TACOMA, Washington – The Puget Sound football team kept pace during the first half at Whitworth, but the Pirates came away with a 62-30 conference win on Saturday afternoon.
The Loggers (3-3, 2-2 NWC) grabbed a 7-0 lead midway through the first quarter when Connor Savage blocked a 35-yard field goal attempt by Whitworth, and Brent McCoy scooped up the loose ball and returned it 80 yards for the touchdown.
The Pirates (5-3, 3-2 NWC) evened the score in their ensuing possession after quarterback Bryan Peterson connected with Duke Degaetano for a 40-yard touchdown. Whitworth quickly regained possession after Braden Foley threw an interception that allowed the Pirates to start their next drive at the Logger 17-yard line.
It took just one play for Whitworth to claim a 14-7 lead as Peterson hit Avega Siolo for a touchdown. The Loggers responded with a 77-yard drive that concluded with a 15-yard touchdown pass from Foley to Brennan Schon to tie the game at 14-14 late in the first quarter.
The Loggers grabbed a 16-14 lead halfway through the second quarter when Doug Owusu sacked Peterson in the Whitworth end zone for the safety. Sawyer Petre's 45-yard punt but the Pirates at their own six-yard line, and the Logger defense swarmed a rush attempt for a loss of five yards to set up Owusu's safety.
Both sides traded possessions a few times before the Pirates regained the lead at 21-16 thanks to Peterson's 26-yard touchdown pass to Connor Williams with 2:43 left in the first half. Hans Fortune came in under center for Puget Sound, and he was intercepted on the Loggers' ensuing drive. Whitworth took advantage of the short field as another passing touchdown by Peterson gave the Pirates a 28-16 lead.
Fortune and the Loggers bounced back, though, as it took only 62 seconds for Puget Sound to march 80 yards on seven plays, the last of which was an eight-yard touchdown pass to Dustin Harrison.
The Loggers trailed just 28-23 at halftime.
The Pirates exploded for five touchdowns in the second half, including one score on a 97-yard interception return in the third quarter.
"We let ourselves down in all three aspects of the game," said Puget Sound head coach Jeff Thomas. "But you have to give credit to Whitworth for playing at a high level and earning this victory."
Tanner Diebold's one-yard run touchdown run late in the fourth quarter accounted for Puget Sound's lone score of the second half.
Senior wide receiver Kevin Miller caught 10 passes for the Loggers, marking his third double-digit reception game of the season. On the defensive side of the ball, Max Mirande led all players with 13 tackles to go along with a sack and a forced fumble.
The Loggers look to bounce back when they host cross-town rival Pacific Lutheran on Saturday, Nov. 1. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m.