Photo by: Whitworth Sports Information
SPOKANE, WA – The Whittier College Football team opened up 2017 Saturday on the road, but found the season opener tough as they fell 49-10 to 24th Ranked Whitworth University at the Pine Bowl.
Miguel Avina (Indio, Calif.) led the Poets offense completing 13-27 passes for 184 yards and a touchdown. Bryson Sanders (Manteca, Calif.) led the receiving core with six catches for 77 yards averaging 12.8 yards per catch and junior Chance Trammell (Chico, Calif.) carried the ball 24 times for 78 yards to lead the ground attack.
Eric Voss connected on a field goal of 26 yards, which was the Purple & Gold's first score, which ended the first half and capped off a 6-play, 66-yard drive, but Whittier still saw themselves trailing 25-3 at the break.
The game was put away early in the third quarter as the Pirates put up two touchdowns that moved the score to 39-3. The Poets found the endzone later in the frame as Avina connected with Sanders for a 40-yard catch and go but those would be the final points put up by WC as Whitworth would go on to tack on one more score in the 4th quarter en route to the lopsided victory.
Whittier totaled 322 yards of total offense (184 passing/138 Rushing) and won the possession time at 37:16. Cooper Allen (Visalia, Calif.) led the defensive unit with 12 tackles (11 Solo/1 Assisted) coupled with a sack for an eight-yard loss and two break-ups.
Nicholas Markarian (Chino Hills, Calif.) added eight tackles and helped on a sack, while Natnael Yitayew (San Diego, Calif.) picked up seven tackles, a forced fumble and a break-up in his breakout start.
Ian Kolste completed 23 of 34 passes for 255 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions to lead the Whitworth offense. Michael McKeown led the Pirate receivers with seven catches for 106 yards and a score. Griffin Hare ran for a touchdown and caught a touchdown and led the Bucs with 36 rushing yards.
Whittier has a bye week next Saturday before returning home to the newly renovated Memorial Stadium on Saturday, September 23 to host Arizona Christian University with game time set for 5:00pm.