Seniors shine in season-ending victory over Loggers

Photo by Cole Petters
Photo by Cole Petters

PORTLAND, Ore. -- The Lewis & Clark Pioneers had a big day from numerous seniors and their first pair of 100-yard rushers since 2009 to win 33-21 over the Puget Sound Loggers on Saturday at Griswold Stadium.

Lewis & Clark finished the year with four wins, its most since 2012, and three home victories, the most since 2011.

The Pioneers outscored Puget Sound 26-7 in the second half. Already with their most wins since 2015, the Loggers were denied a seventh for the first time since 2006.

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Key Moments

Tawayne Malone had three interceptions to tie the single-game school record. His second of the day came with the Pios up 20-14 and ended Puget Sound's first possession of the fourth quarter at the Lewis & Clark 2. On the next play, Zondre Faraj-Washington busted a 73-yard run, one of numerous plays of 40 or more yards by the Pios on Saturday, to get Lewis & Clark to the Loggers 25. Three plays later, Faraj-Washington scored from three yards out.

Alvin Johnson's third touchdown of the day on the next Puget Sound drive brought the Loggers back within 12, but Michael Abraham tore off a 50-yard run to start Lewis & Clark's next drive. He scored his career-best 11th rushing touchdown two plays later and extended the Pios lead to 33-21.

Faraj-Washington finished with 131 yards on 16 carries, and Abraham totaled 127 yards on 18 rushes to give Lewis & Clark a 6.8 yards per rush average. The junior pair are the first 100-yard rushers in the same game since Tucker Laurence (17 carries, 218 yards) and Logan Kotzian (6 rushes, 102 yards) in 2009.

"Zondre breaking down the sideline when we were back on the two for a big-big gain set us up for a huge touchdown and secured us the win," senior tackle Devon Franklin said. The big rushing performance propelled the Pioneers to 1,214 rushing yards this season, 40 yards more than in 2018 when they finished with their most since 2011.

The defense pressured Puget Sound quarterback Murdock Rutledge all day long and sacked him seven times. Senior Keola Palau had three, a new career high, and Cameron Chang added two to bring his season total to 7.5, the second most in the Northwest Conference. Lewis & Clark held Puget Sound to its fewest total yards (373) in their last five games. The Loggers (6-4, 4-3 NWC) averaged the third-most passing yards in the nation coming into Saturday.

Freshman Cruz Montana made his first collegiate start for injured senior Caden Voges. Montana finished 9 of 23 for 192 yards and two interceptions. He completed passes of 66 and 52 yards to Dallas Garreaud and Kevin Johnson, respectively, both of whom are seniors. Garreaud's catch led to the opening touchdown of a game, a 7-yard throwback pass from wide receiver Sam Mueller to Montana. 

Deeper Look

  • Lewis & Clark had to overcome deficits in three of their four wins this season including 14-7 on Saturday
  • Prior to Saturday, the Pioneers hadn't beaten Puget Sound since 2013
  • Aidan Verba-Hamilton returned a punt for a 60-yard touchdown, the third return TD of his career and second punt return touchdown in as many years
  • Ramonne Canales closed out his Pios career with his most tackles in a single game (11) to go with 1.5 tackles for loss
  • Along with Franklin, James McArthur and Kalae Wong were seniors on the offensive line that played nearly every healthy snap with juniors Eryk Schaftlein and Mercury Mercury Compagno this season; the group helped the Pios to their high yardage numbers
  • Lewis & Clark had its second-most total yards (484) this season and allowed one sack on Saturday
  • Both teams were over 45 percent on third down and converted a fourth down
  • Randy Manewa averaged 40.4 yards per punt
  • Playing in his last game as a 3/2 program participant, junior Garrett Barber caught his first career pass 
  • Hayden Moses attempted a 28-yard field goal that missed wide left and finished 3 for 4 on extra points
  • Roger Hernandez had his third interception of the season on Puget Sound's first drive of the second half and returned it to the Puget Sound 35, setting up the Pios' game-tying drive
  • Johnson finished with 151 yard receiving including a 49-yard reception for Puget Sound
  • Zachary Meyer and Dwight Jackson combined for 24 tackles on the Loggers side

Looking Ahead

Seniors Cale Crawford (3 tackles), Mark Figueroa, Melvin Ho'omanawanui (4 tackles, forced fumble), Robert Nakihei and Xavier Tharpe also played their final games for the Pios on Saturday. The Pios will get set for the sixth season under head coach Jay Locey in 2020.