Boxers off to best start since 1964

Jack Michels scored the game-winning touchdown late in the fourth quarter to give the Pacific football team its best start since 1964, lifting the Boxers to a 28-21 win over Menlo on Saturday in Atherton, Calif.

The tight end’s first collegiate points proved to be the Boxers’ only touchdown of the second half and brought Pacific back from a one-point deficit after Menlo took its only lead of the game on Thomas Reynolds’ touchdown just two-and-a-half minutes before.

The victory moved Pacific to 3-0 on the year, the program’s best start in nearly 50 years. It is also Pacific’s first win over the Oaks (1-3), who defeated the Boxers in both 2010 and 2011.

Despite a close second half in the scoring column, the Boxers proved the offensively dominant team all afternoon, racking up 423 yards of total offense to Menlo’s 299. Quarterback P.J. Minaya completed 10-of-17 passes for 152 yards and two touchdowns, while T.C. Campbell completed 9-of-15 for 125 yards and a score.

Menlo started making its charge early in the second half after the Boxers went three-and-out on their first possession of the period. The Oaks milked an 11-play, 55-yard drive over 4 minutes, 26 seconds, which ended on a 9-yard Reynolds scoring run that cut the Boxers’ lead to 17-14.

The defenses held the rest of the quarter, and Pacific finally got back on the board early in the fourth when Moses Villareal-Gomez chipped in a 22-yard field goal with 11:26 remaining. The Oaks then forced two Pacific turnovers on fumbles, the second one setting up an 82-yard touchdown run by Reynolds that put Menlo ahead for the first time, 21-20, with 5:41 left in the game.

The Boxers went to the air to move quickly down the field on their ensuing possession, ending when Minaya found Michels for his 11-yard reception that proved to be the winning touchdown.

Pacific will now take a bye week before returning to the road to open Northwest Conference play against Whitworth on Saturday, Oct. 5.

Shipley earns more hardware

Pacific sophomore Tyler Shipley has run three races so far in the 2013 cross-country season, and three times he has been selected as the Northwest Conference’s Men’s Cross Country Student-Athlete of the Week. The latest award, selected by the conference’s sports information directors, was announced on Monday afternoon.

Shipley, a 2012 Forest Grove graduate, earned his third top-three finish in as many races at Friday’s Northwest Cross Country Classic at Lane Community College in Eugene. He finished second in the four-mile college men’s race with a time of 20 minutes, 27 seconds. He was 12 seconds behind John Carley of the U of O Running Club, who won the race in a time of 20:19.

Shipley ran a pace of 5 minutes, 7 seconds per mile, a good clip considering the wet conditions of a mostly grass course.

“Despite being a bit under the weather, Tyler turned in another very solid effort at Lane,” said Pacific cross country coach Tim Boyce. “It was good to see him perform well in less than ideal circumstances.”

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