Football Secures Winning Season
Deven McKinney (Jr., Spanaway, Wash.) rushed for two touchdowns to lead Pacific as they secured their first winning season since 1987 Saturday, winning a 21-6 defensive battle over the Univ. of Chicago in non-conference football action at Lincoln Park Stadium.
McKinney scored the game's first touchdown with 9:35 left in the second quarter and then added a needed insurance score at the 10:26 mark of the fourth quarter. Jakob Lawrence (Jr., Sherwood, Ore.) scored the Boxers' second touchdown off of their first possession of the second half.
With the victory, Pacific improved to 6-1 and secured the program's first winning season since 1987 in just the fourth year since the team was reinstated in 2010. The Boxers went 4-3-2 that season, finishing fourth in the Columbia Football Association's Mt. Hood Division. Chicago, of the Division III University Athletic Association, dropped to 5-2.
"It guarantees a winning season for our program, which in year four is a significant accomplishment for us," said Pacific Head Coach Keith Buckley. "So we have to be happy with it and get right back to work tomorrow."
As expected, the game proved to be a defensive battle that saw the Maroons control time of possession. Chicago held onto the ball for 39 minutes, 51 seconds, and had two drives over nine minutes in length. The Maroons outgained the Boxers 302 yards to 284 yards (Pacific fewest yards of offense this season) and were 13 of 21 on third down conversions.
"Chicago did a heck of a job against us. They are a well coached football team," Buckley said. "They like to milk the clock and slow the game down and they certainly did that. I don't think any of our guys are feeling great about how we played today, but to not feel great and still come away with the win is something we're excited about."
McKinney's two scores led a day that saw Pacific rush for 136 yards. McKinney had 46 yards while Gunther Schultze (Sr., Bellflower, Calif.) led the team with 54 yards on eight carries. Quarterback P.J. Minaya (Sr., Wahiawa, Hawaii) completed 8 of 11 passes for 114 yards while T.C. Campbell (Jr., Kaimuki, Hawaii) was 3 for 4 for 34 yards and a touchdown. Jordan Fukumoto (Jr., Mililani, Hawaii) led the receivers with four catches for 56 yards.
Chicago quarterback Vincent Cortina completed 21 of 42 passes for 182 yards. Zak Ross-Nash rushed 26 times for 77 yards and the Maroons' only touchdown while Cole Thoms caught eight balls for 63 yards.
Neither team scored in a first quarter that ended with a Maroons' drive that milked the final nine minutes off of the clock, but ended on an incomplete pass by Cortina on the first play of the second quarter. Pacific took over at their own 32-yard line and took over five minutes to score on McKinney's six-yard run, making it a 7-0 lead at the 9:35 mark.
Chicago saw their two second quarter drives stunted in Pacific territory, the first ending on a punt and the second on another incomplete pass on fourth down. Moses Villareal-Gomez (Jr., Stockton, Calif.) attempted what would have been a school record 52-yard field goal with six seconds left in the half, but the kick fell short and the Maroons' Vincent Beltrano ran it back to midfield to end the period. Chicago controlled the ball for well over 20 minutes in the first half, but did not have any points to show for it.
Pacific made it a 14-0 lead on the first drive of the season half as Campbell found Lawrence for the eight-yard touchdown pass four minutes into the period. Chicago followed with a 19-play drive on their next possession, which would take an amazing 10 minutes, 34 seconds. The drive yielded the Maroons' only score of the day as Nash-Ross ran one yard for the touchdown. Devin Lagorio (Sr., Stockton, Calif.) blocked his third kick of the season on the point-after attempt, keeping it to a 14-6 game.
The Boxers scored again on their first full drive of the fourth quarter. McKinney followed up a 19-yard pass play from Minaya to Fukumoto by running in five yards for the touchdown with 10:26 left, securing the final 21-6 margin.
The Maroons' slow style of play killed their chances of a comeback late, as a 15-play drive that took 7 minutes, 37 seconds came up empty. Chicago marched 59 yards on the possession, but turned the ball over on downs with 2:49 left. Having used all of their timeouts, Chicago could not stop the clock as the Boxers gained a first down and went into victory formation to end the game.
Bryan Mills (Sr., Imbler, Ore.) led the Pacific defense with 10 tackles, including seven solo efforts. The Boxers finished with six tackles for loss, led by 1.5 from Tim Hastie (Sr., Auberry, Calif.) and Landon Aano (Sr., Ewa Beach, Hawaii). Schuyler Montefalco has six tackles to lead Chicago.
Pacific returns to Northwest Conference action for the remainder of the season. The Boxers return to Lincoln Park Stadium next week, hosting Lewis & Clark for a 1 p.m. kickoff. The game can be heard locally on 1360 AM KUIK. Live audio and video webcasts will be available at GoBoxers.com.
BOXER BYTES: Both teams were held well below their season scoring averages. Pacific entered the game averaging 36.3 points per game, while Chicago averaged 23.5 points per game…The game was the first-ever meeting between Pacific and Chicago in any sport. The Boxers will play the Maroons at Stagg Field in Chicago next fall…A number of Pacific football alumni who played for Paul Stagg between 1947 and 1960 gathered for a reunion prior to the game. Stagg is the son of famed Chicago head coach Amos Alonzo Stagg and Paul Stagg was the starting quarterback for the Maroons in the early 1930s…A moment of silence was observed prior to the game for Abby Robinson and Anna Dieter-Eckhart, sisters who were killed in hit-and-run collision last Sunday just blocks from the Pacific campus.