Football Rolls by Whittier in Season Opener

Football Rolls by Whittier in Season Opener

SPOKANE, Wash. – Exploding for three touchdowns in a three minute span of the third quarter, Whitworth blew past visiting Whittier 47-11 in a non-conference football game on Saturday at the Pine Bowl.  It was the season opener for both schools.

Senior wideout Anthony Fullman caught three touchdown passes and Nick Kiourkas had two long TD receptions to spark the offense.  Meanwhile the Pirate defense held the Poets out of the endzone until less than four minutes were left in the game.

Whitworth got on the board during its second possession of the season, driving 80 yards in only four plays.  Ian Kolste found Kiourkas streaking down the middle of the field for a 49-yard touchdown. 

Kiourkas hauled in his second touchdown early in the second quarter when Kolste hit him in the back corner of the endzone from 38 yards away.  Kiourkas then caught a two-point conversion pass from Jonah Koski to increase the lead to 15-0.

Whittier then put together its only extended drive of the first half, going 76 yards to the Whitworth 18-yard line.  However the Poets were forced to settle for a 36-yard field goal by Eric Voss, pulling within 15-3.

Whitworth took a 23-3 lead into halftime when Kolste hit Fullman on an inside screen pass and Fullman went untouched into the endzone from 19 yards away to complete a 71-yard drive.  Koski then ran the ball in for another two-point conversion.

The Pirates had a chance to extend the lead before halftime, but a 44-yard field goal attempt was wide left as time expired.

After an exchange of possessions to start the second half, Whitworth took over on its own 40 yard line.  This time the Pirates went to the ground game as Duke DeGaetano and Griffin Hare combined for 50 of the 60 yards.  But the drive ended with an 11-yard touchdown pass from Kolste to Fullman, extending the lead to 30-7 with 6:19 left in the third.

Joe Schweiger then recovered a fumbled snap on Whittier's first play from scrimmage, setting up a 14-yard touchdown pass from Kolste to Kevin Thomas that extended the Pirate lead to 37-3. 

The Whitworth defense forced a quick three-and-out on the Poets' next possession.  A 27-yard punt gave the Pirates the ball on the Whittier 43 yard line.  With Koski now playing QB, the Pirates went 43 yards in only four plays to score their third TD in less than a three-minute span.  Koski found Fullman from 24 yards out for the score that gave Whitworth a 44-3 lead with 3:54 left in the third quarter.

Whitworth scored one more time, converting a 25-yard field goal by Robert Thullen on the first possession of the fourth quarter.  The final Pirate points extended the lead to 47-3.

Whittier finally got into the endzone with 3:52 to play in the game when Justin Moore completed a five-yard touchdown pass to Benton Bray on fourth down, closing out a 76-yard drive that took 12 plays.

Whitworth finished with a 494 – 325 edge in total offense.  The Pirates passed for 342 yards and ran for 152.  The Poets passed for 240 and ran for 85.

Kolste completed 22 of 41 passes for 305 yards with five touchdowns and no interceptions.  Koski went 4-7 for 37 yards and a score.

Kiourkas led ten Whitworth receivers who had at least one catch in the game.  Kiourkas finished with five receptions for 128 yards.  Fullman finished with four grabs for 65 yards, three of which were touchdowns.  DeGaetano caught four passes out of the backfield for 44 yards.

DeGaetano ran for 53 yards and Hare finished with 32 yards on the ground.

For Whittier, Moore completed 27 of 42 passes for all 240 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions.  Justin Vlahos was his favorite target, catching 14 passes for 109 yards.

Miguel Redmond was Whittier's leading rusher with 37 yards on 17 carries.

Taylor Roelofs and JT Phelan had Whitworth's two interceptions on defense, while Jordan Pride joined Schweiger with a fumble recovery.  Dalin McDonnell was the leading tackler with eight stops.  Schweiger added to sacks to his fumble recovery. 

James Bettencourt led Whittier with nine tackles. 

Whitworth returns to action next weekend, hosting La Verne at 1:00 pm in the Pine Bowl.  Whittier will host Austin College next Saturday.