The 2012 Whitworth football season will come to an end after Saturday's finale against Lewis & Clark College in the Pine Bowl. The Pirates are shooting for their seventh win of the season. The game will kick off at 12:30 p.m. and be heard live in Spokane on KSBN 1230am and on the internet on KSBN.net. The game will also be shown on tape-delay by local cable channel SWX.
Whitworth (6-3 overall, 2-3 NWC) lost 35-14 at Pacific Lutheran last weekend. Lewis & Clark (4-4, 1-4) had last weekend off and fell 42-20 at home to Pacific (Ore.) on October 27th in its most recent game.
Live Links for Saturday's game:
Whitworth (6-3, 2-3 NWC)
Lewis & Clark (4-4, 1-4 NWC)
Saturday - Nov. 10
The Pirates: Pacific Lutheran scored on four of its first five possessions on the way to the 35-14 win over Whitworth in Puyallup. The Lutes opened a 28-0 halftime lead and outgained the Pirates 479 – 294, including a sizeable edge in both rushing and passing yards. PLU sacked Whitworth QB Bryan Peterson four times for 31 yards.
Peterson completed 19 of 32 passes for 189 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. Jake DeGooyer caught nine passes for 88 yards, while Austin Ehlo and Connor Williams caught the two touchdown passes. Ronnie Thomas carried 22 times for 88 yards.
Scott Carr, Danny Welstad and Kainoa Raguindin had six tackles each to lead the defense. Jesse Bresser was in on five solo tackles and made an interception at the goal line near the end of the first half.
The loss was Whitworth's third in a row to PLU.
Senior Saturday: Whitworth will recognize its five senior players prior to Saturday's game. The five Pirates set to suit up for the final time in a Whitworth uniform are Scott Carr, Colby Davis, Jake DeGooyer, Nate Guthrie, and Ronnie Thomas. They will be honored, along with their family members, 20 minutes before kickoff of Saturday's game.
Prime Time Ronnie: Ronnie Thomas is having another outstanding season running the ball for the Pirates. He leads the NWC, and ranks among NCAA Division III leaders, in yards rushing per game (109.8) and continues to lead the conference in rushing touchdowns (10). His streak of seven consecutive games with more than 100 yards rushing, dating back to the final two games of 2011, came to an end on October 6th against Willamette, but he has a total of six 100-yard games in 2012.
Last season Thomas led the NWC in rushing and rushing touchdowns, earning First Team All-Northwest Conference honors.
Big Jake: Wide receiver Jake DeGooyer continues to come up big for the Pirates this season. He leads the NWC with 65 pass receptions and receiving yards (917) and is third in receiving yards per game (101.9). His eight touchdown receptions also rank third in the conference.
Williams – When it Counts: Buddy Ryan, the late NFL coach, once said of one of his receivers – "All he does is catch touchdowns!" The same could be said of Pirate back-up tight end Connor Williams. Williams has caught six passes for 180 yards this season (30.0 yards per catch). All six have gone for touchdowns. His touchdown-per-reception ratio (not an official NCAA statistic) probably leads the football universe.
Great Start: Only three times in school history had Whitworth begun a season with three consecutive road games. The Pirates have now won all three of those games twice, this year and in 1955 when Whitworth went 9-0 in the midst of a 20-game winning streak.
Seriously?: Whitworth's schedule-maker didn't do the Pirates any favors in 2012. The Pirates will have had to face a well-rested opponent seven times this fall. All three of the Pirates' first opponents were playing their first game of the season. The rest of the way Whitworth faces an opponent coming off of a bye four times: Sept. 22 against Chapman, Oct. 13 at Linfield, Oct. 20 against Puget Sound and Nov. 10 against Lewis & Clark.
Out for the season: Following the October 13 loss at Linfield the list of players lost to season-ending injuries continued to lengthen. Paul Miller (knee) was added to the list of seven injured on defense which already included FS Fernando Noriega (broken ankle), LB Ryan Loutsis (knee), LB Grant Livingston (knee), LB Tevin Tyus (broken ankle) and safety Sean McNealey (knee) who are all out for the year. On offense the Pirates saw OL Greg Vibbert (broken ankle) go out in the game at La Verne. PK Dominic Aliano is done for the year with a hip injury.
On the Air Again: Whitworth's games will once again be carried live this season on KSBN 1230am in Spokane. The relationship between Pirate athletics and KSBN goes back to 1994, a span of almost 20 years. Bob Castle, whose voice has become synonymous with Whitworth athletics on the radio, is back as the voice of the Pirates in 2012-13. Bob has called Whitworth games for the past 12 seasons, as well as in 1997-98. Bob has 20 years in radio and his experience as a sports broadcaster includes stints as the voice of Spokane Indians Baseball, Gonzaga University baseball and Washington State women's basketball.
Four SWX Broadcasts: Local cable station SWX will carry all of Whitworth's games this season: The home opener vs. Chapman (Sept. 22), the Hall of Fame/Homecoming game vs. Willamette (Oct. 6) and the Oct. 20th game against Puget Sound will all be shown live, while the regular season finale against Lewis & Clark (Nov. 10) will be shown on a delayed basis following an Eastern Washington game. Sam Adams and Mike Peterson will provide play by play and color analysis. SWX stands for Sports & Weather Right Now and is owned by local NBC affiliate KHQ channel 6. SWX can be seen both over-the-air and through some cable services in the Spokane-Coeur d'Alene, Kennewick-Pasco-Richland, and Yakima viewership areas. In the Spokane-Coeur d'Alene area, SWX is found on digital channel 6.2, on Comcast channel 115 in Spokane and Time Warner channel 306 in North Idaho. Click here for a complete list of station numbers throughout the Eastern Washington/North Idaho region.
