From the Pressbox: UW-Whitewater edition

Providing prospective today from the pressbox is Linfield alum and statistics specialist Tom McFadden ’80:

11:54 am CST……..teams now entering the field.  Cats in all white today, the Warhawks in all black.

11:58am………Linfield wins the toss, chooses to defer to the second half.  UWW will receive and defend the north goal…..the Cats will have the wind for the first quarter.

12:05…..Warhawks convert on a third and two and are at the Linfield 26.

6:32 left 1st quarter….Cats turn it over at the UWW 45….and then score on the first play on a 55 yard run by RB Levell Coppedge.   Tough momentum swing in the game.     The Cats have a bit of adversity to deal with now…..UWW 7, Cats 0.

The UWW defensive line is the best I’ve seen this year.   Strong and quick.

4:22 1st quarter…..Cats have to punt, three and out.  But Repp kicks a beauty, downed at the 4.    Big series coming for the Cat defense.

End of first quarter, 7-0 UWW.    The Warhawks seem to be a run first team given their choice. But QB Donovan is very accurate with his short passing, just completing a nice out pattern to move the chains for the final play of the quarter.

9:59 left 2nd quarter………Linfield drive stalls, offense seems a little out of sync.  Just nine yards rushing.

7:01 2nd….Big play by Paul Nishazaki to stop Coppedge on a 3rd and 2.   Cats get the ball back after a touchback.     First play…tipped interception and UW back in business at the Linfield 21.

5:36 2nd….Cats hold and hold the Warhawks to a field goal…..coulda been worse.  Cats down 10-0….seems like it could be worse.    The game has the feel of a blowout, but it is just a two score game.

Big run by Boehme to start the drive….Cats in the red zone.  And score on a pass to Henderson on third down.  With the PAT, Cats trail 10-7.

End of half……Linfield gets a huge goal line stand to end the half.    Big momentum swing!!    Jaymin Jackson makes a championship level play.

Cats have the ball to start the half!!

Second half…..Boehme to Cederberg sets up the Cats in the red zone, Boehme finishes it of with a run off the zone read….Cats up 14-10….and the crowd isn’t in the game.

7:00 3rd…Cats get stop and Patterson takes a fair catch at the 10.  Cats have the ball and the lead.

4:00 3rd…..Big conversion to Patterson.   Cats have a third and nine from the UWW 42.  And Patterson comes through  again at the 17!

End of thrid quarter…..Cats going to attempt a FG….they allow time to expire in the third quarter to get the wind for the attempt.

Kunioka hits the 35 yeard attempt!  Cats lead 17-10

14:15 left….big third down conversion for the Warhawks that put them at the Cat 12.

12:36 left…Cats hold the Warhawks to a FG…17-13 Linfield.   After a penalty on the kickoff, Cats take over at their own 23.

8:31 left….After a sack and a penalty, Linfield kicks the ball and UWW takes over at their own 23.   Big series comin’….

7:59 left….UWW connects on a long one to the Cat one yard line  Yikes….and they are in the endzone on first down.    Wow.   Warhawks take the lead 20-17.   Mount Union has won 24-7 over Wesley.   Season is on the line….drive starts on the Lin 31.

5:24 left….after one first down, the Cats go out and a fake is foiled.    UWW takes over at the Lin 49.  Cats have two timeouts left.

4:18 left….UWW third and four.  Donovan is sacked and the Cats will get the ball back.  Nishisaki with the sack.  Cats take over on their 18, two timeouts left.   Let’s go offense!

1:51 left..Cats convert on fourth down

1:23….Boehme is intercepted.  The Cats will lose the turnover battle today and with it, the game.   The Cats take their second time out.

1:05….Coppedge gets lost in traffic and sweeps to a TD with the Cat defense overloaded to one side.    27-17.   Going to be a tough last minute for the Cats.


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From Pressrow: St. Thomas Edition

Posted by Eric Evenson

Linfield and St. Thomas will kick off in about 10 minutes on what has turned out to be a very nice December day in McMinnville. After facing a very athletic Hardin-Baylor club last weekend, the ‘Cats will have a handful with the big and physical Tommies. Fritz Waldvogel and Ben Wartmen are two of the nation’s most dynamic playmakers at wide reciever and running back. Waldvogel presents the Wildcats another problem that will need to be solved in the return game. He has six returns for touchdowns, tops in the nation. If the ‘Cats can limit the big plays from Waldvogel and Wartmen it could be a long day for the Tommies.

