Tag Archives: Football

NFL makes new effort to stop offensive slurs

As a response to the Miami Dolphins’ locker room bullying, it has been speculated that the NFL may be creating new rules that penalize players that use homophobic or racial slurs during games.

Last October, rookie offensive linesmen Jonathan Martin left the Miami Dolphins after being consistently harassed by three of his team mates. The harassment included racial slurs and vicious sexual taunts regarding his mother and sister.  Martin played for Stanford University before signing with the Dolphins in the 2012 NFL draft. After signing with the Dolphins, Martin endured harassment from guard Richie Incognito and fellow offensive linesmen John Jerry and Mike Pouncey. The Dolphins’ assistant trainer was also harassed and also left the team this year.

It’s almost disturbing that the harassment went on for as long as it did without the knowledge of the coaching staff and organization. However, the NFL is trying to address this situation by creating new penalties during a game for using the N-word and other racial and homophobic slurs.

On the player’s first offense of using these slurs, the team would be charged with a 15-yard penalty while the second would result in additional loss in yards in and may be ejected from the game.

Although the rule is made out of good intentions, there is some controversy around the anticipation of the addition of the rule. One could argue that using the “N-word” or other racial and homophobic slurs in a certain context actually helps to minimize the negative connotation associated with particular words. There is also an argument that this could ultimately change the culture of the NFL, where these kinds of words/phrases get passed around loosely. Given the ethnic make-up of NFL teams, players usually know where to draw the= line.

Enforcing the rule can be a challenge as well. The stadiums are often loud and chaotic and it is very unlikely that the referees will be able to hear what’s being said between players.  This challenges the effectiveness of the rule and whether or not it should really be enforced during televised games.

The NFL already has a rule that gives a penalty for using the N-word or any slurs during a game, but has been enforced so loosely that this rule is often forgotten. The new rule would really try to crack down on the speech of the players on the field.

The point I am trying to make is that it is really sad that bullying to this degree happens in professional sports. What is even more depressing is that this incident happened within a team. A team that has had mediocre seasons for years and when they had the opportunity to strengthen their team with a new linesman, individuals instead sacrificed team success for an opportunity to boost their egos. It’s debatable that it is even needed to enforce these rules and regulations but what is more important is the fact that we need them at all.

When we watch professional sports, we often forget that the players on the screen go through hardships just like the viewers at home. We also tend to think that bullying stops after middle or high school, but that simply is not the case. It is a good start that the NFL is addressing the Miami Dolphins locker room controversy with an addition to the rules on the field, but players should learn to be respectful to one another before entering the professional circuit.

Camille Weber/Sports columnist

Linfieldreviewsports@gmail.com

Wildcats defeat Pacific Lutheran in first round of playoffs

Football 4 by 4

The Linfield Wildcats defeated the Pacific Lutheran Lutes in the first round of the Division III

playoffs, 42-21 at home on Nov. 25.

This is the second time the ’Cats and Lutes have meet on Maxwell Field this season, when the

wildcats beat them 21-0 at the Linfield Homecoming game.

The offense shinned this game with a total of three throwing touchdowns and another two

rushing by senior quarterback Josh Yoder. Yoder had a 61.5 passing average by making 16 of

his 26 attempts to gain a total of 204 yards. Senior Josh Hill made the other touchdown for the

Wildcats, rushing 16 times to gain 68 yards.

On the receiving end, junior Charlie Poppen caught the most with six and a total of 100 yards.

Junior Evan Peterson made four receiving catches that gained 47 yards and half of the catches

became touchdowns. The ’Cats had two interceptions by Junior Mike Nardoni and senior Tyler

Robitaille.

The defense continued to do what it does best this game by keeping the other team still. Linfield

forced the Lutes to three turnovers and sacked their quarterback three times. Senior Dominique

Forrest led the defense with eight tackles total with six unassisted and a fumble recovery.

Following Forrest is Senior Kyle Wright with 7 total tackles, three of them being unassisted.

Linfield will continue on the road to nationals with a game against Hampden-Sydney College on

Nov. 30 in Maxwell Field at Noon.

by Stephanie Hoffman/ Sports editor

Wildcats claw Boxers, 28-22

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A nail-biting finish brings the Linfield football squad yet another undefeated season, as Senior Josh Yoder leads the way in Linfield’s 28-22 win against Pacific University. This marks Linfield’s fourth undefeated season in the last five years.

