Whitworth Whips Whittier in Home Opener

Whitworth Whips Whittier in Home Opener

SPOKANE, Wash. – Whitworth University ran out to a 25-0 lead late in the second quarter and cruised to a 49-10 win over visiting Whittier College on Saturday afternoon at the Whitworth Pine Bowl.

The 24th-ranked Pirates improved to 2-0.  It was the season opener for the Poets.

Ian Kolste completed 23 of 34 passes for 255 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions to lead the Whitworth offense.  Michael McKeown led the Pirate receivers with seven catches for 106 yards and a score.  Griffin Hare ran for a touchdown and caught a touchdown and led the Bucs with 36 rushing yards.

Rehn Reiley booted two field goals in the game, the first from 23 yards got Whitworth on the board at 8:08 of the first quarter, completing a 64-yard drive.  The Pirates scored their first touchdown of the game when Kolste turned a broken play into a seven-yard scoring run with 4:48 left in the first quarter, capping a 41 yard drive.  Kevin Thomas hit Taylor Hall with a two-point conversion pass for an 11-0 lead.

Hare's one-yard run finished off a 46-yard possession with 5:26 left in the second quarter.  McKeown caught Kolste's first touchdown pass of the day from six yards out 1:40 later.  That score was set up by LJ Benson's 25-yard interception return to the six yard line.  It was Benson's second pick in as many weeks.

Trailing 25-0, Whittier finally got on the board with one second left in the first half when Eric Voss kicked a 26-yard field goal.

Like they did the previous week against Central College, the Pirates put the game away early in the third quarter with two quick touchdowns.  Hare caught a 15-yard TD pass to finish off a 55-yard drive after Whitworth forced the Poets into a three-and-out to start the second half.  Nick Kiourkas grabbed an eight-yard scoring pass from Kolste five minutes later to increase Whitworth's lead to 39-3 with 7:50 to go in the third. 

Reiley's second field goal of the game, from 32 yards away, gave the Pirates a 42-3 lead.

Whittier scored its first touchdown of the season late in the third quarter when Bryson Sanders caught a 40-yard pass from Miguel Avina, finishing off a 75-yard possession.

Whitworth's final touchdown of the day was a 28-yard scoring pass from back-up QB Leif Ericksen to Luke Divis with 14:56 to play in the game.

The Pirates finished with a 445-322 edge in total offense and a 26-19 advantage in first downs. 

Zach Hillman led the Whitworth defense with seven tackles, a fumble recovery and a pass breakup.  Chad Wilburg was in on a pair of sacks, while Charlie Ball had his first career sack.

Avina completed 13 of 27 passes for 184 yards with one touchdown and one interception for Whittier.  Sanders caught six passes for 77 yards and a score.  Chance Trammell carried the ball 24 times and finished with 78 net yards.