Nov 11, 2019

Bruins Set For Final Tilt Of 2019

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)

NEWBERG --- The George Fox football team (5-4, 4-2 NWC) preps for its final game of the 2019 season with its toughest test of the year on tap. The Bruins travel to McMinnville this weekend to square off against No. 17 Linfield (7-1, 6-0 NWC).

The Bruins are on a three-game winning streak after another dominant outing against Lewis & Clark. The Bruins put a 42-7 win together on Senior Day against the Pioneers behind a 28-7 run in the opening half. Jaden Sheffey threw for 174 yards and two touchdowns, Justin Trimble II hauled in two touchdown catches and racked up 112 total yards of offense, and Ethan Kassebaum accounted for a pair of scores as a rusher and a receiver out of the backfield.

On defense, the Bruins got two interceptions – including a pick-six – from senior corner Caleb Harrel, and Daniel Campos was everywhere again from his spot at middle linebacker with a game-high 14 tackles and a half-sack. Austin Shadbolt helped with 11 tackles, a QB hurry, and a tackle for loss.

The Bruins will need to fire on all cylinders this weekend against the Wildcats, as Linfield has cruised through the NWC slate with an undefeated 6-0 mark and a No. 17 national ranking. The 'Cats needed overtime to defeat Whitworth in Spokane over the weekend, but have otherwise rolled through the year with a +30 point scoring margin and just under 500 yards of offense per game.

The 'Cats are led by junior QB Wyatt Smith this season, and Smith leads the NWC with better than 330 yards per game through the air and a 70% completion rate on his passes. Smith has thrown 32 touchdowns in just eight games, including 12 to his favorite target Keegan Weiss.

Weiss leads the 'Cats with 704 yards receiving and 12 touchdowns on 41 catches this season. Colton Smith, Wyatt's younger brother, is second with 39 catches, 625 yards, and eight touchdowns. On the ground, Artie Johnson leads the way with 4.6 yards per carry, six rushing scores, and 103 touches on the year.

The 'Cats defense is the toughest in the NWC when measuring by both points allowed (13.4) and yards allowed (260.4) per game, but the Bruins own the second-best defense in the conference in both metrics and five more total takeaways this season than Linfield.

The Bruins hung tough with both the Redlands Bulldogs and the Whitworth Pirates earlier this season, so they should be able to do the same this weekend in McMinnville. Expect a defensive battle this weekend with a 1:00 pm kickoff, and an outcome decided by which team can produce more stands on defense.