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Senior Josh Hill (3) celebrates after rushing the ball into the end zone on an eight-play drive that moved Linfield within two points during the third quarter. This was the first time all season that Linfield did not lead coming out of the half.
Tyson Takeuchi/Senior sports photographer

Yoder rushed the ball 17 times for 82 yards and three scores in the game, capping off his season rushing stats at 692 yards and 14 touchdowns. He also added 89 passing yards on 10 completions.

Senior running back Josh Hill was also a big factor in getting the offense rolling, rushing the ball 18 times for 100 yards and a score.

It was mostly a running game for the Wildcats, as they totaled 224 rushing yards, as well as scoring every touchdown on the ground.

It was the defense who got Linfield going in the second half, as senior safety Colin Forman intercepted a Pacific pass late in the third quarter. This sparked the drive that gave Linfield the lead for good, as Yoder ran the ball in for a score putting Linfield up 21-16.

Forman, while very pleased with the interception, accredited the change in momentum to the entire team.

“You can’t really pick one specific play that turns the tides, it was a group effort,” Forman said.

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Senior running back Josh Hill (3) breaks from a Pacific defender as he moves the ball upfield. Hill had a spectacular day rushing, with 18 carries good for 100 yards. The team rushed for a total of 224 yards on the day, en-route to a 28-22 victory over the Pacific University Boxers.
Tyson Takeuchi/Senior sports photographer

Linfield scored once more in the fourth with another run by Yoder, and while Pacific made an effort to comeback with an onside kick after scoring, Linfield held strong and recovered the ball.

Coach Joseph Smith gave some credit to Forman’s interception saying, “it certainly gave the team a lift,” but said it was in large part the team being able to get back to doing what they know how to do.

Senior Tyler Steele was sad to see his college football career come to an end, as his knee injury will not allow him to play in the postseason, but was very proud in his team.

“I’m very proud of the football team for stepping up and doing the things they do,” Steele said.

Steele gave credit to his college career to Smith and defensive coordinator Jackson Vaughn, noting that they are, “Two of the best coaches you’ll find in the country.”

“Both of them could coach anywhere they wanted to. They are building us to be men, not just football players,” Steele said.

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Sophomore running back Tavon Willis (7) carries the ball upfield moving away from Pacific University defenders. Willis had 7 carries good for a total of 43 yards, averaging 6.1 yards a carry.
Tyson Takeuchi/Senior sports photographer

While he spoke very highly about his senior class and their talent, he also said how excited he was for some of the talent in the freshman class, specifically freshman running back Spencer Payne, noting that is a “phenomenal athlete” and could be playing Division One ball if he wanted to.

Linfield will take on Pacific Lutheran University in the first round of the playoffs. This game will be at 12 p.m. on Nov. 23. This game will be played at home, due to Linfield’s undefeated regular season.

 

Drew Mahrt/Senior sports reporter

Linfieldreviewsports@gmail.com

 

Wildcats chop Loggers, 79-3

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Junior quarterback Matt Yarborough led the Wildcats to yet another victory, piling up 132 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns against Puget Sound.

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Junior quarterback Matt Yarbrough (2) rushes down the sideline away from University of Puget Sound defenders. Yarbrough had four rushes for 89 net yards, contributing to Linfield’s total 289 rushing yards.
Tyson Takeuchi/Senior sports photographer

Two early fumble recoveries started the ‘Cats off with 14 points on the board before Puget sound had a chance to move the ball at all, and Linfield kept the pace up all game, beating Puget Sound 79-3.

After senior star quarterback Josh Yoder (164 all-purpose yards and four touchdowns) was taken out of the game midway through the second quarter, Yarborough came in and worked his magic. Minutes after running in a six yard touchdown, he broke free for his second touchdown run, taking it 69 yards to the house.

Freshman Spencer Payne also rushed the ball for 67 yards and a touchdown, as well as returning a kick 71 yards for a score. “I just really wanted it” Payne said, “everything lined up perfectly.”

Coach Joseph Smith noted after the game that “special teams was a giant factor in the game.” The special teams squad totaled 256 yards, returning one for a touchdown, and set the Wildcat offense up in great position to start every drive.

