Lutes win the statistical battle, but not on the scoreboard

KELLEN WESTERING

Sports Writer

westerka@plu.edu

It was an alluring day in Spokane, Washington.  The Whitworth Pirates came into this game at 5-0, while the Lutes were on the opposite end of the spectrum at 0-4.

Photo Courtesy of McKenna Morin: Junior Quarterback Jon Schaub (9) does a mis-direction handoff with Junior running back Darin Hargrove (33)
Photo Courtesy of McKenna Morin: Junior Quarterback Jon Schaub (9) does a mis-direction handoff with Junior running back Darin Hargrove (33)

If you looked at that stat sheet after the game, you would’ve thought this was a very close contest.  The Lutes had 385 yards of total offense while the Pirates had only 305 yards.

The time-of-possession-battle was won by the Lutes who had the ball for 37:24 while the Pirates had it for 22:36.

One stat that the Lutes didn’t want to win was the penalty battle.

Penalties have been the Achilles heel of this young Lutes team throughout the first 5 games.  The Lutes had 11 penalties while the Pirates had just 3.  But the Pirates won the most important stat of the day, the scoreboard, as they beat the Lutes 32-7.  

Both teams punted on their first two possessions and early on it looked like it was going to be a defensive battle and a low scoring game.  The Pirates had other plans.  Out of their next six possessions they scored on four of them: Three touchdowns and a field goal. PLU had no answer offensively as they were shutout in the first half.

The Lutes Junior quarterback Jon Schaub went out with an injury early on in the second quarter and backup quarterback freshman Cole Chandler played the rest of the game.  One of Cole’s first throws was picked off by the Pirates and taken back for a touchdown.   

Photo Courtesy of McKenna Morin: Junior Quarterback Jon Schaub suffered an injury in the second quarter and did not return.
Photo Courtesy of McKenna Morin: Junior Quarterback Jon Schaub (9) suffered an injury in the second quarter and did not return.

The Pirates went into the locker room at halftime extremely confident leading 25-0 in front of 2,000 fans on family weekend.         

The Lutes came out in the second half and looked really good on both sides of the ball.  Defensively they allowed just seven points, forced five punts, and created a turnover.  On the offensive end the Lutes had the ball in the red-zone four different times but came with just seven points.

Cole Chandler hit junior wide receiver Beau Lockmer on a 38-touchdown strike to help spark a possible Lutes comeback.  

Unfortunately a turnover on downs, a fumble, and a missed field goal kept the Lutes from putting up any more light bulbs on the scoreboard.  

Pirates quarterback Ian Kolste was 16-30 for 219 yards and two touchdowns.  The Lutes were able to hold NWC-leading rusher Duke DeGaetano to only 37 yards on 15 carries.  Cole Chandler was 17-28 for 196 yards and one touchdown.  Cole also had 12 rushes for 61 yards.

Looking ahead there’s still a lot to get excited about with this young team. Next week provides another opportunity, as the Lutes take on George Fox University in a home contest at Sparks Stadium at 1 p.m.  

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