Linfield Wildcats

1984 Football
NAIA Division II National Champions

Given the importance of the game – the winner would be the NAIA Division II champion – the second-half rally against Northwestern (Iowa) on Dec. 8, 1984 probably was the greatest comeback in Linfield football history. The Wildcats trailed defending NAIA-II champion Northwestern 22-0 with just over three minutes left in the third quarter.

Junior John Gray finally put Linfield on the scoreboard with a 27-yard field goal with 3:02 left in the third quarter. Then it was curtain time for sophomore David Lindley, who had won Linfield’s starting quarterback assignment five games earlier. Lindley threw touchdown passes of 1 and 37 yards and fired two 2-point conversion passes as Linfield rallied. His totals for the game were 25 completions in 37 attempts – including 15 of his last 17 – for 305 yards as the ‘Cats won going away, 33-22.

Linfield’s 12-0 record included four victories by six or fewer points, including a 2-0 win against Pacific that coach Ad Rutschman considered the best defensive game by any of his teams.

Tackle Steve Boyea, free safety Floyd Halvorsen, center Jim Goveia, and tight end Keith Machida were chosen on NAIA All-America teams.