Football secures winning season, looks to finals

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Although the Pacific University Football Team’s chase for an undefeated season may have ended, the 2013 season will have the first winning record since 1987.

After starting the season perfect with five victories, the Boxers traveled north on Oct. 19  to take on the Pacific Lutheran University Lutes in what many said was their first true test to see just how good they really are.

The Boxers didn’t disappoint as they battled hard against the then nationally ranked No. 17/20 Lutes, but ultimately saw their lead diminish in a matter of just 53 seconds.

Late in the fourth quarter, the Boxers had the upper hand as they led 16-14 over the Lutes. With 53 seconds left in the game the Boxers punted the ball away, but the Lutes were able to break a return back to Pacific’s 42 yard line.

Seven plays later and the Lutes were able to kick the game-winning field goal to squeak by with a victory.

Although the game resulted in a loss, many took this as a “moral victory” for the Boxers.

They proved their maturity as a team is at full capacity.

They played to show the Boxers can battle with the top tier teams in the Northwest Conference and holed their own.

Following the loss, the Boxers returned home Oct. 26 with hopes of revamping themselves in a non-conference matchup against the University of Chicago Maroons.

The Boxers did just that, as they were able to outdo the Maroons with a 21-6 victory.

With the win over the Maroons, the Boxers secured their first winning season since 1987 in only the fourth year of the Pacific football program’s rebirth.

Next up, the Boxers will return to Northwest Conference play in another home game on Nov. 2 against the Lewis & Clark College Pioneers.

The following week, the Boxers will travel south to Salem, Ore. to take on the Willamette University Bearcats on Nov. 9.

Finally in the closing game of the 2013 regular season, the Boxers will return home once again.

On Nov. 16 they face off with the Linfield College Wildcats.

The final three game stretch of conference games will be crucial for the Boxers.

Especially for a shot at the Northwest Conference Championship.

To have a shot at claiming the conference championship, the Boxers will need to win all of their remaining games.

Currently, Pacific is tied for third place with Willamette.

If all goes well and the Boxers win the rest of their games, including the Linfield game, the NWC would be set up with a three-way tie for first place between Pacific, Linfield, and PLU.

All three teams would be awarded as Co-NWC Champions, but as far as who advances to the Division III Playoffs, it becomes a little more complicated.

After going through several tiebreaker situations, the end result would be Pacific getting the automatic qualifier bid.

Winning the rest of their games is easier said than done, especially with Willamette and Linfield left on the schedule.

For now, though, the Boxers will have to take it game by game and put their focus on the Pioneers.


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