Bruins take down the Pirates 43-23
SPOKANE, Wash. — If the George Fox football team hadn't announced itself on the national stage already after pushing Wisconsin-Platteville, now the No. 9-ranked team in Division III, to the brink and then upsetting then top-25 ranked Redlands, it certainly has now.
Not only did the Bruins earn their first win over the Pirates since the football program was reinstated in 2014, they demolished No. 22 Whitworth 43-23 on its own field Saturday.
Their reward was the school's first-ever top-25 ranking, coming in at No 21 in the D3football.com poll this week.
Senior quarterback Grant Schroeder got things rolling early, rumbling for a 51-yard touchdown run late in the first quarter. He added touchdown passes of 66 and 10 yards to Brad Lander and Lane Hadley, respectively, in the second quarter to give George Fox (4-1, 2-0 Northwest Conference) a commanding 20-0 lead at halftime.
The host Pirates then fumbled the opening kickoff of the second half, setting up a 1-yard Wesley Riddell touchdown run to make it 27-0 just 57 seconds into the second half.
Whitworth (3-2, 1-1) finally broke through just under three minutes later with a four-yard touchdown pass from Ian Kolste to Kevin Thomas, but Schroeder answered back with his third touchdown toss of the day, a 49-yard strike to Lander to make it 34-7.
The Pirates scored the next 10 points of the game to get as close as 34-17 late in the third, but Schroeder got loose for a 21-yard touchdown run two minutes into the fourth quarter to put the game away at 40-17.
Schroeder carved the Whitworth defense up to the tune of 261 yards on 16-for-21 passing to go along with nine carries and 82 yards and two more scores on the ground.
The Bruin running game also had a healthy day, with Riddell leading the way with 121 yards and one score on 21 carries. In all, George Fox amassed 553 yards of offense and outrushed Whitworth 292 to 119.
The Bruins will return to action Saturday with a 1 p.m. home contest versus Willamette (0-4, 0-2).
Culturame Classic — No. 2 George Fox tuned up for this weekend's NWC Fall Classic, which will be held at Quail Valley Golf Course in Banks, by winning its own annual fall tournament at Willamette Valley Country Club in Canby. The Bruins shot rounds of 305 and 301 to beat runner-up Whitman (631) by 25 strokes.
George Fox Invitational —The host Bruins placed third of seven teams Sunday at the Gearhart Golf Course after recording rounds of 302 and 303. That put George Fox four strokes back of runner-up Linfield (601) and 13 behind winner Willamette (592). Alex Plusquellec tied for second at 2-over-par 146 after carding matching rounds of 73.
George Fox 2, Willamette 0 — Michala Denn scored in the 18th minute to put the Bruins (5-4-2, 3-3-2 NWC) up in the first half and Puka Ahina added a penalty kick early in the second half Sunday in Salem.
George Fox 3, Willamette 1 — The Bruins dropped the opening set 25-19, but stormed back to sweep the next three 25-12, 25-15 and 25-13 to pick up a home win Saturday. Danyle Dupray slammed 19 kills in the win.