Team Captains: The Pirate team captains in 2012 are offensive lineman Liam Brown, running back Ronnie Thomas and linebacker Scott Carr. Brown and Thomas are first time captains, while Carr served in that role last season.
Looking Back at 2011: Whitworth finished 4-6 after starting the season 1-5. Of the five losses in the first six games, two came on field goals on the last play of the game. Two were by a single touchdown. Then the young team found itself and won three of its final four contests – including a double-overtime victory at Willamette. The lone loss in that final stretch was 42-38 against highly-ranked Linfield. Ronnie Thomas (running back) and Austin Ehlo (punter) were named First Team All-NWC.
NWC Poll: Whitworth finished third in the NWC preseason coaches poll with 26 points, three points behind second place Pacific Lutheran. Whitworth got one first place vote, while defending champion Linfield finished first in the poll with the other six first place votes. Link to NWC Football Coaches Poll.
Racking Up the Miles: Whitworth opened the season with three long road trips in 2012. The Pirates flew more than 6,250 miles over the course of the first three weeks of the season following trips to Minnesota and California (twice) .
Vs. California: The Pirates have won 27 of the last 36 against schools from the Golden State and are 30-17-1 all-time against Californian colleges. The Bucs are 14-5-1 at home against California schools and 16-12 on the road. Whitworth played three this season and earned victories over Whittier (away), La Verne (away) and Chapman (home).
The Head Coach: John Tully is in his 18th season as head coach of the Pirates with a 95-77 record at Whitworth. He has led the Pirates to an 82-43 record over the past 12+ years and has been named the NWC Coach of the Year three times (2001, 2006 and 2007). Tully is the winningest coach in school history, as well as the longest serving Pirate football coach. Prior to his arrival, Whitworth had suffered through 11 losing seasons in 12 years. Overall he is 125-98 in his 22nd season as a head coach. He previously was head coach at Eureka College in Illinois.
|Last Game:||at Pacific Lutheran 35, Whitworth 14||Box Score||Wrap up|
|This Week's Game:||Nov. 10 vs. Lewis & Clark||12:30 pm||Whitworth Pine Bowl|
|Next Week's Game:||End of season|
The Pioneers: Lewis & Clark College is 4-4 overall and 1-4 in the NWC. The Pioneers, who won their first four games and have now lost four in a row, are coming off of a late-season bye week. L&C averages 389.4 yards per game – 281 yards through the air and 108.5 yards on the ground. The Pioneers have averaged 26.0 points per game and have allowed 36.0 points per contest.
Chris Sulages has been rejuvenating the L&C program as head coach since 2006 and he is in his tenth season on the Pioneer staff. He was the offensive coordinator in 2005 and the offensive line coach and recruiting coordinator in 2003 and 2004. His won-loss record at L&C is 18-44. Last season he led the Pioneers to a 7-2 record, their best season in a generation.
Junior QB Keith Welch was the NWC Co-Offensive Player of the Year last season. He has completed 56% of his passes for 2,078 yards with 16 touchdowns and 8 interceptions. He has also run for 279 yards and eight rushing touchdowns. Sophomore WR Jacob Constantino has caught 45 passes for 566 yards and five touchdowns. Evan Stanbro (Sr., WR) has added 34 catches for 565 yards and four scores. Sophomore Curtis Shirey is the leading rusher with 454 yards and two TDs. Senior FS Joe Kopp and sophomore LB Andrew Traver have 54 tackles each to lead the defense. Sophomore Josh Cena has three interceptions.
On Oct. 27 the Pioneers fell at home 42-20 to Pacific (Ore.). L&C pulled within 21-20 early in the third quarter, but hurt themselves by committing five turnovers. Welch completed 28 of 50 passes for 391 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions. Stanbro caught 11 passes for 231 yards, including a 69-yard TD reception. The L&C running game was held to 42 yards on 16 carries. Kopp and Traver had 10 tackles each in the loss.
Last Meeting: In a 30-22 Pioneer victory in Portland last fall, Whitworth outgained Lewis & Clark 410 - 343 and had 24 first downs to 17 for the Pioneers. The Bucs moved the ball well between the 20's but struggled in the red zone. L&C sacked Whitworth QBs nine times, while the Pirates were unable to sack Pioneer QB Keith Welch once. Jake DeGooyer was a big offensive spark for Whitworth, catching 12 passes for 149 yards, rushing twice for 41 yards and returning three punts for 29 yards. Bryan Peterson completed 13 of 20 passes for 148 yards with a TD and one interception. He suffered eight of the nine sacks. Austin Ehlo caught his fifth touchdown pass of the season. After struggling in the first half, the Whitworth defense held L&C to only 64 yards of total offense in the second half and limited the Pioneers to only two field goals after halftime. Fernando Noriega led the team with ten tackles.
The Series: Whitworth leads the all-time series 29-13 and had won 12 in a row before last season. Whitworth won the 2006 game 70-3, the largest margin of victory in the series. The Pirates won in 2010 38-20 the last times the teams played in Spokane. The last Lewis & Clark win in the Pine Bowl was 14-6 in 1996 and the biggest margin of victory for the Pioneers over the Pirates was 49-26 in 1993.