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Many winter and spring athletes at Whitworth had their seasons cut short earlier this year due to the pandemic, but there was hope that come fall, a return to normalcy would be possible.
As Division I conferences have made moves toward a conference-only football season this fall, Division III programs like Whitworth face uncertainty of their own.
With his football team’s schedule seemingly set, Rod Sandberg fielded two unexpected phone calls two weeks ago that re-routed and expanded the Pirates’ 2020 season.
There’s a Kansas City Chiefs sideline jacket deep in Michael Allan’s closet, one he rarely wore in his 16 months with the organization.
Whitworth’s senior forward has steadily increased his scoring average since early January, when Lees scored 11 and 10 points in respective victories over PLU and UPS that opened conference play.
Backup quarterback Connor Johnson rushed for three touchdowns, and Whitworth closed the game with a 24-0 run to defeat Pacific 38-28 Saturday to conclude the regular season.
Under the rented lights for the last time this season at the Pine Bowl, the Whitworth football team wrapped up its final practice Thursday.
It was getting dark at the Pine Bowl as Linfield’s powerful offense orchestrated its final push, igniting a 38-31 overtime win over Whitworth.
Last year, the Linfield Wildcats wanted to run the ball against the Whitworth Pirates, but couldn’t. This year, the Wildcats want to air it out.
Healthier than they have been since the start of the season, the Whitworth Pirates jogged out to the Pine Bowl for practice this week confident that they are about to peak at just at the right time.
After playing an underwhelming game of football a week before, one littered with penalties and turnovers, the Whitworth Pirates sorted out one of those problems Saturday against Pacific Lutheran.
Having seen the end of a 15-game Northwest Conference winning streak, and carrying two losses when all of last year they had just one, coach Rod Sandberg reminded his players of a simple truth this week.
AJ Johnson caught three touchdowns, and Puget Sound took advantage of four Whitworth turnovers to beat the Pirates 34-23 Saturday at Baker Stadium.
The Loggers are a game behind Whitworth, which is tied with Linfield atop the NWC with five games to play.
After piling up 150 points in its two previous Northwest Conference routs, Whitworth gutted out a 19-14 victory over George Fox on Saturday at a wet and chilly Pine Bowl.
Whitworth 19, George Fox 14.
Jaylen Gonzales was sure he wanted to play football at Whitworth, but he wasn’t sure how he would pay for it.
The Pirates (3-1 overall, 2-0 NWC) are coming off wins over Willamette and Lewis & Clark, teams they beat by a combined score of 150-37.
Leif Ericksen threw four touchdowns and ran for another, the Whitworth defense forced six turnovers, and the Pirates routed Lewis & Clark 68-30 at Griswold Stadium.
After setting a program record for margin of victory last week, the Whitworth Pirates are back on the road this weekend against what appear to be the much improved Lewis & Clark Pioneers.