NEWBERG, Ore. -- The Lewis & Clark Pioneers held the George Fox Bruins to 70 rushing yards less than their season average, but a decisive field-position advantage for the Bruins led to a 42-7 defeat on Saturday at Stoffer Family Stadium.
Lewis & Clark limited the Bruins to 63 yards on the ground. The Pioneers had five tackles for loss, two by sophomore linebacker Alex Hensley, and two sacks. George Fox had averaged 133 yards rushing entering Saturday.
However, the Bruins average starting spot was their own 42, while the Pios averaged their own 20, and the Bruins scored the first 21 points of the game. Dallas Garreaud had Lewis & Clark's only score, a 16-yard TD reception in the second quarter.
George Fox (5-4, 4-2 NWC) nearly completed two long passes on its first two possessions, but ultimately both were incomplete and the teams exchanged punts on their first two drives. While not a long pass in terms of air time, the Bruins scored first on a 73-yard screen pass and run by Ethan Kassebaum for a 7-0 lead with 3:41 remaining in the first quarter.
Pinned back at their 7-yard line, the Pioneers punted to the Northwest Conference's leading returner, Anthony Garcia, who returned the kick 18 yards to the Pios 25. On the first play from scrimmage, Bruins quarterback Jaden Sheffey (9 for 18, 174 yards, two touchdowns) found Justin Thimble for a 25-yard score. On the following Pios series, Caden Voges threw an interception that Caleb Harrel returned 32 yards to give George Fox a 21-0 lead.
"Feel like we were in it a lot, and then had a lot of mental errors get to us," Hensley said. "It's a tough loss."
Lewis & Clark (3-5, 2-4 NWC) didn't start another drive past their own 25 until the early fourth quarter, and three were behind the 10. Bruins punter Jason Santoni averaged 44.5 yards per kick and had four downed inside the 20. His longest was 55 yards.
Despite the deficit, bad field position and only one first down - a fourth-down run by Randy Manewa on a punt attempt - the Pioneers offense used nine plays for a 92-yard drive on Garreaud's fourth touchdown reception of the year to get within 14 points with 5:30 to play in the first half. After the Pios' defense force a Bruins three-and-out, the Pios fumbled at their own 6. With a short field, the Bruins scored on Wesley Riddel's 1-yard run to lead 28-7 at halftime.
Despite his first multi-interception game in his last four outings, Voges went 15 of 24 for 140 yards and a touchdown including a 49-yard pass to Kevin Johnson during the Garreaud scoring drive. Voges left the game in the third quarter with an apparent arm injury, and Cruz Montana replaced the senior and threw 7 for 15 for 28 yards and an interception.
"Junior has definitely stayed focused," Hensley said of Malone. "He's a leader even when he was off the field not playing. I have learned a lot from him."
Malone missed all of 2018 with an injury.
- The Pioneers averaged their highest total per rush (3.2) on Saturday since posting 3.8 yards per carry at Pacific on Oct. 19
- Zondre Faraj-Washington, who also had a career-high five receptions, went for 4.7 yards per rush on 10 carries, while Michael Abraham (16 carries, 48 yards) had only his second 3.0 per carry average in his last five games
- Johnson eclipsed 70 receiving yards for the second time in his career with four receptions and 73 yards
- Garreaud's six catches are his second most this season
- In a match-up of the conference's top two kick returners, the Bruins stayed away from Lewis & Clark freshman Huero Lopez who returned just one for 17 yards
- Lopez trails George Fox's Garcia for the top spot in the conference
- Voges' TD pass extends his career year to 16 touchdown passes this season, while his two picks give him a total of 25 for his career
- Sheffey had his second-fewest rushing attempts this season on Saturday and his third-lowest yardage total
The Pioneers wrap up the season on Nov. 16 in Portland against Puget Sound.