Sluggish Viks drop ‘Cats, 6-0
By NICK BERTRAM
Of The Oregonian staff
McMINNVILLE – It took almost 50 minutes, but Portland State University finally got the bugs out of its sluggish offense and put together a scoring drive to measure an equally impotent Linfield College, 6-0, here Saturday afternoon.
Freshman Darrell Beane punched over from the two-yard line with 11:24 left to give Viking Coach Ron Stratten his first victory at the PSU helm. But even the game’s only score was sloppy as Beane bobbled the ball crossing the goal line, then gathered it in under his chest as the ball bounced back toward him and away from the Wildcats defenders.
Defense was sharp on both sides and a hard downpour at the game’s onset had a lot to do with the feeble offense.
The ball was left uncovered in the rain and time and again it would pop into the air as neither team could sustain anything resembling a drive.
With a slick ball, timing was an exception and a broken play the rule.
At halftime Portland State had pounded out one first down, had 16 yards passing and were at minus five yards rushing due to three long fumble setbacks.
Linfield fared little better with three first downs, 11 passing and 30 rushing yards. It did manage to arrive at the PSU 23 in the first quarter, but fumbled the ball away and late in the first half maneuvered all the way to the Viking 25 where the Wildcat field goal attempt fell far short barely making the end zone.
In the fourth quarter the Vikings came alive, for a short time that is, and clicked on a long pass from Roger Gaylord to Jay Mann which covered 28 yards, the longest play of the game.
Mann made a fine catch and the Vikings were in virgin territory on the Linfield 20. Four plays later they were on the Wildcat two and Beane circled his right end moments later for the six points it seemed nobody wanted.
Jay Buse, Linfield’s excellent sophomore defensive end, broke through to block the conversion attempt. Fitting, even an “automatic” conversion kick wouldn’t work.
Linfield made one final run at scoring, getting the chance when PSU tried to make a fourth and one on the Wildcat 23 and Buse once again sliced through to drop Gaylord for a four-yard loss.
With Rocky Thompson at the helm, the Wildcats drove for two first downs in the wining seconds, their only first downs of the second half, but Thompson found himself under Vik defense tackle Cletotha Dowdy’s 230-pounds at the final gun.
Neither coach had much to say about their offense, so defense took the spotlight.
“We did some good things in the second half,” said Stratten, “once we stopped stunting and started playing football.”
Ends Larry Dean and Bill Dials were in the Linfield quarterback’s bair all afternoon, while tackle Tommy Ray Cole and cornerback Ted Spencer also drew praise.
“We played much better on defense,” Wildcat boss Ad Rutschman added. Ends Buse and Steve Barsotti turned in key plays, while tackle Bob Williams, middle guard Larry Geigle and cornerback Ron Coffield also had steady performances.
The scores blared over the public announcing system from all over the country “68-3, 55-20, 77-7…” But the spectators here were fortunate to see more than double zeroes.
Portland State…. 0 0 0 6 – 6
Linfield ….0 0 0 0 – 0
PSU – Beane 2 run (kick failed)
First downs: PSU 10 Linf 5
Passing yds: PSU 90 Linf 46
Passes: PSU 10-16-1 Linf 9-25-3
Punts: PSU 7-29.0 Linf 9-25.3
Fumbles-lost: PSU 4 Linf 1
Penalties-yds: PSU 4-35, Linf 3-40