TACOMA, Wash. – A wild fourth quarter set up an exciting finish but the Puget Sound football team fell just short of a comeback in a 55-42 loss to Lewis & Clark. The Loggers (0-4, 0-1 NWC) were down 19 points with 6:39 left in the game but were able to cut the lead to just six before the Pios (4-0, 1-0 NWC) were able to put the game away.
A six-yard TD strike from Keith Welch to Connor Imel seemed to have the game well in hand for the Pios but the Loggers refused to go quietly. Braden Foley hit four different receivers on a seven play, 77 yard drive down the field that ended with a 19-yard TD pass to Adam Kniffin. It was Foley and Kniffin's third TD connection of the day.
The Loggers then tried an onside kickoff and the ball was pulled out of the pile by Tieler Souza to give the Loggers the ball back. Two minutes later, Ryan Rogers pulled down a tipped pass in the end zone for another Logger touchdown, which cut the lead to six points at 48-42.
Another onside kick was recovered by the Pios and the Logger defense stiffened up to force a 4th-and-9 situation. With the Loggers looking to get the ball back in a hurry to their offense. Welch found Jacob Costantino in a seam for a 32-yard touchdown. Evy VandenEkart intercepted Foley on the Loggers second play on the ensuing drive and the Pios went into victory formation.
A high-scoring fourth quarter provided half of the scoring in the game. The teams combined for 48 points and 400 yards of total offense. The Loggers had 290 yards in the fourth quarter alone with 261 yards coming through the air.
Adam Kniffin had his second 200-yard receiving game of the season. He hauled in 10 catches for 203 yards and three TDs. Foley ended up with 331 yards passing and four TDs while rushing for 35 yards and another touchdown. He also was intercepted twice.
Welch had 325 yards on 24-of-42 passing and also had four TDs. He also ran for 42 yards and three touchdowns. Curtis Shirey led the Pios with 212 rushing yards and found the end zone once on the ground.
The first half was more of a defensive struggle as a late Pio TD gave TD gave the visitors a 21-14 halftime lead. The Logger defense continued to force turnovers in the first half as Nasser Kyobe forced a fumble, which Connor Savage jumped on in the end zone for a touchback, and Joe Cerne brought down his first career interception.
However, Nico Ohland had 129 of his 140 receiving yards in the first half and scored the late TD for a Pio lead. Kniffin's first TD catch and a rushing TD for Kupono Park had given the Loggers a 14-7 lead earlier in the second quarter.
After Foley found Kniffin for a second time in the end zone and a successful two-point conversion from James Korn to Kyobe, the Loggers had a 22-21 lead just minutes into the second half. However, Welch ran for a couple touchdowns to regain the Pio lead, which they would hold the rest of the way. After falling behind 22-21, the Pios outscored the Loggers 27-7 to build the late 19-point lead.
The Loggers conclude their three-game homestand next week when the welcome Pacific into Peyton Field at Baker Stadium for a 1 p.m. kickoff.