TACOMA, Wash. – Bryan Peterson threw for 284 yards and scored two touchdowns to help Whitworth win 33-14 at Puget Sound, ending the Pirates' five-game losing streak.
Whitworth improved to 3-5 overall and 1-3 in the Northwest Conference. The host Loggers dropped to 1-5, 0-3. It is the Pirates' 18th consecutive victory over UPS.
The game started out just about perfectly for Whitworth. The Bucs forced a fumble on the opening kickoff, recovered by Casey Monahan at the Loggers' 34 yard line. Seven plays later Peterson ran in from 11 yards out to give the Pirates a 7-0 lead less than three minutes into the game.
After the Whitworth defense forced a quick three and out, the Pirates drove 78 yards in only four plays to take a two touchdown lead. Peterson found tight end Wade Meyer alone up the right sideline for a 72-yard pass to the UPS one yard line. Two plays later Griffen Hare scored for the Bucs.
The Loggers got on the board later in the first quarter. QB Braden Foley turned a scramble into a 17-yard touchdown run to cap a 55-yard possession, cutting the Pirates' lead to 14-7.
The only scoring in the second quarter was a 38-yard field goal by Whitworth freshman Kyler Gracey, the longest of his short career. It gave the Pirates a 17-7 lead at halftime.
The defenses dominated the third quarter. Whitworth was held to only 45 total yards in the third, while UPS had 88 yards.
After the Pirates forced UPS to punt from its own 30 yard line early in the fourth, Whitworth picked up a safety when the snap carried over the punter's head and through the endzone.
The Pirates fumbled the ensuing free kick, but Monahan picked off his second pass of the game at the Whitworth 28-yard line and returned the interception into UPS territory. Five plays later Peterson found Dustin Martin streaking over the middle for a 29-yard touchdown pass and a 26-7 Whitworth lead with 9:16 to play in the game.
UPS rallied with its longest drive of the contest, going 74 yards in six plays. Foley completed a 13-yard touchdown pass to Brennan Schon that pulled the Loggers to within 26-14 with 6:59 to go. It also tied Foley for the career touchdown pass record at UPS with 40.
But Whitworth prevented any hope of a Logger comeback by grinding out a 75-yard scoring drive that took all but 1:03 of the rest of the clock. Peterson completed third down passes to Kekoa Turbeville and Wade Meyer to move into UPS territory. Whitworth faced third and 17 after Peterson was sacked for a loss of eight yards. DJ Tripoli picked up 14 yards to the UPS 23 yard line on third down. Then he ran in the rest of the way on fourth down for a 23-yard touchdown to give Whitworth the final points of the game.
Whitworth's winning formula was very back to basics and the statistics played out that way. The Pirates finished with a 424-260 advantage in total offense, had a 6-1 edge in turnovers and won the time of possession battle 33:25 – 26:35.
Peterson, who missed last week's game because of a shoulder injury, completed 20 of 32 passes for 284 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions. He added the rushing touchdown, but finished with -11 yards on the ground after getting sacked five times for 36 yards in losses. Turbeville led the receivers with a career-high six receptions for 55 yards. Devon Lind had five catches for 58 yards, while Meyer finished with four grabs for 100 yards.
Tripoli netted 90 yards rushing on 17 carries. Hare finished with 43 yards on 12 attempts. The Pirates ran for 140 yards and held the Loggers to 27 yards on 27 attempts.
Foley completed 24 of 39 passes for 213 yards with one touchdown. He threw four interceptions and was sacked six times for 34 yards. Kevin Miller caught 13 passes for 82 yards. Kupono Park had 43 rushing yards for UPS.
Monahan's two interceptions and a fumble recovery led Pirates' the defensive effort. De' Hall and Jesse Bresser also picked off passes for the Bucs. Grant Livingston led with nine total tackles, while Trevor Cooper and Jacob Kriegbaum had six tackles each and a sack.
Whitworth will get its only bye of the season next Saturday before hosting PLU on November 9th in the final home contest of 2013.
The Pirates' five-game losing streak was their longest since ending the 1997 season with five straight defeats.