Oct 14, 2019

Game Preview: Bruins Prepping For Battle In Spokane

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 George Fox football team readies for its toughest test to date in 2019 with a road game at (RV) Whitworth on Saturday, Oct. 19. The Bruins (2-3, 1-1 NWC) are facing a Pirates roster (3-1, 2-0 NWC) that averages eight touchdowns per game this season and nearly 500 yards per game on offense.

George Fox bounced back from a heartbreaker in its NWC opener with a 37-14 win on Hall of Fame weekend against Pacific Lutheran on Oct. 12. The Bruins got great production from Jaden Sheffey, as the sophomore signal caller racked up 357 yards passing, three touchdowns through the air, and two rushing scores.

Leon Johnson III continued a breakout freshman campaign with six catches for two touchdowns and 154 yards, and Justin Trimble II added seven catches for 111 yards, a touchdown, and a game-long 65-yard reception.

Daniel Campos was named the NWC Defensive Player of the Week after notching 12 tackles against the Lutes, including 1.5 for loss. Campos leads the NWC in tackles and tackles per game this season and was among the top 10 in the NCAA coming into the weekend matchup against PLU.

The Bruins' defense pitched a shutout in the second half against the Lutes and was two plays away from blanking their guests entirely – a tipped pass was tracked down by a PLU receiver and a broken tackle led to a long rushing score, but the Bruins otherwise limited the PLU offense all day and forced seven punts, a fumble, and a turnover on downs.

Whitworth is coming off two dominant wins against NWC opponents and averages 75 points per game this season against NWC teams after an 82-7 win over Willamette and a 68-30 victory at Lewis & Clark.

Leif Ericksen leads the Pirates at quarterback and averages 261 yards and just under four touchdowns per game through the air. Taylor Kolste has been the favorite target so far with 23 catches for 226 yards and four touchdowns, while Andrew Meredith leads the team in receiving touchdowns with five. Brayden Corona has the bulk of the Pirates' rushing carries with 41 touches for 239 yards and three scores.

Defensively, the Pirates are led by Kale Wong with 22 tackles, two forced fumbles, and two picks from the linebacker spot. The Pirates' defense averages more than three sacks per game and has been impressive against NWC opponents so far. Lewis & Clark only managed one third-down conversion against the Pirates in their most recent matchup on 12 tries.

A season ago, the Bruins fell to the Pirates 38-14 – ranked No.22 at the time – in Newberg. Kenny May, Wesley Riddle, and Jaden Sheffey were three of the most successful players for the Bruins on offense that day, and Campos was everywhere on defense. The Bruins have the tools on both sides of the ball to battle this one out, so expect a battle in Spokane.