Whitworth Wins Opener 22-13 Over LaVerne

SPOKANE – The Whitworth Pirates opened their 2008 season by scoring a touchdown midway through the fourth quarter to put away the LaVerne Leopards 22-13 Saturday at the Pine Bowl.

The win improves their record against California teams at home to 11-1-1.  They are now also 5-0 all time versus LaVerne.

The game was scoreless until 7:25 remaining in the second quarter.  That’s when Whitworth quarterback Kory Kemp connected with Joey VanHoomissen for a five-yard touchdown to cap an eight play, 70 yard drive and put the Pirates up 7-0.

The Bucs extended the lead just over two minutes later.  After recovering a LaVerne fumble at the Leopard 27, it took three plays for Kemp to find VanHoomissen again, this time from four yards out.  Whitworth then got a two-point conversion when Chad Flett hit Adam Anderson on a quick pass, making the score 15-0.

The Leopards got on the scoreboard late in the second quarter, when Anthony Andre connected with Phi Van Le for a five-yard touchdown pass with 25 seconds remaining in the first half.  But Taylor Hart missed the extra point to the left, so it was 15-6 at the half.

LaVerne got with two points late in the third quarter.  After Hart intercepted Kemp at the Whitworth 25, it took four plays before Andre hit Francisco Gonzalez for a 19-yard touchdown pass to cut the lead to 15-13, making the fans at the Pine Bowl nervous.

Whitworth put the game away midway through the fourth quarter.  The Pirates marched down on a nine play, 59 yard drive that was capped by a four-yard touchdown run by Anderson.  That made the score 22-13, which turned out to be the final.

The Pirates had 400 yards of total offense, including 269 on the ground.  Anderson ran for 158 yards and a touchdown, while Kemp was 12-22 for 131 yards and two touchdowns.

Whitworth will be on the road next Saturday, when they travel to Southern California to play the Redlands Bulldogs at 7 p.m.