Lutes pull away from Loggers in second half
// Running backs too much for UPS defense
One can usually expect the unexpected when Puget Sound and Pacific Lutheran get together on the football field. It was no different on Oct. 27 at Baker Stadium. Tied 14-14 at the half, the Lutes went on to score 27 unanswered second-half points to record a 41-14 win to improve to 5-2 overall and 4-1 in conference play. “We did not panic at halftime, and our entire staff came out with a great second-half plan to record a great 30 minutes of play for the win today,” said PLU coach Scott Westering. The first half of play was a bit sloppy on both sides, as the Lutes turned the ball over three times and the Loggers twice. The problems started early for the Lutes. Starting on their own 28-yard line, they drove to the Loggers’ 13 and on the drive’s 15th play, Ryan Rogers pounced on a Lute fumble to halt the threat. The Loggers began to find some continuity midway through the second quarter. Quarterback Braden Foley engineered a nine-play, 74-yard drive with Kevin Miller on the receiving end of an 18-yard touchdown pass with 7:55 left for a 7-0 lead.
But the Lutes answered in a little more than a minute, with quarterback Dalton Richey hitting a streaking Kyle Warner down the right sidelines for a 42-yard score to tie it at 7. Not to be outdone, the resurgent Loggers regained the lead when Ryan Rogers hauled in a six-yard touchdown pass from Foley to make it a 14-7. The Loggers missed a couple chances to take a halftime lead, as kicker Everett West missed two field goals late in the second quarter from 45 and 39 yards out. That would prove to be detrimental to the Loggers, as the Lutes assumed total control in the third quarter. Midway through the quarter Pacific Lutheran running back Niko Madison reached the end zone from four yards out to give the Lutes a lead they would not relinquish at 21-14. Disaster struck the Loggers on their next possession when Foley lost the ball on the third play from scrimmage, and Derik Larsen recovered for the Lutes at the Loggers’ 10-yard line. Two plays later, Cody Pohren scored from two yards out for a 28-14 Lute lead. The Lutes would seal the deal midway through the fourth quarter, with Evans reaching the end zone for the second time from 24 yards out to increase their lead to 35-14. “The thing that pleases me most about this game is the way that our young team responded to adversity in the first half and closed it out after halftime,” said Westering. “The experience we gained by playing the number three, eight and 17th- ranked teams in (Division III) tells me a lot about the talent of this team. “They have adjusted well to our system and I hope they can continue the improvement the rest of the year.”
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