7-0 Linfield. The Wildcats score on a one-yard touchdown run by Simon Lamson. Linfield pinned St. Thomas back at its own one-yard line and forced a punt on a three-and-out. Taylor Skore took gave the ‘Cats a short field with a good return.

14-0 Linfield. Lamson scores again from a yard out. Aaron Boehme hit Ryan Henderson earlier in the drive for a 56-yard completion.

14-7 after a score by St. Thomas. Ben Wartman punches it in from 3 yards out.

17-7. Linfield tacks on a 41-yard field goal by Maika Kunioka.

24-7. Patterson scores on a 12-yard pass from Boehme. Linfield has grabbed this game by the throat after a punt block from Drew Fisher.

24-14. The Tommies score with 22 seconds left in the half to make this a game going into the break. Linfield kicked the ball out of bounds on the kickoff, setting up a nice drive by St. Thomas.

24-20: Fritz Waldvogel scores on a touchdown reception. Makes a guy miss and boom we have a game. The PAT is wide right.

31-20: Lamson adds another score with a two-yard touchdown run

Linfield wins it here in McMinnville, improving to 12-0 on the season. On to the semifinals.

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From Press Row: Mary Hardin-Baylor Edition

Pregame: You really can’t draw up a better matchup. Linfield has not faced an opponent with the statistical numbers the Crusaders have put up in 2009. Mary Hardin-Baylor comes in averaging 460 total yards of offense per game. This is a very physical team that should provide a tough test for the Wildcats.

Quincy Daniels gashes the ‘Cats defense for a 24-yard touchdown run. Big play gets the Crusaders up 7-0. This is as athletic of a team Linfield has seen all year.

Field goal from Kunioka from 22-yards out cuts the MHB lead to 7-3. A small victory from the Crusaders, holding the ‘Cats to a three-and-out at the 11.

Kyle Noack takes a bootleg in from five-yards out. Pretty quiet crowd this Saturday at Maxwell Field. 14-3

At the end of a quarter its 14-3 Mary Hardin-Baylor. For the first time this season the Wildcats may be facing a team that is as big and as fast as them.

‘Cats settle for another field goal. Linfield has struggled in the red zone. Very impressed right now by the Crusaders defense. 14-6.

What a break. Trevor Patterson fumbles at the one yard line after a completion but Buddy Saxon recovers it in the end zone. To win a championship you need to get some breaks and the ‘Cats surely got that.

14-13 at the half.

This is a great playoff showdown with two excellent teams. Linfield has not played its best football and are right there, down 14-13. Mary Hardin-Baylor has looked good. A very solid defense with athletes on both sides of the football. If Linfield can win the battles up front then look for the ‘Cats to have success. So far the Crusaders have controlled the line of scrimmage and gotten more pressure on Boehme then the ‘Cats are used to seeing. It will be interesting to see the adjustments each team makes in the locker room. Regardlesss, this should be a great finish.

An interception by Taylor Skore sets up a Boehme rushing touchdown from eight yards out. Linfield is up 20-14.

Linfield has opened it up big. 33-14. Eric Hedin picks up a fumble for a touchdown and then Boehme hits Saxon for a score.

Another touchdown for the ‘Cats defense. 40-14. This one is wrapped up with the Crusaders having no passing game.

A punt signals the end of the day for the Crusaders. What a third quarter. One that will be talked about for some time. While the regular season was much about the offense, Linfield’s defense has made a clear statement that they are the heart of the Wildcats success. Eric Hedin gets the game ball

53-21. It’s a final here in McMinnville. Look to see you all here next weekend when Linfield plays host to St. Thomas of Minnesota.

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From Pressrow: California Lutheran Edition

Posted by Eric Evenson

An interesting storyline for today’s first round playoff game. The Linfield Wildcats, a playoff regular, will take on first-time postseason player in the Cal Lutheran Kingsman. The Wildcats role out one of the nation’s top offensives against a very solid group from down south. It will come down to Linfield’s ability to handle the pressre from Cal Lutheran. The Wildcats have given up only four sacks all year, but will face a tough Cal Lutheran defense that can rush the quarterback with a good deal of success.


Cal Lutheran has a 3-0 lead after taking over deep in Linfield territory. The ‘Cats fumbled the first play from scrimmage, resulting in an early deficit.

