Nov 07, 2018

Game Preview: Bruins Host Loggers For Final Game Of 2018

A Winning Tradition

  • One post-season appearance (1960 Crusader Bowl)
  • One AFCA Division III Coaches' All-American (Nolan Schuler, 2017)
  • One CoSIDA Academic All-American (Caleb Dalzell, 2017)
  • Two CoSIDA Academic All-District (Caleb Dalzell, 2017; Grant Schroeder, 2017)
  • Three All-Americans
  • Four All-Region Honorees
  • 37 All-NWC Athletes 
  • Five Team of the Week
  • Nine NWC Student-Athlete of the Week Awards 
  • One Cliff Harris Award Finalist (Charles Riga, 2017)
  • Two NSCA All-American (Justin Kruse, 2015; Dane Jensen, 2017)
  • Two NFL Draft Picks (Bob Hadlock and Randy Casey, 14th and 15th rounds respectively)

By: Jake Bienvenue

NEWBERG – After a decisive 35-7 handling of Pacific Lutheran on Saturday, the Bruins (5-4 overall, 3-3 in Northwest Conference) hope to carry their momentum through to the end as they host Puget Sound (5-4, 3-3 NWC) in the season finale on Saturday, Nov. 10.

In many ways, Puget Sound and George Fox have had mirror seasons. They come into their final game with the same record, and both lost to the same conference opponents (Pacific, Whitworth, and Linfield).

The last time these schools met, the Bruins had the Loggers' number, holding their high-powered offense to just seven points while racking up 21 of their own to finish the 2017 season with a win.

This year, Puget Sound has reloaded its potent offense. The Loggers lead the conference in passing yards per game (364.7), passing touchdowns (20) and first downs (152). They average 33.6 points per game and last week hung 41 points on Linfield's top-ranked defense.

Leading their offensive explosion is 6-foot-5 sophomore quarterback Murdock Rutledge. Statistically the best quarterback in the conference, he ranks first in yards per game (279.8) and touchdowns (24) while throwing just nine interceptions.

The Puget Sound receiving corps boasts a triple threat: Junior wide receiver Jewell Day leads the NWC in touchdowns (14) and is second in yards per game (103.6); senior Collin Heimbach has averaged 102 yards per game with nine touchdowns – good for third- and second-best in the conference, respectively; and junior Alvin Johnson averages 94.3 yards per game with seven touchdowns – ranking him at No. 4 and 3 in the conference in those categories, respectively. The trio of receivers has statistically dominated the conference and will be a challenge for the Bruin secondary.

On the defensive end, junior defensive back Keanu Songcuan has been a force for the Loggers. His 8.9 tackles per game are good for second-best in the conference. Senior defensive lineman Todd Blakely has also put together a solid season, as his 9.5 sacks place him at No. 2 in the NWC.

The Bruins are coming off a dominant performance in all aspects of the game. Quarterback Jack Taylor went a near-perfect 7 of 8 on the day with 109 yards and two touchdowns. Running back Anthony Garcia was a beast on the ground, pouring in 115 yards and a touchdown. And Kenny May, James Nguyen and Spencer Clements all caught touchdowns to contribute to the 35-7 routing of Pacific Lutheran.

The stingy Bruin defense held the Lutes to just 140 yards of offense, and if they can match that performance against Puget Sound, they have a solid chance at coming away with a home win to cap off their schedule. The Loggers allow an average of 31.0 points per game to opponents, so fans can expect a lot of points on the board.

Kickoff is set for 1:30 p.m.