Fredrick Douglas III was a big factor on special teams, retuning two punts for an average of 23.5 yards per return.

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Senior running back Mikkel Smythe (20) breaks free from a University of Puget Sound defender. Smythe had five rushes for a net gain of seven yards, averaging 1.4 yards per carry. The Wildcats ran away from the Loggers, out-rushing them by more than 290 yards. 289 yards (Linfield) to -5 yards (University of Puget Sound).
Tyson Takeuchi/Senior sports photographer

Linfield played over 100 players in the game, making sure everyone got some play time once it was clear that they were going to get the victory. Coach Smith played all five quarterback listed on the roster, and ever though not all of they got to throw a pass, he liked how each of them was able to take control of the offense and move the ball downfield.

The Wildcats are averaging 58.4 points per game this year, and are beating their opponents by and average of 48.75 points per game.

Linfield united 32 of its seniors with their parents before the game to honor their last season playing for the team.

The Wildcats also honored eight Hall Of Fame inductees at halftime.

Linfield plays their last regular season game at 1 p.m on Nov. 16 against Pacific. The game will be played away in Forest Grove, Ore. The team hopes to finish out the season with a perfect record, as a win would make them 9-0.

Drew Mahrt/Senior sports reporter

Linfieldreivewsports@gmail.com

Technicalities could cost Wildcats first place spot

Last week, I wrote a column that startled a lot Wildcat football fans. It’s hard to visualize Linfield not getting the bid into the playoffs let alone being beat by such an under-rated team such as Pacific University’s during next week’s game in Forest Grove, Ore. Even though the chances of an upset over Linfield is completely diminished with Pacific’s loss to Willamette on Saturday Nov. 10, not many students understand that other teams in the Northwest Conference actually have a chance of upsetting the Wildcats in their pursuit for their shot at playoffs.

So what exactly are the rules in regards to a three way tie?  As I mentioned in my last article, if Pacific University was able to pull out a win against both Willamette and the Wildcats, then Linfield, Pacific University, and Pacific Lutheran University would all have a one loss record. This would cause a three way tie for first place within the NWC.

According to the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division III rules, each conference has their own way of determining how a three-way-tie for first is broken. Described in the NWC Football Sports Procedure Manual, if a three-way tie were to occur, first a head-to-head among the three teams would assume and the winner would have to win 2-0 in order to advance.  If none of the teams win against the other two teams in a head-to-head face off, it would be the team with the best record versus the fourth place team. If a three-way tie still occurs, the team with the best over-all record. If a three-way tie still cannot be settled, the team with the longest time since participating in the NCAA Division III playoffs.

So basically if Pacific University had won the Nov. 10 game last Saturday against Willamette and beaten Linfield during the last game of the season, Pacific would have an opportunity of taking away the bid from Linfield for the Division III playoffs.

Because Pacific lost to Willamette, there really is nothing stopping our Wildcats from cruising through their last game against Pacific University and taking the Division III playoff bid. The only potential threat is if the Wildcat loses to Pacific University, causing a tie within the conference between Linfield and Pacific Lutheran University.

But the chance of this is basically abysmal. Willamette University beat the boxers 21-17 and the last time Linfield played Willamette, it was a shut out with the Wildcats destroying the Bearcats 56-15.

So what’s my point? My point is I feel like a lot of Linfield students (including myself) take for granted the success of our football team. I mean can we really blame ourselves though? Sure it’s great that our team totally crushes every team in our division, but when our team is dominating over every team in our conference with an average of 45 points, let’s face, it gets a little boring.

Now, I’m definitely not saying that I don’t enjoy our Wildcats’ journey for their 59th straight winning season. It’s actually one of the things I like to brag most about Linfield.  Having the most winningest college team in the United States is a pretty awesome thing to say about your school. Not only is our football program one of the most coveted assets of Linfield College, but it’s one of the things that students, faculty and alumni are most proud of. It brings the Linfield community together.

Potential threats, such as Pacific and Pacific Lutheran, are almost a sort of blessing in disguise. Showing the mortality of our football program’s winning streak helps us to remain humble as our Wildcats continue compete with determination and class.  Either that, or these two schools’ attempts to upset the Wildcats is a reminder that the true competition for the men’s football team isn’t during the regular season; it’s during the playoffs.

Camille Weber/ Sports Columnist

Linfieldreivewsports@gmail.com