Logger football’s losing streak comes to an end: Puget Sound football team beats Whittier College 42-33 Saturday
Loggers’ football brought home a win from California on Sept. 21 with a final score of 42-33 against Whittier.
The win is their first of the season and marks the highly anticipated end to a losing streak that has been ongoing since 2011. This was also the first road victory since a 2008 game against Pomona-Pitzer.
The first quarter ended with Puget Sound tied with Whittier at 7-7, but by the end of the second quarter the Loggers pulled ahead and ended the first half at 21-7.
The Loggers were able to maintain their lead throughout the third quarter and, though the Poets tried to fight back, the third quarter ended with the Loggers still ahead at 28-17.
One of the biggest plays in the game occurred in the fourth quarter when the punter, senior Jeff Walton (Sacramento, Calif.), completed a staggering 74-yard punt.
The game had several standout players who worked as a team to pull off the impressive win. The quarterback, junior Braden Foley (Bothell, Wash.), scored the first Logger touchdown with a seven-yard run with 4:42 on the clock, securing a tie before the end of the first quarter and setting the tone for Logger success for the rest of the game.
The Loggers offense played a technically skilled game with zero turnovers and were able to use Whittier’s five turnovers to their best advantage.
Key defensive plays came in handy while freshman Jacob Wuesthoff (Newbury Park, Calif.) and junior Connor Savage (Bothell, Wash.) intercepted passes in the second quarter.
Freshman Hayden Keefe (Yorba Linda, Calif.) later recovered yet another Whittier fumble and he and Wuesthoff each had an interception. Senior Joe Cerne (Enumclaw, Wash.) snatched a fumble late in the game, all but ensuring Logger victory.
Though there were many individuals who had shining moments in the game, it was the team effort and energy that ultimately secured the win for the Loggers.
The Loggers entered the game focused on winning following a week of great practices.
“We had the attitude that we want it more than them and we have to go out and take it,” junior linebacker Max Mirande (Klamath Falls, Ore.) said.
Walton said that the Whittier team had a lack of focus and a lax attitude. This, combined with the intense focus of the Loggers before the game, resulted in a quiet confidence throughout the game that helped the Loggers secure their victory.
There was also a fan presence at the away game, cheering on the Loggers through every play.
“Truthfully it felt like a home game,” Walton said. “Our fans were definitely louder and more supportive than Whittier.”
Campus was buzzing when news of the victory reached it, with students expressing excitement and Logger pride.
Perhaps the only disappointment of the game was that it was not at home for more fans to see. Some fans were able to experience the game even from campus; sophomore Emily Sheldon watched the game via the Northwest Conference website.
“[The Loggers] all played together as a team [and] it was a really fun game to watch,” Sheldon said.
The team has next weekend off but will take the energy and focus from their key win throughout the season.
This game marks a potential turnaround in Logger football and is a huge step for the team and coaching staff who have worked hard to change the image of football on campus.
“Winning is contagious,” junior Bryson Calma (Mililani, Hawaii) said. “It will only push us harder to get more.”
A crowd of Puget Sound students welcomed the team home as they arrived at the Fieldhouse at midnight after their victory in a surge of support from the campus community that will hopefully carry throughout the rest of the season. The rain and fanfare were reminiscent of Friday Night Lights as players and fans celebrated the win.
The Loggers will be playing on Oct. 26 for the homecoming game with the hopes of securing a win at Baker Stadium.