Turnovers Cost Football in 42-20 Loss to Pacific
PORTLAND, Ore. - Untimely turnovers cost the Lewis & Clark football team on a rain soaked Saturday afternoon, as the Pioneers fell to the Pacific Boxers 42-20 in Northwest Conference action on Homecoming.
The loss drops Lewis & Clark to 4-4 on the season and 1-4 in conference play with just one game remaining for the Pioneers. The Boxers improve to 3-4 overall and 2-2 in NWC action, with all three of their wins coming on the road.
Quarterback Keith Welch finished with a career-high 391 yards passing, completing 28 of 50 attempts. Despite Welch's passing efficiency, the Boxers managed to pick off the junior three times.
Evan Stanbro also had a career night, ending his career at Griswold Stadium with 231 yards receiving on 11 catches. Stanbro scored one of the Pioneers two touchdowns on offense, while Welch had the other touchdown on a quarterback keep.
Not to be outdone, Logan Kotzian also put together a career performance, returning three kickoffs for a total of 146 yards, including an incredible 99 yard return for a touchdown.
Jon Bielawicz led the Pioneer defense with 11 tackles, while Andrew Traver and Joe Kopp-Anderson each earned 10. Traver also collected a sack for a loss of four yards, while Kopp broke up a Boxer passing effort. Lamar Curry picked up an interception for the Pioneers on the one-yard line, saving a Boxer touchdown attempt, while Kotzian and Nathan Kinney each forced fumbles.
PJ Minaya finished his day with 442 yards passing for the Boxers, completing 21 of his 32 attempts, while being picked off once. Kelson Kawai and Caleb Roher each finished with 100+ yards receiving for the Boxers, with Kawai scoring three of Pacifics touchdowns.
The first quarter belonged to the Boxers who put up 11 unanswered points, starting off with a field goal on the opening drive of the game.
The Boxer defense put up the next points with a penalty against Welch in the endzone for intentional grounding resulting in a safety. It took the Pacific offense just two plays to find the endzone following the safety for its first touchdown of the game.
Minaya found Heron Azevedo for the 42-yard touchdown pass. The Boxers decided to go for a two point conversion instead of a point after following the score, but were unable to sneak the ball in on a quarterback keep.
Lewis & Clark pulled within four points on the opening drive of the second quarter after moving the ball 70 yards on eight plays. Welch carried the ball in from the three-yard line for the score.
Minaya matched Welch's quarterback keep with one of his own with 7:33 to go in the half, making it an 18-7 game.
Pacific looked poised to go into the half with a 21-7 lead after Minaya hooked up with Roher with 56 seconds remaining.
Kotzian made other plans, taking the Boxers kickoff 99 yards to once again pull Lewis & Clark within a touchdown.
The momentum remained in the Pioneers favor as both teams geared up for the second half, with Stanbro pulling L&C within a point on the first play of the third quarter. After a Bruce Taft kickoff return put the Pioneers on their own 31-yard line, Welch hit Stanbro for a 69-yard touchdown pass, which the senior was able to take into the endzone. Simon Monley was unable to connect on the point after making it a 21-20 game.
Pacific responded with a 59-yard reception from Minaya to Kelson on their next drive, increasing the lead to 28-20 following the PAT.
Kelson and Minaya connected for a 42-yard catch and run on the Boxers next scoring drive ending the third quarter in favor of the Boxers 35-20. The duo found each other once again for the Boxers final score of the game, this time for a 49-yard reception.
Lewis & Clark will enjoy a bye week before taking on the Whitworth Pirates on Saturday, Nov. 10 at 1:30 p.m. in Spokane.