LOGGERS ERASE 20-POINT DEFICIT TO IMPROVE TO 4-1 ON SEASON
A game between the Northwest Conference’s top two offenses was decided by the Puget Sound defense. The Loggers forced six turnovers to erase a 20-point deficit and stun Lewis & Clark, 34-22, in Portland on Saturday, Oct. 6.
Matt Ahnin had two interceptions and a fumble recovery, Brody Pearman picked off a pass, and Zackary Teats intercepted two passes, including a huge pick-six, during Puget Sound’s remarkable comeback victory.
The Loggers improved their overall record to 4-1 for the first time since the 2000 season.
Entering Saturday’s game, the Pioneers (2-2, 1-1 NWC) ranked second in the NWC for both total offense and points per game. Puget Sound (4-1, 2-0 NWC) ranked first in both categories, but it was all Lewis & Clark at the start of Saturday’s contest as the Pioneers claimed a 20-0 lead early in the second quarter.
Pearman’s interception at the Lewis & Clark 44-yard line gave Puget Sound a short field midway through the second quarter. The Loggers capitalized when Murdock Rutledge completed a 21-yard touchdown pass to AJ Johnson.
The Pioneers’ next possession ended with a punt, and Puget Sound needed just one play to reach the end zone again. Rutledge hit Johnson for a 48-yard strike to cut the deficit to 20-14, and the score remained true heading into halftime.
After exchanging punts to start the third quarter, Teats intercepted the Pioneers and returned it 36 yards for the touchdown, giving the Loggers’ their first lead of the game, 21-20.
A special teams miscue by the Loggers led to a safety that gave the Pioneers a brief 22-21 lead, but those two points were the only points Lewis & Clark could muster in the entire second half.
The Loggers got the lead back early in the fourth quarter when Rutledge hit Collin Heimbach for an 11-yard touchdown. Later in the quarter, it was Heimbach throwing the ball, as the wide receiver completed a 20-yard touchdown pass to Marcus McGuinn.
Johnson led the Loggers in receiving with 114 yards on seven receptions. Heimbach finished with 60 receiving yards on six receptions.
The running back duo of Duncan Varela and Vance Wood had its best game of the season. Varela ran for 60 yards on 13 carries, and Wood amassed 59 yards on seven carries. Combined, Varela and Wood averaged 5.95 yards per carry.
In addition to the secondary, Todd Blakely was a monster in Puget Sound’s defensive efforts. He totaled three sacks and four tackles for a loss. Noah Cohen and Peter Ciari each recorded a sack for the Loggers.
Puget Sound returns home to Baker Stadium to host Pacific on Saturday, Oct. 13, for a 1 p.m. kickoff.
UPS WOMEN TOP CROSSTOWN RIVAL PLU AND THEN TIE LINFIELD
Lura Morton scored the game’s only goal in the 84th minute as the Puget Sound women’s soccer team beat Pacific Lutheran, 1-0, in Baker Stadium on Thursday, Oct. 4.
Gabbie Berg launched a long pass from midfield to a streaking Morton, and Morton beat her defender and the keeper for the game-winning goal. Morton leads Puget Sound (6-4-1, 5-1-1) in scoring this season with four goals.
Pacific Lutheran (6-3-2, 5-2-0) put 11 shots on goal, but Jamie Lange made each stop for her third shutout of the season.
The following Sunday, Puget Sound found itself evenly matched against Linfield for a 0-0 tie at Baker Stadium. The Loggers reached overtime for the sixth time this year, and they have a 2-2-2 record in extra periods.
Linfield (6-3-3, 3-2-3 NWC) put nine shots on goal during regulation, all which were saved by Jamie Lange. Lange finished with 11 saves in all, blanking the opposition for the fourth time in the last five games.
The Loggers (6-4-2, 5-1-2 NWC) totaled 14 shots through the 110 minutes, including six on goal.
In the last six minutes of the second overtime, Tayla MacPherson found Gabbie Berg up the middle of the field with a long pass. Berg took the opportunity to put a shot on goal, however, it was saved by the goalie.
MacPherson led the Loggers in shots on goal with three.
Puget Sound will travel to Walla Walla, on Saturday, Oct. 13, to take on Whitman (3-8-1, 2-5-0 NWC) at 12 p.m. The Loggers will return home on Saturday, Oct. 20, to host Willamette at 12 p.m.
LUTES GET BACK TO .500 WITH HOME WIN OVER PACIFIC
The Pacific Lutheran University football team erased an 11-point deficit on Saturday, Oct. 6, rallying for a 30-23 victory over Northwest Conference rival Pacific University to remain undefeated at Sparks Stadium.
“I’m extremely proud of our guys for elevating our resilience in another tough game,” said PLU head coach Brant McAdams. “The guys were locked in and we did a better job of stepping up when opportunity knocked.”
The Lutes (2-2, 1-1 NWC) opened the up the scoring, recovering a Boxer fumble and marching 62 yards down the field with Ethan McElderry capping off the drive with a 25-yard touchdown run. A special teams gamble set up the eventual McElderry touchdown run with Anthony Louthan rushing 31 yards on a fake punt on fourth and four.
