/seasons/2019/contrib/20191102vtg1bf

Wyatt Smith throws 6 TDs as Linfield cruises past Lewis & Clark 54-7

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McMINNVILLE, Ore. – Wyatt Smith passed for 399 yards and six touchdowns and No. 24 Linfield rolled up 566 yards of offense in a 54-7 shellacking of Lewis & Clark in Northwest Conference football Saturday afternoon at Maxwell Field. Smith – the NWC Offensive Player of the Week five times already this season – completed 24 of 35 passes.
 
Linfield (6-1, 5-0 NWC) scored touchdowns on its first three possessions to take control of the game less than nine minutes in and led 34-0 by halftime. Lewis & Clark (3-4, 2-3 NWC) outscored the Wildcats 7-0 in the third quarter before Linfield tacked on three more touchdowns in the final period; the Wildcats have scored at least 50 points in all but one of their NWC games this season.
 
The Wildcats finished with 417 yards passing, with Keegan Weiss grabbing six passes for 103 yards and two touchdowns and Keaton Wood catching five for 62 yards and a score. The 'Cats also rushed for 149 yards, Artie Johnson picking up 57 of those and a touchdown on 15 carries.
 
Linfield limited Lewis & Clark to 184 yards total offense, 110 passing and 74 rushing, as roverback Kyell Davis led the Wildcats with 10 tackles. For the Pioneers, Caden Voges completed 13 of 26 passes for 99 yards. Xavier Tharpe had seven catches for 40 yards while Zo Faraj-Washington rushed 11 times for 35 yards.
 
Linfield took the opening kickoff and went 73 yards in seven plays; the Wildcats set the tone on the first play from scrimmage as Smith hit Tyler Torgerson down the left sideline for 44 yards. Smith tossed a 14-yard touchdown to Weiss to make it 7-0 at the 11:40 mark of the first quarter.
 
The Pioneers went three-and-out on their first two possessions, and the Wildcats responded with touchdown passes each time.
 
The first score came as Artie Johnson turned a swing pass into a 33-yard TD from Smith with 7:39 to play in the quarter, tightroping the left sideline to wrap up a six-play, 65-yard drive and make it 14-0.
 
The next 'Cat drive took just one play as Weiss caught his second score of the game, hooking up with Smith for a 43-yard catch-and-run to go in front 21-0 with 6:07 left in the first quarter.
 
The Wildcats pushed their lead to 27-0 with Smith's fourth TD in a 19-minute span, this time to younger brother Colton Smith in the back right corner of the end zone. Colton Smith pinned the ball against his helmet with his right hand while managing to keep his feet inbounds. That drive covered 70 yards in six plays and included another Smith-to-Smith pass that went for 44 yards.
 
Wyatt Smith pitched his fifth TD pass of the first half with 6:36 left, connecting with defensive tackle-turned-tight end Chase Lydig for a 1-yard score. That march took eight plays to traverse 55 yards and put Linfield up 34-0.
 
Linfield outgained L&C 386-53 during the opening two quarters, limiting the Pioneers to just one first down in the first half. Smith threw for 308 yards by halftime, completing 17 of 24 throws.
 
Pioneers tailback Michael Abraham scored L&C's lone TD in the third quarter, finishing an 11-play drive that covered 75 yards. That drew Lewis & Clark within 34-7 with 1:25 remaining in the period.
 
Linfield responded with a pair of touchdowns in less than a minute.
 
Wood pulled in a 32-yard toss from Smith that made it 41-7 with 14:17 left in the game. On the second play of the Pioneers' ensuing possession, Tyler Sitton picked off a Cruz Montana pass and returned it 24 yards to the Pioneer 5, then Johnson plowed into the end zone on the next play and Linfield led 48-7 with 13:23 remaining.
 
Another interception set up the Wildcats' final score as Malik Campbell picked off Max Nichols and brought it back 19 yards to the Pioneer 23. Colby Iverson's 15-yard scramble on a third-and-6 took the ball to the 4, and Tanner Earhart scored from there for a 54-7 advantage with 1:54 to go.
 
'CAT SCRATCH
Saturday's announced attendance was 1,728 . . . the Wildcats played a turnover-free game while forcing four L&C takeaways of their own. . . Linfield improved its NCAA-era win-loss record in the month of November to 35-3 . . . this was Linfield's 42nd consecutive win over Lewis & Clark; the Pioneers' last win in the series was in 1973 by a 7-4 score in Portland.
 
NEXT
Linfield heads to Spokane, Wash., for its most significant game on Saturday. The Wildcats battle defending NWC champion Whitworth in the Pine Bowl starting at 12:30 p.m. A Linfield victory would assure the Wildcats of the program's 10th NWC crown in the last 11 seasons while also locking up the conference's automatic berth to the NCAA Division III playoffs.

Sep. 25: All times Eastern
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Sep. 25: All times Eastern
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at St. John's 31, Bethel 25
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Central 84, at Simpson 16
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at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 29, Chapman 21
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