field. Kickoff is set for 1:30 p.m. As part of the annual Homecoming festivities, all football alumni are asked to gather at the north end of the running track at 1 p.m. in preparation for the Walk of Honor introductions.