Linfield Hands Whitworth First Loss of Season - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Linfield Hands Whitworth First Loss of Season

Whitworth suffered its first loss of the season, losing 52-10 on the road at Linfield. Whitworth suffered its first loss of the season, losing 52-10 on the road at Linfield.

by Whitworth Athletics

McMINNVILLE, Ore. – Second-ranked Linfield methodically and systematically ended Whitworth’s unbeaten record with a 52-10 Northwest Conference football victory over the 25th-ranked Pirates on Saturday afternoon at Maxwell Field.

The Wildcats improved to 6-0 overall and 4-0 in the NWC while Whitworth dropped to 6-1, 3-1.

Linfield rolled up 587 yards of total offense and held the Pirates to only 133 total yards, including -10 yards rushing thanks mostly to eight Wildcat sacks. Linfield averaged 8.2 yards per play, while the Bucs averaged only 2.0 yards per play.  Whitworth’s defense came into the game ranked second in NCAA Division III with 33 sacks, but did not get one against Linfield.

Whitworth got on the board first, taking the opening possession of the game 45 yards before Rehn Reiley drilled a 47-yard field goal. The biggest play of the drive was also the Bucs’ longest play of the game, a 31-yard pass completion from Ian Kolste to Duke DeGaetano.

Linfield got on the board late in the first quarter when QB Sam Riddle ran in from seven yards out, completing a 52-yard drive that was set up by Kolste’s only interception of the game. That touchdown gave the Wildcats a lead they would not relinquish.

Linfield grabbed control of the game by outscoring Whitworth 21-0 in the second quarter to take a 28-3 lead into halftime.  First Riddle found running back Spencer Payne open over the middle for a 52-yard touchdown pass.  Then All-American defensive tackle Alex Hoff lined up as a tight end and caught a two-yard TD pass from Riddle.  Finally Riddle found Levi Altringer for a 10-yard touchdown pass that was set up by a blocked punt by Hoff.

Linfield outgained Whitworth 283-69 in the opening half and held the Pirates 0-8 on third down conversion attempts.

The Wildcats continued to pour it on in the second half, outscoring Whitworth 24-7.  Riddle threw two more touchdown passes in the third quarter to finish the game with five.  The first was a 22-yarder to Brian Balsinger, then another TD pass to Altringer from 30 yards away.

Whitworth scored its only touchdown of the game in the third quarter on DeGaetano’s three-yard touchdown run, his ninth rushing TD of the season.  It capped an 80-yard drive that took 16 plays.

Linfield’s final ten points came in the fourth quarter by the Wildcat backups.  Michael Metter converted a 29-yard field goal and back up QB Tom Knecht ran in from 19 yards out.

Kolste completed 21 of 33 passes for 140 yards.  But he was sacked seven times for 38 yards losses.  Michael McKeown caught six passes for 48 yards, while DeGaetano had five grabs for 49 yards.  DeGaetano finished with 17 yards rushing on 10 attempts.

Riddle was 12 of 21 for 233 yards with five touchdowns.  Both of Altringer’s catches were touchdowns.  Payne finished with 127 yards rushing and caught four passes for 93 yards.

Patch Kulp had six tackles and two pass breakups to lead the Whitworth defense.

The Pirates will return home to host Pacific (5-2 overall, 3-1 NWC) on Saturday in a game that could determine second place in the NWC standings.

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