By Syrah Starnes
On Oct. 21, Homecoming and Family Weekend, Pioneer football looked for a win against the Pacific University Boxers, hoping to end their two-game losing streak after a loss to Linfield College (ranked 8th nationally) last weekend. After ending the first quarter tied 7-7, the Pios failed to score for the rest of the game.
The first score of the game was from Pacific in the first quarter, a 64-yard touchdown from sophomore quarterback JT Greenough to receiver Kobe Williams. This was the longest reception for Williams this season. The Pioneers responded with a drive of nine plays and 83 yards, ending with touchdown pass from quarterback Sawyer May ’21 to tight end Dallas Garreaud ’19. Of the four passing plays of that drive, the most notable was a 33-yard pass from May caught by wide receiver Heisman Hosoda ’20.
Pioneer defense held strong against Pacific’s offensive front. Cale Crawford ’19 led the defense with 12 tackles, followed by Dante Smith ’21 and Tawayne Malone ’19 with eight tackles each.
The torrential downpour of the afternoon affected both teams. Pacific had four fumbles and the Pioneers had three, one of which was recovered by the Boxers.
Cameron Chang ’21, who is currently in a three-way tie for 3rd in conference in total sacks with a total of 4.5 sacks on the season, had one this game for a loss of two yards. The only interception of the game was caught by defensive back Tyler Kalinske ’21 at the Pioneer 27-yard line.
The Boxers dominated possession time with over 36 minutes, whereas the Pioneers only had less than 24 minutes. Pacific allowed LC only four offensive possessions in the second half.
Running back Michael Abraham ’21 rushed for 114 yards, a season-high. For Pacific, their running back Brandon Boyd rushed for 186 yards, also a season-high. In his senior year, Boyd leads the conference in yards per game with 125.8.
Thor Retzlaff ’18 had his second successful fake punt of the season, gaining 10 yards on a fourth down.
“Pacific is known for their physicality,” Blake Garrison ’18, a defensive tackle, said. “But we responded very well to that change, and held them, actually, below the average that they have been scoring per game.”
“At the beginning of the game, we had (forced) three turnovers,” Garrison said. “It showed that we can compete with these guys, which gave us the confidence that we haven’t always had, and that we were able to match their physicality.”