A week of blowouts and points, but also a week devoid of drama. The conference heavyweights showed out, along with Darius Chaffin of Pacific Lutheran flashing his potential as a passer. One player to keep an eye on moving forward is Luis Salgado of Whitworth, who has become one of the most explosive players in the conference.
Week 7 Results
George Fox Bruins 13 | Linfield Wildcats 41
IThe George Fox Bruins struggled both at the quarterback position and containing Blake Eaton and the Linfield passing game.
Eaton would finish with 302 yards and 3 TDs on 26/31 passing while the Bruins would once again alternate their quarterbacks with limited success. DeMontre Thomas II started once again and struggled, completing 7/12 for only 36 yards with an interception and was sacked 4 times. Max Richey would not fare much better, only completing 6/13 passes though 75 of his 145 yards came on another long touchdown to WR Dillan Dobbins on his sole reception.
One area where the Bruins can feel positive about is that they didn't allow the Wildcats to control the game on the ground as Connor McNabb and Tyler Larson were held to 32 and 27 yards respectively.
With 4 games remaining, George Fox is still seeking their first conference victory and outside of this week's matchup with Willamette, it does not look hopeful.
Puget Sound Loggers 21 | Whitworth Pirates 63
In this matchup, Puget Sound Loggers, Mason Binning, did not have another 400-yard effort in him. He attempted another 44 passes, completing only 23 for 288 yards with 2 TDs. Unfortunately, he was also sacked 9 times by a Pirates defense that has been enabled to play aggressively with the scoring provided by their offense.
Binning’s favorite target was easily Izaiah Jerenz, who has emerged as one of the top receivers in the entire conference. He finished this game with 14 receptions for 174 yards and a touchdown.
Opposite Binning was Pirates QB Austin Ewing who attempted only 12 passes and completed 8 but turned that into a beautifully efficient 166 yards and 3 touchdowns.
It was the Whitworth running game that supplied the dominance and helped them put 42 points on the board in the 2nd quarter. Overall, the run game totalled 299 yards on 40 carries and 6 of the 9 offensive touchdowns. This ground assault was led by Luis Salgado who had a rather incredible line of 5 carries, 119 yards, and 3 touchdowns. The 5’8” 192lbs Sophomore should be a major part of their offense moving forward.
Pacific Lutheran Lutes 62 | Willamette Bearcats 7
In this game between the Pacific Lutheran Lutes and Willamette Bearcats, the score was quickly tied 7-7 less than 7 minutes into the game after Micah Ho’Omanawanui connected with Matthew Fiesta for a 62-yard Willamette touchdown. However, that would be the extent of the Bearcats' success.
Lutes QB Darius Chaffin was almost perfect, completing 22/28 for 252 yards and 4 TDs as he would be pulled halfway through the 3rd quarter and overall the team would pass for 432 yards and 5 touchdowns, though they were sacked 5 times as well.
Pacific Lutheran has shown themselves to be firmly in 3rd place in the conference and it is unlikely they will lose more than their game with Linfield the rest of the way.
Lewis & Clark Pioneers 51 | Pacific Boxers 35
In this game, featuring the Lewis & Clark Pioneers, the game unfolded with more than 1000 yards gained and 86 points scored. However, the final score did not reflect the close contest you might expect. The Pioneers started slowly, trailing 7-3 after the first quarter, but they surged ahead, leading 17-14 at halftime and extending that lead to 37-21 after three quarters.
Both teams found success both in the air and on the ground. Lewis & Clark's Trey Morris went 16/29 for 306 yards and delivered 4 TDs, while Elijah Washington rushed for an impressive 160 yards on 25 carries, scoring 2 TDs.
For Pacific, QB Ryan Helt had a surprisingly great day, completing 22/33 for 324 yards and 2 TDs, complemented by RB Brody Bantolina's strong performance, rushing for 167 yards on 31 carries and scoring 2 TDs of his own.
The game featured big plays and excitement for the Pacific crowd, but despite their efforts, they ended up falling to 1-4 on the season.
Week 8 Schedule
In Week 8, the Northwest Conference offers an exciting lineup of matchups. All game times are in Pacific Time, so don't miss out on the live coverage of these thrilling games, brought to you by the NWC Network.
Pacific Boxers (1-4, 1-2) at Whitworth Pirates (5-0, 3-0) | 1PM
Whitworth needs to continue to blow out their Northwest Conference opposition if they want to convince outsiders that they are on the same level as Linfield before their November 11 match with the Wildcats.
They appear to have abandoned their 2 quarterback approach they had shown earlier in the season and committed fully to Austin Ewing and the run game. This approach has worked with Ewing succeeding with high efficiency while Luis Salgado has emerged as a major threat on the ground.
For Pacific, they will continue to rely on RB Brody Bantolina on the ground while hoping that QB Ryan Helt can continue to hit receivers down the field with regularity. They want to be a defensive team, but that can be difficult to sustain against the passing attacks in the Northwest.
Lewis & Clark Pioneers (3-3, 2-1) at Pacific Lutheran Lutes (3-3, 2-1) | 1PM
It is hard to say which version of Darius Chaffin will show up for Pacific Lutheran on a week to week basis, but given the struggles of Lewis & Clark against Ryan Helt of Pacific, we could see a balanced attack light up the scoreboard for the Lutes.
On defense, Pacific Lutheran has not faced a spread attack quite like Lewis & Clark or Puget Sound, so this will be a solid test for their secondary. They did not perform too poorly in their 42-13 loss to Whitworth earlier this season, which bodes well in this matchup.
There has not been any sign of Cruz Montana for Lewis & Clark since he left the game against George Fox, but combined with the lack of injury information at this level, it's hard to say if he would be available if Trey Morris got injured.
Linfield Wildcats (5-0, 3-0) at Puget Sound Loggers (2-3, 1-2) | 1PM
Trying to preview Linfield games is not really about who will win, but what facets of the oppositions game might be able to find success.
In this case, it comes down to how well Puget Sound can protect Mason Binning and if they can scheme Izaiah Jerenz open against the Wildcats secondary.
Given their struggles against Darius Chaffin and the Lutes, this could be a very long afternoon trying to defend against Blake Eaton's distribution of the football.
Willamette Bearcats (1-5, 0-3) at George Fox Bruins (1-5, 0-3) | 7PM
Basement Fight! I’m not sure which program is more frustrated with where they’re at, but the Bruins came into this season with high expectations and have failed to meet them at every turn. Their defense began the season strong but after blowing leads against Lewis & Clark and Puget Sound, they were overrun by Linfield, but facing Willamette gives them a chance to get themselves sorted.
The Bruins passing game has had no consistency at all between Max Richey and DeMontre Thomas II being used interchangeably but without much success outside of the occasional long completion. They need to go back to the drawing board at quarterback and who they want to be on offense.
Willamette appears to be committed to Micah Ho’Omanawanui as they have been patient with the Freshman, though the results have been poor thus far. He has been paired with Junior RB Gabriel Herrera who is actually the heaviest running back on the Willamette roster at 190lbs. At the moment it feels that the Bearcats are simply at a talent deficit versus the rest of the Northwest Conference.
Week 8 Northwest Conference Power Ranking
- Linfield Wildcats
- Whitworth Pirates
- Pacific Lutheran Lutes
- Lewis & Clark Pioneers
- Puget Sound Loggers
- Pacific Boxers
- George Fox Bruins
- Willamette Bearcats