Oct 05, 2019

Bruins Drop Heartbreaker In NWC Opener

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 D3football.com All-Americans
  • Four D3football.com All-Region Honorees
  • 37 All-NWC Athletes 
  • Five D3Football.com 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)
 

TACOMA --- George Fox opened its Northwest Conference slate with a road game in Tacoma, Wash., on the Loggers' Homecoming weekend. The Bruins took it down to the wire before dropping a heartbreaker in overtime the Loggers in a 24-23 defeat.

Recap

After punting on their first possession, the Bruins found themselves behind early after a 10-play, 59-yard drive ate 3:31 off the scoreboard and led to a 7-0 lead for the Loggers.

After receiving the ensuing kickoff the Bruins quickly leveled the scoreboard with a 65-yard pitch and catch from Jaden Sheffey to Kenny May, and a one-yard QB keeper for the score. The Bruins marched 64 yards in four plays and just under three minutes of game action to knot the game at 7-7 with more than half of the first quarter remaining.

The game would stay locked at seven-up for the rest of the quarter. After forcing a three-and-out on the Loggers' first possession of the second quarter, the Bruins put a 52-yard drive together and chewed up five minutes of clock before being stopped at the Logger 16-yard line. A kick from Jason Santoni sailed cleanly through the uprights for a 10-7 lead.

After killing two more Logger drives, including a final goal-line stand with an interception in the end zone by Abe Smith, the Bruins took their three-point lead in to the locker room with momentum heading into the second half.

The Loggers flipped that script quickly in the second half, however. The Bruins forced a quick three and out to start the half, but the Loggers still put seven on the board to start that half, as a costly fumble on the Bruins' own 34 was returned for a score. The PAT was converted to give the Loggers a 14-10 lead less than two minutes into the third quarter.

The Bruins did their best to respond and reclaim the lead and their momentum on the next drive. After the kickoff sailed out of bounds to give GFU great starting position on their half, the Bruins benefited again from a UPS gaffe with 15 yards for pass interference. Anthony Garcia and Ethan Kassebaum followed with rushes to the Logger five yard line before a toss to Evan Nelson in stride gave the Bruins their second touchdown of the day. Santoni converted the PAT for a 17-14 lead with over eight minutes left in the third quarter.

The next three possessions all resulted in punts with good defensive stands from both sides. The Bruins were able to get momentum again with a drive to the UPS 22 yard line, but the drive stalled and UPS was able to block the Bruins' field goal try.

After three more drives came up empty for both teams, the Loggers put together what proved to be the final drive of regulation. UPS marched 88 yards and burned through the final 3:57 of regulation to set up a game-tying field goal. The Bruins were able to hold firm and prevent the touchdown, but the UPS kicker nailed the chip shot as time expired to send the game into overtime with a 17-17 tie.

After winning the coin toss, the Bruins elected to play defense and watched as a reinvigorated Loggers offense put together a five-play scoring drive to take a 24-17 lead. After the touchdown run the Loggers were penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct, which the Bruins chose to take on their ensuing possession.

With the ball on the 12 yard line, the Bruins quickly punched the ball in for a score after Sheffey linked up with Leon Johnson III for a wide-open, nine-yard scoring strike. The Bruins missed the PAT, however, and the Loggers were treated to a Homecoming victory in heartbreaking fashion for Bruin fans.

Top Performers

Caleb Dalzell was a nightmare on the defensive line with a pair of sacks for 14 yards lost during the day, while Daniel Campos led the team for the fourth week in a row with 12 tackles at the middle linebacker spot for GFU. Campos also accounted for a team-high five pass breakups. Justin Montijo was just behind that pace with four pass deflections, while Smith and David Ledesma each came up with an interception to help the Bruins' cause.

On offense, Sheffey accounted for all three Bruin touchdowns with a one-yard rushing score and two TD tosses to Johnson and Nelson. Sheffey threw for 158 yards and Johnson led with three catches, 78 receiving yards, and a TD. Garcia led the ground attack with 69 yards rushing.

What It Means

George Fox falls to 1-3 overall in its 2019 campaign and starts its NWC slate with a 0-1 record.

What Happens Next

The Bruins return home to prepare for their Hall of Fame weekend opponent, the 1-2 Pacific Lutheran Lutes.

This article was edited 10/06/19 to account for an additional pass breakup for Daniel Campos.