SPOKANE, Wash. – Whitworth quarterbacks threw six touchdown passes and the Pirates returned a pair of interceptions for scores in a 70-11 Northwest Conference win over visiting Puget Sound on Saturday in the Pine Bowl.
The Pirates ended a two-game losing streak and improved to 6-2 overall and 2-2 in the NWC. The Loggers dropped to 0-6, 0-2 with their losing streak extending to 16 games.
One week after struggling offensively in a loss at Linfield, Whitworth was extremely efficient in this win over UPS. Scoring on seven of their nine possessions in the first half, the Pirates built a 49-0 lead at halftime and cruised the rest of the way.
Sophomore QB Bryan Peterson, playing only the first two quarters, completed 11 of his 13 passes for 183 yards and four touchdowns without an interception. All four of his touchdown passes went to a different receiver. Peterson added 25 rushing yards on two attempts. Backup QB Michael McCune threw only two passes in the second half and both went for touchdowns.
Jake DeGooyer led the Whitworth receivers with three catches for 43 yards and a touchdown. Connor Williams only caught two passes, but both went for scores. Austin Ehlo, Wade Meyer and Alfonso Miranda also caught TD passes.
Ronnie Thomas led an effective running game that picked up 225 yards in the game. Thomas finished with 122 yards on 23 carries with two touchdowns.
The Whitworth defense made its own mark in the game. Senior LB Scott Carr returned an interception 29 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter. Sam Schoesler returned another interception 86 yards for Whitworth's final touchdown in the fourth quarter. In between the Pirates picked off three other UPS passes, including another pick by Carr and one each by Kainoa Raguindin and De' Hall.
The Pirates also held the normally high-powered UPS passing attack in check throughout the game. Five Loggers threw passes in the game and they completed 23 of 43 attempts for 172 yards with one touchdown and five interceptions. Starting QB Braden Foley completed 17 of 33 for 136 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions.
Adam Kniffin, who holds virtually all UPS receiving records, made six catches for 50 yards. He did also rush four times for 28 yards.
Whitworth outgained UPS 494-315, but had built a 342-121 yardage advantage by halftime.
Peterson hit Williams for Whitworth's first touchdown from nine yards out to complete the Pirates' second possession in the game, which was set up by Danny Welstad's fumble recovery at the UPS 38 yard line. The snap on the extra point was high, but Kekoa Turbeville tracked down the ball and passed to Welstad in the endzone for a two-point conversion. Then seven seconds after the touchdown pass, Carr picked off Foley and returned that pass 29 yards for a touchdown.
Peterson found DeGooyer for his eighth touchdown reception of the season from 31 yards away late in the first quarter. Thomas then picked up a pair of one-yard touchdown runs on Whitworth's first two possessions of the second quarter, raising his season total to ten touchdowns.
Peterson closed the first half with touchdown passes to Wade Meyer (from 23 yards) and Austin Ehlo (from 11 yards).
McCune's first touchdown pass came on Whitworth's first possession of the second half. On fourth down just inside UPS territory he rolled out looking to throw short, but found Williams wide open over the middle and Williams ran untouched 48 yards to the endzone. Williams has caught only five passes this season, but all five have gone for touchdowns.
Trailing 56-0, Puget Sound got on the board when Foley hit Tieler Souza from five yards out late in the third quarter. Foley then passed to Galen Arakawa for a two-point conversion.
After Whitworth held UPS on downs at the Loggers' 38 yard line on the first play of the fourth quarter, McCune tossed short to Miranda, but the Pirate fullback turned upfield and was not stopped before he scored from 38 yards away.
Schoesler's interception return with 9:56 to play capped Whitworth's scoring in the game. It is the second time this season that Whitworth returned two interceptions for touchdowns. The Pirates also did it in a 45-20 win at La Verne on September 15th.
Everett West kicked a 29-yard field goal with 2:28 to go for the final Logger points.
Whitworth's 59-point margin of victory was the largest in the history of a series that dates back to 1904. Whitworth extended its lead in the series to 38-25-1 and the Pirates have won 17 in a row.
The Bucs have next Saturday off before a date with Pacific Lutheran on November 3rd in Puyallup, Washington.