SPOKANE, Wash. -

After trailing 23-7 early in the 4th, the Whitworth Pirates nearly rallied to beat La Verne, but came up one play short in a 25-20 loss at the Pine Bowl.

The Pirates trailed 25-20 with :39 seconds remaining in the ball game and had to drive 80 yards to complete the comeback, but Bryan Peterson's pass went off the fingertips of Dustin Martin as time expired.