‘Cats tear apart Pioneers in matchup

Joe Stuart, For the Review

The Wildcats football team gave their now annual beating to the Lewis and Clark Pioneers on Saturday, defeating the Pios for the 38th straight time.

Despite being on the road, Linfield, (3-0, 1-0) had plenty of support in Portland as the stadium had plenty of fans wearing purple and red. Linfield was able to use this to their advantage on both sides of the ball, winning 73-0.

The Linfield first string made easy work of Lewis and Clark (0-3, 0-1) in the first half. Quarterback Sam Riddle, ’16, threw for four touchdowns and 174 yards through the first. All four touchdowns were to different receivers.

Running back Tavon Willis, ‘15 also scored a touchdown in the first half from nine yards out. Field goal specialist Michael Metter, ’19, also was able to get on the board, splitting the uprights from 20 yards late in the first quarter.

By the the second half, most of the backups had been put in to play. The Wildcats played four quarterbacks throughout the game, including true freshmen Troy Fowler, ’19, and Tyler Kelsch, ’19.

“I was really pleased with the way our young kids came in and the way they played in the second half. I think we played pretty much everybody in our program,” said Linfield head coach Joe Smith. “Some of them even played just as well as our older guys,” he said.

The second and third string players were certainly still able to take care of business, with the offense scoring four more touchdowns on the Pioneers in the second half.

Backup quarterback Tom Knecht, ’15 threw two touchdowns in the third quarter, one for 53 yards to wideout Johnny Carroll, ’16. Carroll also scored earlier in the game from a 29-yard pass from Riddle.

The two second half rushing touchdowns were from Sutter Choisser, ’16, and Bryan Cassill, ’16. Choisser’s was from the five-yard mark, with Cassill’s coming from the 14.

At one point it did look like the shutout would be spoiled after the Pioneers blocked Linfield’s punt and recovered the ball, putting them in strong scoring position.

Lewis and Clark did not end up scoring. Linfield forced a fumble, which was scooped up and ran 85 yards back by defensive end Devan Illingworth for his first career touchdown with 25 seconds left in the game to make for the final score of the day.

“I just thought of my dad telling me to ‘scoop and score’ and just thinking how proud he might be of me today,” said Illingworth. “Crossing that goal line was probably the best feeling of my life. I had never experienced it before…it was just a wonderful moment.”

The defense was led by Alex Hoff, ’15. Hoff had eight tackles, including five for loss and a sack. Hoff now has 11.5 tackles through the first three games of the season.

Lewis and Clark was led by head coach Jay Locey, who coached at Linfield for 23 years and won a National Championship at Linfield in 2004.

“It was fun,” said Locey on playing against his old team. “I enjoy playing against these great coaches, my colleagues. I see it as a situation where good friends sharpen each other, iron sharpens iron.”

Linfield has beaten Lewis and Clark in particularly astonishing fashion in recent history. In 2013 the Wildcats tied their all time record for the most points scored in a game, winning 84-7. The total score over the last five years between these two schools has been Linfield 368, Lewis and Clark 28.

The Wildcats return home this Saturday to take on Pacific University (3-1, 1-1) at the Catdome. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:30 PM.