Oaks overcome three turnovers - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Oaks overcome three turnovers

SPOKANE, Wash. -- Payton Bell carried in from one yard out to score the winning touchdown with 6:29 to play to lift visiting Menlo College to a 14-10 win over Whitworth University in a Northwest Conference football game on Saturday afternoon at the Whitworth Pine Bowl.

The Oaks (3-4 overall, 2-1 NWC) used seven sacks to overcome three takeaways by the Pirates (3-5, 1-3) and come back from a 10-0 halftime deficit for their fist-ever win in Spokane.

Shawn Winters led the defensive effort for Menlo with nine tackles and three of the sacks totaling 20 yards in losses. The Oaks held Whitworth to only 56 yards of total offense after halftime.

Neither team scored in the first quarter despite drives into opponent territory. Whitworth's first drive ended on downs at the Menlo 25 yard line. Then Kyle Duncan intercepted Oak QB Cruz Castillo at the Whitworth 27 to kill a Menlo scoring threat.

Derek Stottlemyer picked off Castillo at the Whitworth 25 yard line and returned the ball 50 yards to the Oaks' 25 midway through the second quarter. Six plays later Taylor Eglet passed three yards to Kyle Scroggins for a 7-0 Whitworth lead.

Whitworth then went 64 yards in 4:35 to end the first half with a 36 yard field goal by Andy Largent with 10 seconds to play in the half.

But Menlo got the start it wanted in the second half, forcing Whitworth to go three-and-out and then driving 73 yards in 12 plays for its first touchdown. Castillo scrambled away from trouble to find a wide-open Erik Rasmussen in the endzone for a 16-yard scoring pass.

Early in the fourth quarter Stottlemyer intercepted Castillo again, this time at Menlo's 27 yard line, giving the Pirates a chance to pick up some important insurance points. But the Oaks' defense held firm and Largent could not convert a 39 yard attempt.

After an exchange of punts by both teams, Menlo took over on its own 22 yard line and proceded to go 78 yards in only six plays. A 28-yard completion from Castillo to Lance Walkup set up Bell's game-winning TD carry at the one yard line.

Whitworth tried to mount its own come-from-behind drive, but Nolon Doss intercepted Eglet at the Menlo 39 yard line and returned the ball deep into Whitworth territory. The Oaks got to second and goal at the Pirate one yard line, but the Whitworth defense held on three straight runs, giving Whitworth a glimmer of hope with 1:27 to play.

After one first down, an 18-yard completion from Eglet to Brian Brady was called back by an ineligible receiver penalty. On the next play Eglet was sacked by Winters for the third time in the game, moving Whitworth back to the two-yard line. The Bucs could not gain the 24 yards they needed to complete a first down and gave the ball back to Menlo with 10 seconds to play.

Menlo outgained Whitworth 281-220, including a 181-56 edge in the second half. Whitworth only had four first downs after halftime.

Castillo was 10 of 20 for 151 yards with three interceptions and one touchdown. Walkup caught three of the passes for 51 yards. Bell finished with 76 yards on 19 attempts.

Whitworth's running game struggled against the Oaks, gaining only 48 yards on 35 carries. Milton Nelson ran 14 times for 35 yards.

Eglet completed 20 of 35 passes for 172 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Scroggins finished with four catches for 51 yards and a score, while Eric Entel had five grabs for 35 yards.

Layton Brown led the Whitworth defense with 11 tackles, while Jeff Erlenmeyer was in on nine stops with 1.5 for losses of eight yards.

Whitworth will play its final home game of the season next Saturday when the Pirates host Pacific Lutheran University at 1:00 p.m.

Steve Flegel
Whitworth University
Sports Information Director

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