SPOKANE, Washington – A 24-point second quarter for Whitworth proved to be insurmountable as the Puget Sound football team lost at the Pirates, 38-23, Saturday afternoon.
Logger quarterback Tanner Diebold threw for a career-high 347 yards and a touchdown. Dustin Harrison was on the receiving end 13 times for 115 yards and a score. Both Paul Thomas and Andrew Dunn reached the end zone on the ground for Puget Sound.
Max Masham led the Loggers' defensive efforts with a team-high 13 tackles and forced fumble. Brent McCoy tallied 11 tackles, while Jason Clayton and Jackson Potts both forced Whitworth fumbles. Potts added a sack for his defensive efforts. Zach Blair came up with a fumble recovery, and Zackary Teats intercepted his second pass of the season.
The Loggers (2-4, 1-3 NWC) got off to a precarious start in their opening drive. The third snap of the game was a 10-yard completion from Diebold to AJ Johnson, but Johnson was stripped of the ball. Whitworth (5-2, 2-2 NWC) recovered the fumble and LJ Benson was poised to score a defensive touchdown. However, Benson lost the ball near the goal line, and Puget Sound recovered the fumble in the end zone for a touchback.
Whitworth got on the board first with a five-yard touchdown pass by Ian Kolste with six minutes on the clock in the first quarter. The Pirates made it 10-0 five seconds into the second quarter thanks to a 39-yard field goal.
From there, it took the Loggers just over two minutes to reach the end zone. A 48-yard kickoff return by Miles Harlow gave the Loggers excellent field position. Diebold hit Collin Heimbach for 13 yards and then completed a 49-yard pass to Jewell Day down to the Pirates' three-yard line. Thomas took a carry that backed up the Loggers three yards, but then Thomas punched in a score from six yards out for his team-leading fourth rushing touchdown of the season.
However, that's when Whitworth began to pour in 21 unanswered points to carry a 31-7 lead into halftime.
Puget Sound outscored the Pirates in the second half, 16-7. It's the fourth time this season the Loggers outscored the opposition in the final two quarters.
The Loggers return home to host Willamette on Saturday, Oct. 28, at 1 p.m.