Pacific (2-3, 1-1 NWC) countered in the second quarter, hitting a 30-yard field goal early in the quarter before scoring two touchdowns in a 68-second stretch to build a 17-6 advantage.
Pacific Lutheran closed the gap just before halftime with backup quarterback Nolan Hoover hitting Alex Rendon for a seven yard touchdown, capping off an eight-play, 75-yard drive. Louthan again proved a key component of the drive, hauling in a 41-yard reception to put the Lutes in the red zone.
PLU reclaimed the lead early in the second half with Hajriz Aliu picking off a pass and running it back to stake a 20-17 lead. TJ Morris ran from five yards out to mushroom the Lute lead to 27-17 before a Boxer touchdown early in the fourth quarter closed the gap to 27-23.
The Lutes used another big special teams play to extend their drive late in the fourth quarter with Hoover scampering six yards on a fake field goal to keep the drive alive. Alex Brost eventually hit a 21-yarder as the Lutes took over seven minutes off the clock, leaving Pacific with just over a minute left to work with. PLU’s defense held strong down the stretch as the Lutes held on to remain undefeated at home.
“Tip of the hat to coach Judd Keim and our special teams preparation,” McAdams said. “Excellent scouting which makes it easier on me to make the call to fake. Props to our special teams units for converting when their number was called.”
Hoover finished with 148 yards passing and a touchdown with Wesley Nixon catching seven balls for 105 yards. Louthan led the ground game with 63 yards rushing while defensively Hunter Briggs had 10 tackles and Matt Anthony had nine, including two tackles for loss.
“Win, lose, or draw, we head back to the meeting room and practice field to lock in on how to improve,” McAdams said.
The Lutes return home to host Willamette on Saturday, Oct. 20, at Sparks Stadium in Puyallup.
FIERCE COMEBACK NETS PLU MEN VICTORY OVER RIVAL LOGGERS
The Pacific Lutheran University men’s soccer team scored three goals in 15 minutes, erasing a two-goal deficit and emerging from Baker Stadium with a 4-3 victory over host University of Puget Sound in the Battle of the South Sound on Friday, Oct. 5.
The Lutes (9-4, 5-2 Northwest Conference) got off to a rocky start with the Loggers (4-5-2, 2-3-2 NWC) scoring a goal just 34 seconds into the game and adding another in the fourth minute. Ola Kvindesland got the Lutes on the board in the 22nd minute but homestanding Puget Sound quickly countered with a score in the 27th minute and took a 3-1 advantage into the halftime intermission.
Holton Halfaker got things rolling for the Lutes in the second half, scoring in the 52nd minute off an assist from Matt Koczan before Joe Sammartino provided the equalizer just three minutes later on a penalty kick. Mason Joe closed out PLU’s second half scoring binge, netting the eventual game-winner in the 67th minute off a feed from Ryan Griffith for his first collegiate goal.
“UPS is a very hard place to win at and UPS is a strong disciplined team,” said head coach John Yorke. “Being down 2-0 three minutes into it was not an ideal situation but I was really proud of our guys for just staying focused and playing the game one moment at a time. We had a really good second half led by our senior class stepping up and not letting us lose.”
RJ Noll and Cole Weaver combined for six saves on the day with Weaver tending goal in the second half and collecting the win for the Lutes, while their counterpart, Wren Norwood, stopped five shots and yielded four goals.
It was a fairly even game statistically with Puget Sound holding a slim 14-13 edge in shots while both teams ripping off nine on goal.
“We’re pretty excited to go back to Parkland after this game with the second half of the season still in front of us and still in the mix for the conference title,” Yorke said.
PLU’s men return hom on Saturday, Oct. 20, to host Whitworth at 2:30 p.m.
LUTES CONTINUE TO MOVE UP IN VOLLEYBALL RANKINGS
The 14th-ranked Pacific Lutheran University volleyball squad made quick work of Lewis & Clark College on Saturday, Oct. 6, rolling the Pioneers 3-0 (25-18, 25-14, 25-13) inside Olson Gymnasium.
The opening set was deadlocked at 15 before the defending Northwest Conference Champion Lutes (14-2, 7-1 NWC) took control, scoring 10 of the final 13 points, including the last three to secure the 25-18 set win. PLU scored the first four points and led wire-to-wire in the second set, securing the 25-14 win before doing the same in the third to secure the three-set sweep. The Lutes tallied the opening four points and nine of the first 10 in the 25-13 third set win.
Chloe Epker led the charge against the Pioneers (9-6, 2-6 NWC), finishing with eight kills while Mackenzie Harris had seven kills and six blocks. Ava Nelson finished with 13 assists while Isabella Zubrod had 11 assists and 13 digs. Caylie Shiramizu tallied a team-high 15 digs as the Lutes remained undefeated inside Olson Gymnasium this season.
“It was a great team win and it was awesome to see everyone make a contribution,” said PLU head coach Kevin Aoki.
PLU returns home to host Willamette on Saturday, Oct. 20, at 5 p.m.