Pioneers drop Saturday home matinee

Photo by Robert Garcia-Magdaleno
Photo by Robert Garcia-Magdaleno
PORTLAND, Ore. -- Lewis & Clark College freshman quarterback Sawyer May threw for 137 yards and two touchdowns, however, the Linfield Wildcats scored in every quarter to defeat the host Pioneers, 49-14, on an autumn Saturday afternoon at Griswold Stadium.
 
The Pioneers have now dropped two straight games and fall to 2-3 on the season, 1-2 in Northwest Conference play.  Linfield (4-1, 3-0 NWC) remains atop the conference standings, has now won three-straight.
 
The Wildcats scored the only points in the opening quarter, added two touchdowns in the second, one in the third, and three scores in the final quarter.
 
After both teams traded a pair of four and outs in the opening quarter, Linfield's defense started the momentum, recovering a May fumble after a sack, as the Wildcats' Marcus McGovern recovered at the 14-yard line.  Three plays later, quarterback Aiden Wilder rushed from 6 yards out, making it 7-0.
 
A short field then resulted in another Linfield score after Lewis & Clark couldn't move the ball from its 2-yard line, giving the visitors possession on the Pios' 47-yard line.  Five plays and 47 yards later, NWC offense yards leader, Chidubem Knoli scored from 13 yards out for a 14-0 lead. Knoli led all rushers on the day with 122 yards on 23 carries.
 
The home team did rally, cutting its deficit in half with an impressive 10-play, 75-yard drive (4:09) with Sawyer connecting on his seventh touchdown pass of the season to tight end Dallas Garreaund with an over-the-shoulder snag.  The drive started with impressive back-to-back rushes from Cory Hincks with 12 and 18-yard scampers.  Hincks had 10 carries for 45 yards.
The drive originally stalled at the Linfield 21-yard line, however, roughing the kicker penalty on a missed field goal attempt continued the drive. Three plays later, Garreaud caught his second touchdown reception. 
 
The touchdown continued the Pios' impressive red zone efficiency on the season making 15 of 17 drives into scores, 10 of them for touchdowns.  Linfield scored on all five of its red zone drives.
With its lead cut in a half, the visitors regained their two-touchdown lead seconds before the half expired, engineering their own 10-play, 75-yard drive of 4:26 off the clock with Wider passing to the Tyler Torgerson from 32 yards out for a 21-7 lead.
 
Linfield, the NWC preseason coaches' poll projected winner scored four of their six second-half possessions.  The Wildcats outgained the Pioneers 436 to 230 in total offense.
On one its drives in the third quarter, Pios' defensive back Tawayne Malone intercepted his first pass of the season halting Linfield's third quarter opening drive.
 
Pios' senior receiver Gage Bumgardner caught his first touchdown of the season with 8:52 remaining in the fourth quarter from May.  It was Bumgardner's only catch of the game.  The Pios' drive was one of the longest of the game of 10 plays, 66 yards and taking 4:51 on the play clock.
 
On defense, Lewis & Clark received a pair of sacks from freshman Cameron Chang, while team tackles leader Pete Lahti led the Pios' with eight solo tackles (8.5 for the game). 
 
Up next for the Pioneers is a Homecoming & Family/Hall of Fame Weekend match up with Pacific (Ore.) next Saturday, Oct. 21, 1 p.m.