Aaron Williams puts the ‘Cats up 7-3 with a touchdown run. One can only guess when the last time was that the Wildcats trailed. That didn’t last for long. Linfield’s zone read offense has looked crisp after a fumble on the first play of the game.

‘Cats up 14-3 after a touchdown to Ryan Henderson. Linfield is clicking on all cylinders in the early going.

24-3 Linfield leads it. A touchdown run from Boehme and a field goal have the ‘Cats in control. Linfield has forced a pair of Cal Lutheran turnovers and are looking to bury the Kingsmen before halftime.

31-3 Linfield. Boehme hits Trevor Patterson for a touchdown pass. Heck of a catch by Trevor, juggling the ball twice before hauling it in.

31-17 at the half. Brian Stuart scores twice for the Kingmens.

First half thoughts: Talk about a game of swings. After rolling off 31 straight points, Linfield gave up a pair of scores at the end of the half. CLU will get the ball to start the half. A score on the first drive would really make this interesting.

38-17 Linfield. Cederberg grabs his second touchdown catch of the day.

And its a final here in McMinnville. Linfield wins it 38-17 and moves on to the second round. Give the game ball to the defense. Great performance!

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From Press Row: Pacific Lutheran edition

Posted by Eric Evenson

10 Minutes until kickoff: Senior Day festivities are getting wrapped up here on an overcast Saturday at Linfield’s Maxwell Field. Great opportunity for the Wildcats this afternoon, looking to finish off an undefeted regular season.

Pregame Thoughts: With an undefeated regular season on the line, don’t expect a letdown for a very fresh Linfield team. After grinding their way through an unimpressive win against Puget Sound two weekends ago, the ‘Cats are coming off a bye week. Sitting at 3-2 in the Northwest Conference, PLU will need its passing attack to click on all cylindars in order to trip the Wildcats. The Lutes average 278 yards of passing per contest and in many ways are a one dimensional offense. That one dimension better be on fire if it’s going to beat a motivated Linfield squad.

1st Quarter

14:53: Taylor Skore runs it back to the 40 yard-line and we are underway.

14:14: Aaron Boehme hits Russell Sells for a first down into PLU territory.

12:55 Aaron Williams with a 17-yard rush down to the PLU 21. Boehme spreads them out with a five-wide set and hits Sells for a gain of eight, down to the PLU 13

11:50: Bryan Meumiller with the interception. The pass hit off Sells straight into the air, allowing Meumiller to make the easy pick.

10:56: Jordan Rasmussen runs for five yards to the PLU 35, good enough to move the chains.

8:30 : Lutes face a third and four from the Linfield 43 yard-line. Linfield holds and PLU will punt.

7:59: Linfield will have a lot of field in front of the it, after the PLU punt was downed at the Linfield one yard-line.

7:51. So much for running the ball out of the end zone. Boehme bombs it to Trevor Patterson for a gain for 43 yards.

6:10: Fourth and one at the 27….Williams runs it down to the 15. First down ‘Cats

3:46: Touchdown Wildcats! Boehme hits Buddy Saxon for an eight-yard touchdown pass. 7-0 Linfield.

1:25: With a sack Linfield forces and three and out. First and ten Linfield at its own 40 yard line.

End of the first quarter: 7-0 Linfield. The ‘Cats will face a fourth-and-one on its own 49-yard line.

2nd Quarter

14:44: First down Linfield on a two-yard run by Taylor Avritt.

13:38: Boehme connects with Gunnar Cederberg for 27 yards down to the PLU 14

11:37: Boehme finds Chris Saunders on first-and-goal for the score. Linfield leads 13-0 after the ‘Cats fail to convert the extra point.

9:30: PLU is working on a pretty nice drive and will face and second-and-two from its own 49. Sure enough, the Lutes move the chains to the Linfield 44.

7:47: First down on a third and three to Greg Ford. A late hit from Jaymin Jackson puts the ball on the Linfield 10. First and goal for the Lutes.

6:52: Touchdown Lutes. Rasmussen hits Cody Pohren for an eight-yard touchdown conversion. 13-7.

4:57: First down Wildcats. Boehme hits Patteron for 27 yards down to the PLU 29.

3:45: Touchdown Wildcats. Williams scores on an 11-yard run. 20-7 ‘Cats.

2:44: And the ‘Cats score again. An 22-yard interception return for a touchdown from Alex Tkachuk. 27-7 Linfield. That may just be the dagger. A three-score deficit is a lot to overcome against the kind of offense Linfield features.

