By Tim Cable
PORTLAND, Ore. -- The Lewis & Clark Pioneers fell to the George Fox Bruins on Saturday afternoon in a Northwest Conference matchup at Griswold Stadium. The Bruins improved to 1-3 (1-1 NWC) with the 52-13 victory, while the Pioneers fell to 0-4 (0-2 NWC) on the season.
The Pioneers jumped out to an early lead as quarterback Niko Fortino hit Dennis Kamakana on a short score in the first series. Lewis & Clark was aided by two 15-yard penalties on the series. The Bruins defense tightened up after the first drive and didn't allow another score until the fourth quarter.
George Fox took the lead on the next series and didn't lose it again, relying on a balanced offense that accounted for 436 total yards. Running back Wesley Riddell rushed for 85 yards on 16 attempts and scored the Bruins' first touchdown of the day. Quarterback Grant Schroeder completed 22 of 33 attempts for 209 yards and two touchdown passes. Schroeder's favorite target was Trevor Daniels, who had nine receptions for 115 yards.
The balanced offensive approach and a stifling defense led George Fox to the win. Lewis & Clark mustered just 238 yards of total offense, with a good portion of that coming in the fourth quarter. The Pioneers were only able to run for 46 yards on 22 attempts. George Fox also capitalized on three Lewis & Clark turnovers, including a 20-yard interception return for a touchdown by Caleb Dalzell to put the Bruins up 24-6 in the early third quarter.
For the Pioneers, Fortino threw for 58 yards on 10 of 19 passing. Mike Machado came on in the third quarter and some success, going 9 of 14 for 148 yards, including a 48-yard strike to Xavier Tharpe to make the score 52-13.
The Pioneers found themselves in tough positions all afternoon, as George Fox ran more than 30 plays more than the home team and had the ball for more than 15 minutes longer. The Pioneers needed more on third down, converting just 3 of 11, to give the defense a chance to rest.
Lewis & Clark plays the first of back-to-back road games on Saturday when the Pioneers travel to Pacific.