Tag Archives: homecoming
The still undefeated football team shut out the Pacific Lutheran University Lutes 29-0, on Oct. 5.
The ’Cats faced the long-time rivals the Lutes for Linfield’s homecoming game. This is the longest winning streak that either of the teams have had with 13 straight wins for the Wildcats starting all the way in 2003. The team also tied there past largest margin of victory and this is the 39 win out of 64 games against the Pacific Lutherans.
“Anytime you play a team with a history you have to look at their team’s continuity,” head coach Joe Smith said. “After playing them for so many years it can almost bring back too much information. It creates an interesting schematic guessing game.”
Before the game had taken place, the Lutes were set at 11th in the nation with Linfield going ahead at second place. Still any game between a team in the top-15 is sure to be a game changer.
“There was definitely a lot of pressure riding on this game, but not necessarily because it was homecoming weekend,” sophomore Brian Balsiger said in an email. “The pressure came from facing an elite conference team contending for a conference title. If there was ever a game to get excited about it was this one.”
The game started in a tug-of-war competitions with both sides getting their turn with the ball, before senior Josh Hill ran it into the end zone with 24 seconds to spare. After that, no other points were scored until the forth quarter where Linfield gain its final 22 points. The offense constantly pushed forward and was only tripped up by fluke mistakes and a few penalties.
“The offense came through when it mattered,” senior Kyle Wright said in an email. “PLU’s defensive scheme is tough to block and to sustain drives against. The offense started to shine to full potential in the fourth quarter once [Josh] Yoder took over with his feet which led to holes in their pass defense. The receivers made some incredible plays and our stable of running backs punished the Lutes all game.”
The ’Cats defense didn’t let the Lutes get comfortable once on their home turf. Linfield intercepted four balls and one in particular senior Brandon Funk achieved 31 yards after a quick catch.
“I think our defense stepped up big time,” junior Colin Nelson said in an email. “It’s tough to get a shutout regardless let alone one of the best teams in the country. Then being able to force five turnovers was definitely a huge key to our success. It helps us a ton from the offensive side knowing that even if we aren’t having our best game that the [defense] will keep us in it and give us a shot to win.”
After a strong start to the conference season the team will take a bye week to catch up on their health and condition themselves for the upcoming game.
“We are [going to] use the bye week to make sure we all get healthy and ready to go for the second half of the season,” Nelson said in an email. “We have had a tough schedule up until this point with the travel and the quality of teams we have played and it will definitely be nice to rest up a bit.”
After the bye week ends, the team will be headed straight into the conference season in an away game against Whitworth University Pirates on Oct. 19 in Spokane, Wash.
By Stephanie Hofmann/ Sports editor
Freshman running back, Spencer Payne (28), tries to get through the Lutes’ defense. Payne had one carry for 13 yards. The ’Cats are taking a bye week, but will be back the next week when playing against Whitworth University on Oct. 19 in Spokane, Wash.
Tyson Takeuchi/Senior sports photographer
Senior quarterback Josh Yoder tries to get by the PLU defense during Linfield’s Homecoming football game on Oct. 5. Yoder had 13 carries good for a net gain of 67 yards.
Tyson Takeuchi/Senior sports photographer
Alumni events for returning graduates of Linfield were among Homecoming week’s many festivities for Wildcats old and new.
Directors of Alumni and Parent Relations, Debbie Harmon Ferry and Travis McGuire, were responsible for coordinating the alumni-related reunions for people in the classes of ’53, ’63, ’73, ’83, ’93 and ’03.
Additional affinity alumni group reunions were planned for graduates who have spent time in the Peace Corps, served on Linfield’s alumni board, or studied abroad in Costa Rica.
“We have events planned for alumni who majored in political science, business or economics and communications or mass communication,” Ferry said.
“Lastly, we have helped coordinate reunions for members of Phi Sigma Sigma, Theta Chi and Delta Psi Delta sorority and fraternities,” Ferry said.
Sororities and fraternities at Linfield have worked with directors of alumni and parent relations to organize events with their past members.
These gatherings happened before and after Linfield’s victorious Homecoming football game at various places around campus.
“As an alumni, I can say I love homecoming and seeing friends. I plan to participate in events both Friday and Saturday,” said Jeff Mackay, associate dean of students and director of residence life.
Mackay has helped account for the arrival of 700 alumni and friends of Linfield who came to campus by coordinating residence hall tours, and explains to students.
Each alumni event featured its own special perks, and the reunion of Journalism, Communications and Mass Communication graduates boasted grilled hot dogs and a tasting of a new beer from Golden Valley Brewery.
