Oct 07, 2017

Bruins Cruise By No. 22 Pirates

A Winning Tradition

 
  • One post-season appearance (1960 Crusader Bowl)
  • 20 All-NWC Athletes 
  • 6 NWC Student-Athlete of the Week Awards 
  • 2 D3Football.com Team of the Week (Justin Leatherman, 2014; Lenana Meekisho, 2015)
  • 1 D3Football.com All-West Region Team (Nolan Schuler, 2016 (third team offense)
  • 2 NSCA All-American (Justin Kruse, 2015; Dane Jensen, 2017)
  • 2 NFL Draft Picks 
 

Photo Taken By: Jake Ryan

SPOKANE, Wash. --- The George Fox football team recorded its second win over a Top 25 team Saturday, as the Bruins cruised to a 43-23 victory over No. 22-ranked Whitworth Pirates.

Recap:

The win marks the first time the Bruins have beaten the Pirates since reinstating the program in 2014. It also marks the first time the Bruins have opened up Northwest Conference play at 2-0.

The Bruins were quick to showcase why they should be among the teams in the Top 25 this season with a 20-0 halftime lead.

It all started on the ground, as senior quarterback Grant Schroeder put the Bruins on the board late in the first quarter with a 51-yard touchdown run. He then found Brad Lander in the start of the second quarter for a 66-yard touchdown pass to give the Bruins a 13-0 lead -Jason Santoni's kick was blocked.

George Fox had another opportunity late in the first half to extend its scoring after a Pirate 3-and-out gave the Bruins the ball with four minutes left. A couple of plays helped the Bruins slowly march down the field, but the biggest came from Kenny May. May caught a pass from Schroeder for 33 yards to keep the drive alive. A run by Jacob Swilley and Schroeder put the Bruins in the redzone for one last play with the clock running down.

Schroeder found an open Lane Hadley for a 10-yard touchdown pass to put the Bruins up 20-0.

With the offense surging early, the Bruins' defense played a key part in frustrating the NWC's best offense. The Pirates entered the game with a NWC-best 41.8 points per game, but went into the locker room scoreless.  

Momentum continued to be in favor for the Bruins, who recovered a fumble on the opening kickoff in the third quarter. George Fox only needed 57 seconds to increase its lead to 27-0 after Wesley Riddell rushed for a 1-yard touchdown.

The Pirates were able to find a small rhythm moments later with their first score of the game. Ian Kolste connected with Kevin Thomas for a 4-yard touchdown to bring the score to 27-7.

Unfazed, the Bruins responded on their next possession. A couple of hard fought gains by Anthony Garcia helped setup the Schroeder and Lander connection for another touchdown. This time, Schroeder found an open Lander for a 49-yard touchdown pass to bring the lead back up to 27 with a 34-7 score.

The third quarter proved to be the most productive as both teams combined for 31 points.

George Fox ended the game with nine more points after Schroeder scored his second rushing touchdown and Jason Santoni drilled a 40-yard field goal.

The Bruins ended the game with 553 yards of total offense, while holding the Pirates to 240 passing yards – the lowest of their season.

Top Performers:

Grant Schroeder was impressive all game, recording three touchdowns in the air and two on the ground. He went 16-21 on the day with 261 yards, while rushing for 82 yards on nine carries. Wesley Riddell was just one yard shy of tying his career-high in rushing yards with 121 against the Pirates. Brad Lander caught a team-high six passes for a career-high 163 yards. He old career-high came against Redlands in 2016 when he caught eight passes for 162 yards.

As for the defense, Austin Taylor and Charles Riga led the group with 10 tackles a piece. Taylor grabbed seven solo tackles, while Riga had eight. Riga also broke up two passes.

What It Means:

With the win, the Bruins are now 4-1 on the season and 2-0 in the NWC.

What Comes Next:

The Bruins host Willamette Saturday, Oct. 14, with kickoff at 1p.m.