30 seconds: Linfield ball at the PLU 27-yard line. Saxon has three catches on the drive .

24 seconds: Out of the timeout Boehme hits Patterson for a 27-yard touchdown. 34-7 Linfield.

13 seconds: Paul Nishizaki forces a fumble and it is recovered by Eric Hedin. Linfield has the ball with seven seconds left on the PLU 16-yard line.

2 seconds: Touchdown to Patterson….41-7. Goodnight.

Halftime: With a playoff game upcoming, look for the backups to see the field in the second half. Don’t expect to see Boehme in the second half.

3rd Quarter

15:00: Boehme is still out there to start the first drive of the half.

12:58: The ‘Cats add on with a 56-yard touchdown pass to Chris Slezak. 48-7 Linfield.

3:12 : Rasmussen hits Drew Griffin for a 13-yard score. 48-14 Linfield.

4th Quarter:

15:00: Cole Bixenman is into the game for the ‘Cats. He played much of the third quarter.

9:52: Touchdown Bryan B0rgmeier from Cole Bixenman. PLU scored minutes ealier. 55-21.

7:46: After the Lutes recover the onsides kick, Josh Ness makes the interception to seal this baby up.

Winning Thoughts: Linfield did what they had to do. Boehme was great again for the ‘Cats. Going into the playoffs you have to feel good about rolling in with a quarterback of his ability and with his leadership. At the end of the day no one got hurt. The last thing you need is a major injury going into the postseason.


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Did Someone Say Playoffs?

Interest in the Linfield football program is picking up added momentum after the Wildcats beat Puget Sound on Saturday to clinch at least a share of the Northwest Conference title and the team’s first NCAA playoff invitation since 2005.

Naturally, fans, students and parents are excited about the possibilities of the Wildcats playing in postseason. The inclination is to make some plans in advance.

Here’s a sample email I received Monday:

Hello Mr. Bird,

I am trying to get a handle on the playoff schedule for football.  I understand November 21st most likely will be at Linfield.  Do you have any “guestimate” where the November 28th game might likely be played?

We are from California and trying to make travel plans…Thank you so much.

Best Regards,
Linfield Parent

Dear Linfield Parent,

Linfield has submitted bids to host the first four rounds of the playoffs. That said, there is no way to speculate where the NCAA might choose to place games. Linfield does stand a better-than-most chance of hosting in the first round. Beyond that, I can’t offer a prediction what the NCAA might be inclined to do.

In addition to the relative strength of teams in the playoff field, financial and geographic considerations come into play when choosing home sites.

The best advice is to sit back and let it play out. Do not hedge your bets by booking airline tickets. Some of our baseball parents were burned in the past when they felt sure the Wildcats would be sent to Abilene, Texas, for a NCAA baseball regional, but instead the team was shipped to Moline, Illinois.


So, Linfield fans, experience has taught me not to try and guess what the NCAA is going to do. Everything time I thought I had their playoff patterns figured out, they went 180 degrees the other way.

Go ‘Cats!

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From Press Row: Puget Sound Edition

Eric Evenson,  a junior English major from Corvallis, will be providing commentary on the blog today.

20 min until kickoff : The crowd is starting to file in to what could be a playoff-clinching win for the Wildcats. The big key for Puget Sound todaywill be wheather the Loggers can put any points on the board. For a team that averages only 9.7 point per game, the matchup is not favorable for the visitors.

5 min until kickoff: Not a very big crowd here today on a Halloween afternoon. Pretty good conditions weather wise, overcast but not very cold.

Kickoff: We are underway here in McMinnville, Puget Sound will start their drive at its own 38

14:27 : Casey Larson rushes for a first down and then a pass play from Spencer Crase puts the ball at the Linfield 39.

11:58: After a 30-yard completion to the tight end Tim Fogarty, Crase rushes it in from four yards out. This is a focused group that came to McMinnville that clearly has a game plan consisting for a shotgun formation with short passes

7-0 UP

10:35 Aatron Boehme pass to Buddy Saxon for 38 yards to the UPS 12

9:25 Boehme sneaks it in from a yard out to tie the game. Good answer for the Wildcats, tying the score at 7. An exciting first six minutes here in McMinnville

7:54: The Loggers continue to move the chains with two more first downs. If there it a blueprint for pulling the upset on the road it is by moving the chains. Interestingly enough, short passes were a key element of what Oregon State did last weekend down at USC. UPS is working the short passing game very nicely.

