Now that's how you capture an outright conference championship and cap the regular season! That was just an undressing, a stomping, a downright smashing as the 'Cats hammer the Lewis & Clark Pioneers 52-0 on a misty wet rainy day up on Palatine Hill. It was exactly what Linfield fans were hoping to see from our Wildcats; an all-business approach. There was no flat energy from the 'Cats from before the game or during the game and as we've said and seen time and time again when this team is ready to play football and executes this is one of the best teams in the country hands down.
With the victory in hand we all know that the 'Cats have now captured the program's 34th conference title and will make the programs 23rd post season appearance to go along with the 'Cats 55th consecutive winning season. Just an incredible accomplishment by everyone that has worked with and put in the sweat, blood, and tears for the 'Cats. This 2010 team finished the season at 8-1 overall, 6-0 in NWC play and with a final regular season ranking by D3football.com of #8 in the country. The 'Cats wind up with a scoring avg of 43.9, while only giving up 13.6 points a game (both tops in the NWC). That is a 30.3 avg margin of victory on the year and if you take away that opening season loss to CLU (47-42) the 'Cats margin of victory moves up to 34.7 ppg on the year (44.1 ppg and 9.4 allowed per game over the final 8 contests). Bottom line, this has been a heck of a season for this team and one that we fans should acknowledge. However, let's talk more about the drubbing the Wildcats laid on L&C in this week's "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly".
The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly
Being Ready to Finish. There is no doubt that the 'Cats took the lessons of the previous week vs Whitworth to heart as the 'Cats came out fast and furious to put up 22 1st quarter points and not have to look back the rest of the game. It was good to see that a team Linfield should hammer get hammered by a focused group of players.
Defensive Dominance: What can you say? Linfield only allowed 114 yards of total offense, 28 yards rushing (.8 per attempt), and 86 yards passing. It was just a punishment by the 'Cats and especially the defensive line and LBs. I don't care who L&C was missing the 'Cats owned the LOS and with that the game.
1st half passing attack: WC11 was looking for the Linfield passing game to have a good day and they did just what they wanted to do in putting up 212 passing yards and 4 throwing scores in the first two quarters of play.
Shutout on 3rd down: How do you hold a team to only 114 yards of total offense? By not allowing a single 3rd down conversion and the 'Cats just did that by blanking the Pios on 14 attempts on 3rd down. Just a fantastic effort by the 'Cats.
10 different receivers caught a ball and 8 different 'Cats with a carry: Pretty impressive stat when you consider that Aaron Boehme didn't even have a single attempt on the day. Really enjoyed the way that we have some of the young WRs starting to make their bones as catching threats and with the effort some of the reserve running backs carried the ball.
Keith Welch not playing in the game: The Pios best football player and quarterback was in street clothes on Saturday as he suffered a concussion last week vs Willamette and honestly I was bummed out. The reason being is that with Welch being out it gave L&C a little wiggle room in offering up a reason on why they were housed so bad this past Saturday. Yeah, I guess Welch is a fine player but him playing wasn't going to make that big of difference. Linfield's defense is just too good to let one guy outgun them especially when Linfield overwhelmed the Pios offense line. I know the Linfield defense was very disappointed in not being able to have a shot at the Pio QB. Too bad.
Extremely oversensitive Pioneer Parent. Wow...just wow. There was a very small group of vocal Linfield fans in the North End Zone as the game stared up. In Linfield's first series I was filming the action within 20 feet of these guys and they were very vocal in supporting the 'Cats (as you think fans would be during a COLLEGE football game). These guys were not using profanity, calling out numbers/names, or denigrating any of the players on the field...they were just cheering hard and giving the Pios a little grief. Seriously, the 'Cats busted a big play to set up their first TD and one of the 'Cats fans said "Where was your Safety on that play?!" That prompted an L&C player to turn around and say some choice words to the fans (mistake one) and that was that. The 'Cats scored and I walked away. Next thing I know, the father of that player (that turned around and yelled at the Linfield fans) was in their faces and confronting/screaming at these guys about how he is willing to take an "a$$ whipping for his son" and to "leave the kids alone". The guy went on for about a solid minute just ranting about leaving his son and players alone.
This just blows my mind. This is a college football game and if you and your son can't take a little jiving from some fans then maybe you need to find a different sport to play. First off, if you're a player and you're willing to yell back when fans are ribbing you a little then you're just mentally weak. The best way to shutdown an aggressive fan is to ignore it and pretend they don't exist. The worst thing you can do as a player is to yell at other team's fans....it just shows they're in your head. But the crazy thing is these Linfield fans were not "aggressive" and they were not cursing at the players or being out of line...they were just pulling for the 'Cats and they were jumped for it. I've never seen that before in my 16 years of following Linfield/NWC football. This isn't a reflection of any of the other L&C parents, but this one jack-wagon, who can't control his temper. Buddy, you get the ugly of the year.