In what felt like a carbon copy game from 2006 Linfield had a number of opportunities to win Saturday’s game vs Whitworth but the bottom line is that we just didn’t get it done. I’m VERY proud of the tremendous effort on both sides of the ball and with the special teams. It was a battle of two very fine teams in an old fashion defensive thriller. It’s also disappointing to be eliminated from playoff contention for the second straight year and to not be able to bring home another NWC title.
It would be very easy to sit here start coming up with a laundry list of excuses for why we lost. I could point to not having our best offensive threat in RB Travis Masters, or a few terrible calls in the running into the kicker/roughing call, or the fumble recovery that was overturned by the back judge. However when you are a great program you have to be able to put that aside and find a way to overcome the injuries, bad calls, and bad hops to come out with a win. For the second straight year we didn’t and that’s a bitter pill to swallow.
To credit Whitworth they stuck to a very good game plan in being conservative on offense, not making any crippling mistakes with turnovers, and the Rats defensive backfield was able to make the plays during the game to bring home the victory.
So let’s get into our weekly wrap of the good, the bad, and the ugly
Once again the defense was fantastic. Whitworth was going to try to bully Linfield up front but Linfield didn't budge much in holding the Rats running attack to half their average (127 total rushing yards), denied Whitworth any points when they started a drive on the Linfield 10, and held the Rats to 5 consecutive 3 and outs at the end of the game.
We threw the ball 49 times and Whitworth brought pressure during the entire contest. There was only a couple of times that Whitworth was able to get at Trevor but as a whole the O-Line did a fine job in providing plenty of time to get rid of the ball.
Punter Stan Fisher and Scott Birkhofer
Stan punted 6 six times for a 38.7 avg and Scott booted a 47 and 37 yard field goal on the day. Both have been huge weapons throughout the entire 2007 campaign.
A 4th and inches, a blocked field goal, and the 4th quarter we had 5 drives that started around mid-field or in Rat territory to get it done. Convert any of these and that game may have had a different outcome.
Linfield 5 turnovers, Whitworth 0. Everybody knew coming into the game that turnovers would play a huge key and they did. The game’s lone touchdown was on an early interception return by Whitworth and it proved to be the deciding factor. You have to give Whitworth’s DBs a lion’s share of the credit. They made some great breaks and made the plays in the end that brought home another NWC title to Spokane.