UPDATED: Sun., March 29, 2020
Like those on college campuses across the country, the Whitworth fields and courts are all but empty these days.
Whitworth will host thClaremont-Mudd-Scripps at noon Saturday, its first playoff home game since 2006.
The Whitworth Pirates put an exclamation point on their undefeated regular season Saturday.
Coach Rod Sandberg told his Whitworth Pirates football team this week that their season is half over.
On an afternoon when he wasn’t great, Whitworth quarterback Leif Ericksen made the throws he had to. And when he had to, he looked for Garrett McKay.
The 12th-ranked Whitworth football team will take the field at the Pine Bowl on Saturday in need of one more win to claim the Northwest Conference championship and a spot in the playoffs.
All that stands between Whitworth (7-0) and a playoff appearance is a win against either of the bottom two teams in the NWC standings: Lewis & Clark on Saturday, or Willamette the week after. One win clinches one of the 26 automatic playoff bids awarded to conference champions.
After striking early and often the last three games, the Whitworth offense didn’t look like itself early on against Pacific on Saturday.
Two-thirds through their nine-game schedule, the 14th-ranked Whitworth Pirates enter Saturday’s home game against Pacific in position to all but clinch the Northwest Conference title.
At Glacier High School in Kalispell, Leif Ericksen didn’t start at quarterback until his senior year. At Whitworth, he waited two seasons behind record-setter Ian Kolste. Even his academic pursuit – pre-med – suggests he has a long way to go before he’s done with school.
Leif Ericksen threw for three touchdown passes and Mason Elms rushed for 167 yards and two scores Saturday, powering the Whitworth Pirates’ 47-13 Northwest Conference football victory over Puget Sound (4-3, 3-1) at Baker Stadium.
In its quest to secure the guaranteed playoff bid tied to the Northwest Conference title, the Whitworth football team can take a big step Saturday.
Whitworth (5-0, 3-0 NWC) scored six first-half touchdowns and held Pacific Lutheran without a first down until just before halftime, coasting from there to a 55-13 victory at the Pine Bowl.