5:32 Jaymin Jackson with the sack from the blindside on 3rd and 7.

4:41 After a screen pass to Kevin Abbott gave the ‘Cats a first down, Linfield commits a very bad holding penalty which was completly unnecessary.

4:18: Boehme dials up Chris Slezak  down to the UPS 37 after a 43-yard bomb

4:02: The next play Boehme hits Patterson in the endzone ofr a 37-yard TD.

14-7 Linfield, who has regained control of the gain.

3:11 Three and out for the Loggers. P.J Sequira returns the punt 54 yards down to the UPS 11.

1:28 :Linfield can’t punch in its third TD of the day. Maika Kunioka is short from 39 yards out.

Linfield leads it 14-7 at the end of the first quarter. Crace looks good so far, completing 12-of-14 passes, good for six first downs.

Second Quarter

13:01 Interception from Damarkus Milner giving the Loggers the ball at the Linfield 34. Crase then hits Ross Zuhl for a first down to the Lin 19….good for 17 yards.

10:38 roughing the passer calls put the ball at the Linfield 2.

9:49 UPS will not go away. Crace hits Koenig for a one-yard touchdown. The Wildcats pass defense is not slowing down a very solid UPS offense that has clearly figured out a blueprint for how to attack Linfield.


9:42: Kevin Abbott returns the kickoff  37 yards to the UPS 43

8:41 Chris Saunders gets free for a 17-yard reception to the one yard-line. Boehme sneaks it in for the score. PAT good.

21-14 Linfield leads. This is much closer than more people expected. With just over eight minutes remaining in the first half, Linfield will look to slow down a very efficient UPS club. A stop here will go a long way for Linfield.

7:32 Ross Zuhl is killing the ‘Cats. 28 yard reception to the Linfield 34.

6:25: Larson scores on a screen pass for 36 yards.

21-21 we are all tied up here McMinnville.

5:18: Kevin Abbott catches a screen pass and breaks a big one for a first down, good for 27 yards to the UPS 13 yard-line

4:26: Boehme to Patterson on a fade to the back of the end zone.

28-21 Linfield leads

4:03 Zuhl on a reception for 12 yards to get a first down. Crace who is 20-for-23 on the day is down right now and appears to be injured

2:53 An interception will be brought back because of a pass interference call. First and ten for the Loggers at the Linfield 20.

38 seconds: Peter Topolski’s kick is good for a 28-yard field goal.

28-24 Wildcats lead at the half.

First Half Thoughts: For the first 30 minuts UPS proved they aren’t going anywhere this afternoon. Linfield will get the kickoff to start the second half and could get their first lead of more than seven points with a score. It will be interesting to see if the Loggers can continue this type of offensive day. Winless vs. Undefeated is turning out to be quick a ballgame. Crace has been the star so far, completing 21-of-24 passes.

13:13 Pass interference moves the ball to the UPS 36.

10:25 21-yard touchdown pass to Gunnar Cederberg. 35-24

7:20 UPS picks up a first down on a third-and-one to the Linfield 25

6:33 Zuhl with a 25-yard touchdown reception. He now has 13 catches for 134 yards,  burning up the Linfield secondary.

4:56 Boehme hits Aaron Williams on a shovel pass for 15 yards and first down

2:34 Patterson makes a great catch in the endzone. 14-yard touchdown reception to put Linfield up 41-30.

End of the 3rd quarter… 41-30 Linfield with UPS driving at the Linfield 27 yard-line.

14:48: UPS converts on a 4th down and one to keep the drive alive. Linfield has not found an answer for Zuhl who now has a school-record 16 catches for 155 yards.

13:35 Zuhl with another touchdown… 22-yard reception on a screen pass.

12:23 Boehme scores his third rushing TD of the game on a 14-yard run.  47-36 Linfield.

7:33 Bryce Comfort with the interception in the endzone. Comfort takes the ball out and is tackled at the one yard-line.

5:00 Jaymin Jackson makes the big play…forcing a fumble thaat was recorverd by Drew Fisher. Linfield has a 47-36 lead that should survive the final minutes.

3:04 Touchdown Saxon in the corner of the endzone. This one is over with the ‘Cats up 54-36.

It was a fun one here in McMinnville. Hats off to a very tough UPS team. Ross Zuhl turned a lot of heads this afternoon with his remarkable performance. While the defense struggled, Linfield stays unbeaten in large part because of one of the nation’s top passing attacks.

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