WHITTIER, Calif. – Whitworth University rolled to a 60-0 win at Whittier College in a non-conference football game on Saturday, emphatically bouncing back from the heart-breaking season-opening setback one week earlier.
Whitworth improved to 1-1 this season and appeared to show no ill-effects from last Saturday’s 50-49 overtime loss to Central College. The host Poets were playing their first game of the year.
Starting quarterback Ian Kolste threw for 329 yards and two touchdowns, while senior RB Duke DeGaetano ran for 92 yards and three scores to spark the Pirate offense. Junior LB Connor Tangeman had nine tackles, freshman Kale Wong blocked a pair of kicks and Ben Stockdale made a diving interception to lead the defense.
The game was never close as Whitworth scored less than one minute into the game and built leads of 22-0 after one quarter and 43-0 at halftime. The Pirates outgained the Poets 442-129 in the first half before emptying the bench throughout the second half.
Whitworth scored less than one minute into the game as DeGaetano turned his first touch into a career-long 66-yard touchdown run. He added a three-yard run six and a half minutes later to cap a 90-yard drive for Whitworth that took only eight plays. Kolste, who completed 18 of his 27 passes, found Kevin Thomas for a 44-yard pass up to set up the score.
Griffin Hare’s one-yard run on third down near the end of the first quarter finished off a 49-yard drive that was set up by Stockdale’s first career interception and Whitworth’s first turnover gained this season.
DeGaetano scampered in from 13 yards out early in the second quarter to increase the lead to 29-0. That touchdown ended his day as he needed only five carries to gain his 92 yards and three touchdowns.
Whittier finally was successful moving the ball midway through the second quarter, gaining first and goal at the Pirates’ six yard line. But Dalin McDonnell was credited with a stop of Poet running back Miguel Redmond for no gain at the Whitworth one yard line on fourth down.
The Pirates immediately flipped the field as Kolste found Chase Takaki streaking alone up the right sideline for a 92 yard pass that was stopped seven yards shy of the longest TD pass in school history. Three plays later Kolste hit Michael McKeown for a seven-yard TD pass to increase the lead to 36-0.
Whitworth might’ve been content to go to the locker rooms with that margin, but Wong picked up his first blocked kick of the game when he got to the Whittier punter on the Poets’ next possession. Stockdale recovered at the Whittier 36 yardline. Kolste then worked the final possession and the clock before he found Nick Kiourkas for an 11-yard TD pass with only 50 seconds to play in the half.
Whitworth ran the ball for most of the second half and Kolste played only one series after halftime. Third string RB Jonathan Jun led the Pirates with 13 carries and picked up 52 yards. Jonah Koski, who had run in a two-point conversion on Whitworth’s second touchdown, finished the game at QB and completed all six of his passes for 82 yards. Two of those were touchdowns to Mason Elms, from three yards and 18 yards. Elms finished with five catches for 67 yards in the second half.
Vernon Parker, Whitworth’s second string place kicker, converted the final Pirate PAT and then made his first career field goal – from 44 yards – to close out the scoring late in the contest.
The Whitworth defense held Whittier to 239 yards of total offense and picked up its first shutout since a 49-0 victory over Menlo College in September of 2009. Mac Shaw helped preserve the shutout when he blocked a 37-yard field goal attempt by Eric Voss in the third quarter.
Freshman Drew Valenci played most of the game at QB for the Poets and completed 10 of 25 passes for 106 yards with one interception. Drew Lewis ran for 51 yards on nine carries.
Whitworth will return to Southern California next Saturday when the Pirates visit the University of La Verne, the defending champions of the SCIAC. Whittier travels to Texas to take on Austin College.