Sophomore Ellen Massey participated in the Mass Communication reunion by leading tours of alumni around Renshaw Hall.
“I think it was a great opportunity to meet alumni and talk about our common interest in Mass Communication,” Massey said. “It was fun to hear their stories and about how the college has changed since they went to Linfield.”
Dawn Nowacki, Elizabeth and Morris Glicksman chair of political science, describes her event.
“We [had] an alumni reception for political science on Saturday at 10:30 a.m. in the Pioneer Reading Room. We have a very diverse list of alums who [attended], as well as former professors Howard Leichter and Elliot Tenofsky.”
Not every department hosted an alumni event.
“This is the first time [political science] has participated in such an event, and we are looking forward to seeing people we have not seen in a long time,”Professor Nowacki said.
These alumni reunions were not just for graduates of Linfield, but also for current students as well.
Current Wildcats had the opportunity to meet past students and helped give tours of each department’s facilities.
Helen Lee / Photo editor
Helen Lee can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Playing for a packed Homecoming-day crowd at Maxwell Field on Oct. 8, the No. 05-ranked Linfield Wildcats put on a clinic in a 73-7 rout with the University of Puget Sound Loggers.
The ’Cats dominated every aspect of the game, amassing 490 yards of offense while limiting the Loggers’ high-octane passing game to only 201 yards, four interceptions and two fumbles. The Wildcats did not surrender a turnover.
“I was really pleased with how our guys prepared all week,” head coach Joseph Smith said. “They had great focus. This was certainly as good a performance as a team as we’ve had in a long time.”
The scoring started early and continued at a staggering pace for the entire contest. Junior tailback Josh Hill darted 12 yards for the first Linfield touchdown to cap a drive that only took 1:01 off the clock.
On UPS’ next drive, sophomore linebacker Dominique Forrest sacked Logger quarterback George Ka’ai and caused a fumble, which was scooped up by sophomore linebacker Tyler Robitaille. A handful of plays later, junior tailback Aaron Williams scampered in for a four-yard touchdown to make the score 14-0.
“Our coaches did a good job of telling us where the holes would be,” sophomore receiver Charlie Poppen said. “They called the right plays at the right times.”
After another sack of Ka’ai gave Linfield another opportunity to score, junior kicker Josh Kay hammered a 49-yard field goal to boost the lead to 17-0.
Kay also set the all-time Linfield record for extra points in a single game by finishing with a perfect 10 for 10.
Junior quarterback Mickey Inns added a one-yard touchdown toss to sophomore tight end Jacob Priester at the start of the second quarter, his first of three on the day.
Robitaille and Forrest each had interceptions of Logger quarterbacks, the latter setting up a 45-yard dash to the end zone by junior tailback Stephen Nasca to put Linfield ahead 31-0.
“I pride myself on making the best of every opportunity I’m given,” Nasca said. “When my name’s called I always want to be prepared.”
Senior cornerback Christian Hanna sparked a scoring frenzy in the final six minutes of the first half by picking off a pass by Loggers quarterback James Korn and returning it 33 yards for a touchdown.
Senior rover Taylor Skore picked off another Korn throw on UPS’ next series, and Inns fired a 37-yard touchdown pass to Poppen on the next play.
Senior defensive tackle Tommy Patrick fell on a fumble by UPS receiver Ross Zuhl to set up Inns’ final touchdown throw, a 25-yard bomb to junior Lucas Jepson.
Robitaille added to the Loggers’ struggles by blocking a punt that was run in 3 yards for a touchdown by sophomore safety Colin Foreman.
At the half, the ’Cats already lead 59-0.
“With a veteran secondary, it’s a lot easier to keep the pass coverages up,” Forrest said. “Turnovers are always something we want to improve on in-game.”
The starters left the field in the second half and gave way to the younger Wildcats, but the scoring continued nevertheless.
Sophomore quarterback Josh Yoder had a 10-yard touchdown pass to freshman receiver Colin Nelson and freshman tailback Trevor Gomez scooted in for a score on a four-yard run, making it a 73-0 margin.
The Loggers finally found the end zone with third-string quarterback Braden Foley tossing a 7-yard score at the end of the third quarter.
Neither team scored in the fourth to leave the score at 73-7.
“You just love seeing the young guys get a chance to go play,” Smith said. “They get to enjoy the fruits of their labor after working so hard for us.”
Next week, the ’Cats travel to Forest Grove to compete against the Pacific University Boxers, a team still seeking its first victory of the season.
“We need to strive for perfect technique,” senior center Hayden Mace said. “Coach Smith preaches that it’s not who we’re playing, we’re playing ourselves.”
Chris Forrer/Sports columnist
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