Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Catdomealumni.com's Numbers series presents "56"

David Russell carried the ball 99 times in back-to-back games vs Whitworth and Willamette in 2002
It rains all the time in the Pacific Northwest but there is a difference between the typical PacNW rain and what came down in the hours leading up to Linfield's 2002 game vs Whitworth.  It was the equivalent of night and day.  A downpour like that only happens once every few years and in fact I can only remember the rain coming down that hard during a Linfield game two or three times in my 17 years associated with the program.

I can remember standing on the sideline right before kickoff with the rain thundering down and the wind whipping around the Catdome thinking to myself that this is going to be one of those very low scoring, slopping games, that could be determined by a slipper ball squirting free late in the 4th quarter.  However, on the 1st possession of the game Linfield left no doubt what the 'Cats formulated as their game plan.   It was going to be a steady diet of David Russell, a standout offensive line, with just a sprinkling of Ty Matthews passing to keep the Rats honest.

The game was just pure domination from the opening kickoff to the final snap as the 'Cats broke the collective will of Whitworth in a game that only spanned 2 hours and 15 minutes.  Just in the 1st half alone David Russell carried the ball 37 times for 148 yards and 3 touchdowns, while the Rats could only muster up 8 plays for 14 yards and 0 1st downs.  It wasn't like Whitworth was a patsy either.  The Rats came into the game 6-2 and looked to tie Linfield for the NWC lead while almost averaging 30 points a game, however, on that day in the 'Catdome they were helpless to the pounding of 'Cats rushing attack and a Linfield defense that swarmed the Rats on every snap.  It wasn't that D. Russ was breaking off big run after big run.  In fact, his longest gain on the day was only 13 yards but it was the physicality of the 56 carries.  Never running out of bounds, always turning his feet, and ALWAYS looking to lower a shoulder.  It was drawing a line in the mud and asking who wanted it more and the answer came back "Linfield" at just about every possession.

The finals stats of this game: Linfield-35 Whitworth-0, Totals yards: 415 to 57.  David Russell alone out gained the Rats by 177 yards.  Everyone that wasn't covered by the roof of Memorial Stadium was soaked but it didn't matter as we all knew we were watching a performance for the ages that might not ever be duplicated at the 'Catdome ever again and it was well worth the shivering.  It was one for the record books.

Watch David Russell's 56 carries

1 comment:

doc said...

I hurt. I do not know how people can do what Russell did. The O-line too. But then.....I'm not 20 either.
I watched close to see how the field held up. Not too bad.