McMINNVILLE, Ore. -- Dejour Williams had his fourth seven-plus reception game of the season in the Lewis & Clark Pioneers' 43-26 loss at the Linfield Wildcats on Saturday. The senior wide receiver has two nine-reception and two seven-reception games this season and finished with 68 yards against the Wildcats at Maxwell Field.
Big plays happened for both teams throughout the day. Michael Abraham, who had 115 yards for his third 100-yard rushing game this season, had the Pios' first touchdown on a 55-yard run late in the first quarter before Aidan Verba-Hamilton ran a kickoff back for a 97-yard touchdown toward the end of the second quarter. Bryce Johnson and Verba-Hamilton added receiving touchdowns in the second half.
Linfield opened to a 10-0 lead and scored three times in the second quarter to build a 29-13 edge at halftime. Chidubem Nnoli totaled 129 yards rushing with two touchdowns to lead the Wildcats offensively.
Abraham broke his 55-yard touchdown run through the middle of the offensive line and shed two quick tackles before racing toward the left side of the endzone to bring the Pioneers to within 10-7. The touchdown was the first allowed by the Wildcats at home this season and Abraham's Northwest Conference-leading seventh of the year.
Verba-Hamilton's touchdowns were the first of his Pioneers career. The kickoff drove Verba-Hamilton back before he raced out to the left side of the field and outran the rest of Linfield's coverage team for the score. As the lone split out to the right, Verba-Hamilton shook off the coverage on third down and scored down the right sideline for his first career receiving touchdown.
The Wildcats (3-2, 2-1 NWC) answered with back-to-back scoring drives of 10 and two plays, respectively, to move back ahead 43-19 before Johnson scored the final TD of the game, his first score since his freshman year.
Linfield's 224-100 edge in rushing yards provided the Wildcats 5.9 yards per carry. Lewis & Clark (2-3, 1-2 NWC) averaged 3.7.
- The 26 points by the Pioneers are the most by Lewis & Clark against Linfield since 1991 when the Pios lost 59-30
- Freshman Anakin Mares tied with senior James Tostado for the team high in tackles (6) for the second straight game
- Makana LaBoy had an interception, his first of the season and second of his career, while Roger Hernandez recovered the first fumble of his career
- Skout Roberson had a sack for the second straight game and improved his career-high total to 2.5 for the season
- Linfield held an advantage in first downs, 24-17, and a slight edge on third down (Linfield 6 of 14, Lewis & Clark 7 of 18)
- Lewis & Clark had a season-low 26 penalty yards on five flags, while Linfield was whistled 10 times for 84 yards
- Caden Voges had his lowest completion percentage of the year (42.2) and a season-low 192 passing yards
- Linfield sacked Voges six times, a season high, but he threw his fewest interceptions since the second game of the season
- Pete Lahti blocked an extra-point attempt by Linfield kicker Willy Warne, who finished 3 for 4 on field goals and 4 for 5 on extra points
- Williams said "the team battled today, although I still think we left a lot of plays out there. I had a decent start, but I feel like I can do a better job of making big plays for our team."
Lewis & Clark completes its only back-to-back road stretch of the season with a game at Pacific on Oct. 20.