Points Record Falls as Linfield Beats PLU, 62-44
McMINNVILLE, Ore. - The Pacific Lutheran University football record for most points scored in one game fell on Saturday. So, too, did the Lutes, who dropped a 62-44 Northwest Conference decision to the unbeaten Linfield Wildcats.
The win gives Linfield an undefeated regular season finish for the sixth time since 2000, tallying a 9-0 overall mark and a 6-0 record in the Northwest Conference. Linfield finds out on Sunday who and and where it will play in the Division III national playoffs. PLU concludes its season at 3-6 and 3-3 in NWC play.
Linfield and PLU combined for 106 points on Saturday, eclipsing the former record of 102 set in 1989 when Pacific Lutheran defeated Southern Oregon, 52-50. Though Saturday's final score looked relatively close, the game was over for all intents and purposes after a 28-point second quarter explosion gave the Wildcats a 41-7 halftime lead.
Hanging tough and trailing Linfield 13-7, the wheels came off
the wagon for PLU in the final minutes of the first half. It was a
dreadful final 3:45 for the Lutes, as the Wildcats scored 28
unanswered points before halftime.
Linfield tailback Aaron Williams got the scoring started at the 3:45 mark with an 11-yard touchdown run. With 2:44 left in the first half, Linfield linebacker Alex Tkachuk returned an interception 22 yards for a score. Linfield got the ball back with 1:28 left in the half on its own 18-yard line and proceeded to drive the length of the field to score on a 27-yard pass from Aaron Boehme to Trevor Patterson. As if things couldn't get any worse for PLU, the Lutes coughed up the ball deep in their own territory, and with two seconds left Boehme hit Patterson for a 16-yard touchdown completion, giving Linfield a 41-7 lead.
It was a magical first half for Boehme. The senior quarterback picked apart the PLU secondary to the tune of 313 yards and four touchdowns. He finished the game completing 24-of-29 passes for 374 yards and five touchdowns in just a little over a half of play.
Linfield opened the scoring with a 99-yard touchdown drive, capped by Boehme's eight-yard strike to Buddy Saxon. The 'Cats made it 13-0 early in the second quarter on a two-yard touchdown run by Chris Saunders. PLU answered back with 6:25 remaining in the first half on a Jordan Rasmussen touchdown pass to Cody Pohren from eight yards out. From there the Wildcats would seize control.
While Linfield's offense was clicking on all cylinders, the defense was quietly shutting down a pass-happy PLU offense. The Lutes amassed only 84 yards of total offense in the first half.
PLU got some momentum going in the second half against the Wildcats second unit. Trailing 48-7, the Lutes scored on a 13-yard pass from Rasmussen to Drew Griffin in the third quarter. The Lutes, battling to the end, scored 30 points in the fourth quarter starting with a one-yard touchdown run by Griffin. Rasmussen also connected with Greg Ford on six- and one-yard scoring passes, and with Kyle Whitford on a 20-yard touchdown aerial.
Rasmussen completed 31-of-56 passes for 325 yards and five scores, all but 55 yards of it coming in the second half. His 56 pass attempts broke a PLU single-game record set by Marc Weekly in 1993.
Linfield gained 644 total yards, including 504 through the air, compared to 382 yards, 325 through the air, for the Lutes.
(Courtesy of Linfield Sports Information Office.)