Wildcats claim D3 playoff berth after stumping the Loggers

Ross Passeck, Staff Writer

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Linfield football has already assured itself another consecutive winning season, another North Western Conference title, and 100 career wins for head coach Joe Smith. Entering Saturday’s game there was only one thing left to check off the list this regular season: clinch a berth in the NCAA Division III playoffs.

“I don’t want to sound cocky but we kind of expected it coming in to the season because we know our coaches will do a great job of getting us prepared every week and we trust our training and our ability to get the job done on the field,” Kennedy Johnson, ’17, said.

“It’s awesome winning league but our goals are much more beyond just league,” Spencer Payne, ’17, said.

The University of Puget Sound Loggers put up a decent fight against an offense that has been steamrolling defenses as of late with over 50 points in their last contest with the George Fox Bruins.

Freshman Kicker Willy Warne brought nearly half of its first quarter points with his boot, launching a 36-yard and another 22-yard field goal. Reed Peterson, ’17, also connected with Quarterback Sam Riddle, ’17, for an immense 70-yard touchdown pass. The ’Cats went into the half outscoring the Loggers 13-0.

Linfield’s defensive shutout held until early in the fourth quarter when Puget Sound managed to sneak in a 12-yard pass for a touchdown at the end of an eleven-play drive. Payne cut down the Loggers’ hope for a comeback with the final touchdown of the game coming off of a one-yard run into the end zone.

With this victory, the Wildcats move to 7-1 overall on the season and undefeated at 6-0 within conference matchups. Their final regular season game comes next Saturday against Pacific Lutheran University for a battle in the Hall of McMinnville Fame game.

The regular season is drawing to a close but with this victory the Wildcats have already cemented their place in the 2016 post season.

 

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Wildcats claim D3 playoff berth after stumping the Loggers