Oct 12, 2019

Bruins Bounce Back, Drop Lutes At Home On Hall Of Fame Weekend

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)

NEWBERG --- The Bruins rebounded from a tough Northwest Conference opener with a decisive 37-14 win against Pacific Lutheran on Oct. 12 for Hall of Fame weekend.


The Bruins won the toss and deferred to the second half. After Jason Santoni sent the opening kickoff sailing into the endzone for a touchback, the Bruins' defense took over and cut the Lutes' first possession short by forcing a punt after a two-minute drive.

The Bruins quickly drove 87 yards on five plays for a score. Jaden Sheffey found Leon Johnson III for two catches, 68 yards, and the touchdown strike, while Anthony Garcia added eight yards rushing during the drive.

The Lutes countered with a long rushing touchdown to tie it up at 7-7 on their next possession. Both teams stalled offensively for their next three drives before George Fox marched down the field again for a score.

A long pitch-and-catch from Sheffey to Justin Trimble II put the Bruins in range at the 20 yard line, and after a pair of rushing attempts Sheffey found Trimble again for a score on a corner route to the pylon.

The Lutes scored again to start the second quarter with a four-play, 94-yard drive to level the game at 14-14. The Bruins tried to answer that drive with a field goal on their ensuing possession but the kick fell short, taking the game into halftime locked at 14-all.

After Garcia returned the opening kickoff of the second half 48 yards to the 50-yard line, the Bruins drove the rest of the way with a balanced offensive attack for a 21-14 lead. Ethan Kassebaum got five carries during the drive, Trimble and Johnson each made a catch to move the sticks, and then Sheffey scampered in from seven yards out for the score.

After forcing another Lutes punt, the Bruins scored again with a nine-play, 65-yard drive to take a 27-14 lead. Josiah Schmidt pounded the ball for 26 yards, Kassebaum added 13 himself, and Sheffey capped the drive with a beautiful 22-yard toss to Johnson for the score. The Lutes were able to block the extra point to hold the Bruins to six points on the drive.

On the ensuing kickoff, the Lutes' returners watched the kickoff drop at their 16 yard line and made no attempt to cover the kick. Lucas Schwin came streaking down the sideline and fell on the ball at the Lutes' 19 yard line for a strange onside kick that set up the Bruins' easiest score of the day.

A penalty pushed the Bruins back 10 yards for holding, but a 22-yard toss to Evan Nelson made up the difference and allowed Sheffey to jog to the far pylon for another score on the following play to make it 34-14 with just under five minutes to go in the third quarter.

The Bruins' defense held firm in the second half and did not allow another score, forcing three punts, a fumble, and a turnover on downs to close out the game. The Bruins put one final scoring drive together in the fourth quarter, driving to the Lutes' 20 yard line with a good mix of runs and passes before Santoni drove in a 37-yard field goal for the final score of 37-14.

Top Performers

Sheffey accounted for all five of the Bruins' touchdowns, throwing for three and scampering in on the ground for two more. Sheffey finished 19-25 for 357 yards and the three scores, while Johnson III hauled in two scores and 157 yards' worth of catches. Schmidt led the way on the ground with 59 yards on 12 touches, including a team-best long run of 24 yards.

Campos led the team for the fifth straight game with 12 tackles from his spot at middle linebacker and also tallied a pair of quarterback hurries, a pass breakup, and one and a half tackles for loss. Freshman DB Chris McCoy tallied six tackles, a forced fumble, and a pass deflection to help in the secondary for George Fox.

What It Means

The Bruins improve to 2-3 overall and are 1-1 in NWC tests this season.

What Happens Next

The Bruins travel to face the (RV) Whitworth Pirates on Saturday, Oct. 19, at 1:00 pm in Spokane, Wash.