Whitworth Takes NWC Opener Over George Fox - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Whitworth Takes NWC Opener Over George Fox

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Whitworth built a 27-0 halftime lead and cruised to a 37-14 win over visiting George Fox on Saturday in the Pine Bowl in the Northwest Conference opener for both schools. Whitworth built a 27-0 halftime lead and cruised to a 37-14 win over visiting George Fox on Saturday in the Pine Bowl in the Northwest Conference opener for both schools.

whitworthpirates.com

SPOKANE, Wash. – Whitworth built a 27-0 halftime lead and cruised to a 37-14 win over visiting George Fox on Saturday in the Pine Bowl in the Northwest Conference opener for both schools.

The Pirates celebrated Homecoming by improving to 4-0 with its second victory over the Bruins (2-2) in as many seasons.

Mike McKeown caught 12 passes for 174 yards and a touchdown to lead the Whitworth offense, while Justin Maxwell and Dalin McDonnell led the Pirate defense with eight tackles each.  Maxwell had two tackles for losses of 11 yards while McDonnell had his third interception in the last two games and a six-yard sack that forced a fumble.

Whitworth jumped out to a quick 14-0 lead.  The Pirates scored on their opening possession, taking the ball 61 yards in seven plays before running back Duke DeGaetano scored from the one yard line.  Then De' Hall intercepted George Fox QB Grant Schroeder on the second Bruin play of the game at the GFU 42 yard line.  Three plays later Ian Kolste hit Nick Kiourkas with a 31-yard touchdown pass.  After the first PAT hit the upright, Jonah Koski carried in a two-point conversion on the second score.

Another Bruin turnover – the fumble forced by McDonnell and recovered by Daniel Portillo - set up Rehn Reiley's 51-yard field goal that extended the advantage to 17-0 midway through the first quarter.

The Pirates scored on the first play of the second quarter when WR Kevin Thomas took a lateral and hit a wide-open McKeown for a 65-yard touchdown pass.

Whitworth's final points of the first half came on another long Reiley field goal, this time from 46 yards out that capped an 11-play, 61-yard drive with six minutes to play in the opening half. 

George Fox did not threaten the Pirate endzone in the opening 30 minutes, never advancing further than the Whitworth 47-yard line.  The Bucs outgained George Fox 321-97 in the first half.  Kolste was 22 of 30 for 219 yards and a touchdown while Schroeder was 6-14 for 58 yards with an interception.

After the Bruins were held three-and-out on their opening possession of the third quarter, Whitworth used a short drive to set up Reiley's third field goal of the game.  His 26-yarder extended the Pirate lead to 30-0.

George Fox then had its first extended drive of the afternoon, going 75 yards on 13 plays and converting four third downs, three of which were nine yards or longer.  John Shaffer carried in from 15 yards away for the score that cut the margin to 30-7.

The Bruins were driving again on their next possession, getting to the Whitworth 22-yard line.  But McDonnell picked off Schroeder at the Pirate 14 and returned it to the 25 to end the threat.

Whitworth used up almost five minutes on a 65-yard drive in the fourth quarter that ended with DeGaetano's five-yard scoring run.  DeGaetano has five touchdowns over the last two games. 

Bruin backups Joe Mohr and Kenny May connected on a 36-yard scoring pass with 3:27 to play to close out the scoring.  The Bruins went 52 yards on their final drive.

Whitworth finished with a 513-270 edge in total offense, including a 427-139 advantage in passing yardage.  The Pirates had 24 first downs to 18 for GFU. 

Defensively Whitworth finished the game with six sacks for 27 yards, while GFU sacked Whitworth QBs twice.  The Pirates had a 3-1 edge in turnovers.

Kolste completed 36 of 51 passes for 362 yards with one touchdown and one interception.  In addition to McKeown's big day, Garrett McKay had eight catches for 58 yards and Kiourkas finished with five grabs for 104 yards.  DeGaetano had 25 carries for 81 yards. 

For GFU Schroeder finished the game 10 of 30 for 99 yards with two interceptions.  Mohr was 2-3 for 40 yards and a touchdown.  Trevor Daniels caught four passes for 28 yards.  Shaffer finished the game with 80 yards rushing on 21 attempts.

Whitworth returns to action next Saturday at Puget Sound, while George Fox hosts Lewis & Clark.

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