‘Cats brave the rain, Bruins are swept away

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Malia Riggs

Willy Warne, 46, was the only member of the team to score points for the Wildcats. Warne was also the first to put points on the board in the second quarter with a 32- yard field goal putting the Wildcats in the lead.

Alex Jensen, Sports Editor

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The Wildcats overcame two opponents in their 12-6 victory Saturday. The unrelenting rain caused dropped balls, missed tackles and difficult kicks. Linfield rose to the top of the conference after defeating co-leader George Fox securing its sixty-second consecutive winning season. Making it the 600-all-time victory for the Wildcats.

The streak began in 1956 and is the longest consecutive winning season in the history of college football at any level.

In the second quarter Bruin’s quarterback Grant Schroeder pass goes up and Wildcats senior Cory Stowell gets the ball in his hands but it slips out. Soon after Colton Ramos punts the ball to Bruins Anthony Garcia who then fumbles it. Two Wildcats try to get on top of the ball but it slides right out from under them and Bruin’s recover. In the first quarter Ramos punts the ball into the wind causing it to go a negative 3-yards.

The unrelenting rain is caused by a 5,000-mile-long plume of clouds that hit the Pacific Northwest last week, coming off the Pacific Ocean. Before the clouds leave it will cause 10 to 15 inches of rain. The Washington Post has dubbed this rare phenomenon a “river in the sky.”

Junior Willy Warne said that the team was expecting the rain this weekend and prepared for it. They wetted the ball during practice in anticipation. He said that their preparedness for the weather showed off in the game.

But Warne did admit that he thinks the weather did play a huge role in the game. He said the kicks, snaps and holds were difficult with the rain because the ball was wet and hard to get down.

Sophomore quarterback Aidan Wilder said the weather defiantly affected their play calling. He laughed then admitted that one of the passes slipped right out his hand.

The Wildcats were not able to convert any red-zone chances for a touchdown and were forced to kick four field goals. It looked like the ‘Cats were going to shut out the Bruins but in the last seconds of the game Schroeder completed a touchdown pass to Kenny May. Bruins were unable to kick an extra-point because the time expired in the game.

In NCAA rules, there will not be given a chance to kick the extra-point unless it will affect the outcome of the game when the time expires in the fourth quarter.

Warne was the only Wildcat to score in the game.

The Wildcats average 346.7 yards of offense and 29.67 points per game. And the Bruins average 380 yards of offensive and 35 points per game. On Saturday neither team came close to their averages. The ‘Cats had 151 yards of offense and the Bruins had 144 yards.

Malia Riggs
Chidubem Nnoli, 6, rushes for 10 yards getting the ‘Cats a first down in the second quarter.

In the second half, the Wildcats predominantly switched to running the ball after two out of three of their passes were incomplete. Linfield had a total of 126 rushing yards and 25 passing yards.

Sophomore Chidubem Nnoli said that the weather forced the team to make the switch.

Nnoli led the Wildcats in rushing with 125 yards. He has had a total of 649 rushing yards for the season and is number one in the conference for rushing. Bruins Garcia has only had a total of 259 rushing yards this season.

“We played together and got the win,” Nnoli said was the highlight of his game. He said that being number one in conference for rushing feels great and credits it to the fantastic job the offensive line is doing.

One of the major questions throughout the season has been, who is going to be starting quarterback? With Wilder and Junior Troy Fowler, both vying for the spot and playing in each game. It looked like Fowler was going to be the starter after the homecoming game against Whitworth because he played the majority of the game. Wilder who started that game was out after the beginning of the second quarter.

Again, Fowler played the majority of the game against Whitman. But with him out sick against Lewis and Clark Wilder played the whole game.

On Saturday Wilder played the whole game except for two plays where Fowler was in. Fowler came on the field in the middle of an offensive drive at the beginning of the second quarter. He was sacked twice in a row and Linfield was forced to punt.

Between Fowler and Wilder the Wildcats had five sacks against them. Wilder said that he is not concerned with the number of sacks in the game and that they cleaned it up in the second half. The Wildcats had four out of their 5 sacks in the first half.

“It was good to get a win against a quality team and be able to trust our offensive line is something I know that we are going to be able to lean on for the rest of the season,” Wilder said.

The Wildcats overall record is 5-1 and conference is 4-0.

Linfield will play next the Pacific Lutheran Lutes 1p.m., Oct. 28, in Puyallup.