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Portland State football near top of Big Sly heading to Northern Arizona; Pilots soccer teams look for some magic

PSU football: Portland State is sitting pretty at 5-3 overall and 3-1 in the Big Sky after holding off Northern Colorado 38-30 Saturday at Greeley, Colo.

The Vikings' next game looks promising, too, as they go to Flagstaff to face Northern Arizona at 4 p.m. PT Saturday.

NAU fell to 3-4, 1-2 with a 51-28 loss last weekend at Weber State. The Lumberjacks have a good quarterback (what good Big Sky team doesn't?) in Case Cookus (345 passing yards per game, 22 TD passes this season), and he has a new head coach in Chris Ball.

The Big Sky race has six teams still in the mix, with Sacramento State and Weber State atop the league at 3-0. Portland State doesn't have to play either one this year. Montana, Montana State and Eastern Washington are 2-1.

The Vikings' final three games of the regular season are Nov. 2 at home against Montana, Nov. 9 at home against UC Davis, and Nov. 23 at Eastern Washington.

Sac State and Weber State will play in Sacramento on Nov. 2. Sac State then has to play at NAU, at Idaho and at home against UC Davis.

Weber State is at UC Davis on Saturday and ends the Big Sky season at Montana on Nov. 16 and at home against Idaho State on Nov. 23.

In the FCS coaches poll, Weber State is fifth, Sac State eighth, Montana State ninth, Montana 11th and UC Davis 22nd. The STATS Top 25 has Weber State fourth, Sac State seventh, Montana State ninth, Montana 10th and UC Davis 22nd.

• For quite some time, at least a couple of years even, Portland State has had trouble establishing a ground game — other than runs and scrambles by quarterback Davis Alexander — but the Viks ate up the defense of Northern Colorado (1-7, 1-3). In particular, running back Sirgeo Hoffman had a field day, carrying 28 times for 221 yards and two touchdowns. Going into the game, Hoffman had just 336 yards on 78 rushes this season, the most by a PSU running back, and the Vikings were averaging 195.1 rushing yards per game. They got 344 on the ground at UNC.

Northern Arizona's defense ranks last in the Big Sky against the run (212.6 yards allowed per game) and is next-to-last in overall defense.

• NAU is 3-0 at home, but the wins came over Missouri State, Western New Mexico and Northern Colorado.

The Lumberjacks have allowed 38.9 points per game while scoring 37.1. PSU has given up 24.1 points and scored 36.2.

Assistant NAU coaches include offensive coordinator Aaron Pflugrad (a former University of Oregon wide receiver) and assistant head coach/tight ends coach Robin Pflugrad (who played receiver at PSU prior to a coaching career with jobs at PSU, Oregon, Montana and elsewhere).

Small-college football: Linfield (4-1 overall, 3-0 Northwest Conference) has a little more work to do before its Nov. 9 showdown at Whitworth, with the NWC title likely to be on the line. The Wildcats, who won 77-0 last weekend at home against Willamette, will play at Pacific Lutheran at 1 p.m. Saturday, then welcome Lewis & Clark to McMinnville on Nov. 2.

Linfield is tied for 19th in the coaches poll and 24th in NCAA Division III by d3football.com. Whitworth (4-1, 3-0) is 31st and 27th.

L&C lost last week 56-28 at Pacific and dropped to 2-3, 1-2. The Pioneers are home at 1 p.m. Saturday against Willamette.

• Western Oregon lost a heartbreaker in overtime 42-41 at home on Saturday to rival Central Washington, which scored touchdowns with 5:55 and 58 seconds left in the fourth quarter to pull even. After Central Washington's touchdown in the extra session, WOU scored, then had a 2-point conversion pass batted down at the line of scrimmage.

College men's soccer: The Portland Pilots had a nonconference match at home against California on Tuesday, trying to get well after falling to 0-2 in the West Coast Conference with a 2-1 overtime loss on Oct. 19 at Loyola Marymount. The Pilots will play host to Santa Clara (7-4-1) at 4:30 p.m. Saturday to open a doubleheader with the Portland women.

• Idle since Oct. 13, Oregon State concludes a five-game streak of road games visiting San Diego State on Thursday and UCLA on Sunday.

The Beavers are 5-5-1, fourth in the six-team Pac-12 at 2-2-1.

• Concordia junior Brendan Laun was named Great Northwest Athletic Conference Player of the Week after scoring both goals in a 2-0 win over Seattle Pacific and providing two assists in a 3-2 loss at Saint Martin's. The Cavaliers are 6-4, 3-2 and fourth in the GNAC. They will play host to Simon Fraser at 7 p.m. Thursday and visit Seattle Pacific at 7 p.m. Saturday.

• Warner Pacific is fourth out of 14 teams in the Cascade Collegiate Conference. The Knights are 5-3-1 in league and 8-4-1 overall. They will play Friday at Southern Oregon (6-2-1) and Saturday at Oregon Tech (5-4-0).

College women's soccer: Portland continued to show growth despite another frustrating result, playing 20th-ranked Santa Clara to a 1-1 draw on Oct. 19 at Merlo Field. Taryn Ries scored her fourth goal of the season to tie the game in the 77th minute, and the Pilots pushed for the winner, hitting the post twice in overtime.

Portland was 0-2-2 in conference entering a Wednesday home match against WCC-leader Brigham Young. The Pilots will play their next-to-last home game at 7:30 p.m. Saturday against San Francisco.

• In the Pac-12 Oregon State (9-3-2, 1-3-2) and Oregon (4-5-5, 0-4-2) each lost 1-0 to Washington State last week, and this week each will visit the Arizona schools.The Beavers are at Arizona State on Thursday and Arizona on Sunday, with the Ducks playing the Wildcats on Thursday and the Sun Devils on Sunday.

• Portland State (3-4-0 Big Sky finishes its regular season at Hillsboro Stadium at 1 p.m. Friday against Eastern Washington (5-0-1) and 1 p.m. Sunday against Idaho (1-4-2). The Vikings have lost three in a row, but still have a three-point lead on seventh-place Weber State (1-3-3) for the sixth and final spot in the Big Sky tournament. Weber State is at Northern Arizona (3-3-1) on Thursday and at Southern Utah (0-6-1) on Saturday.

• Concordia beat Montana State Billings 2-1 on Oct. 19 on a goal from freshman Madison Grande with an assist from freshman Jaida Nyby. The Cavaliers are 4-7-1 (2-3-1 GNAC) entering a 4 p.m. Thursday home game against Western Oregon followed by a Saturday trip to Simon Fraser.

College volleyball: Oregon swept UCLA 3-0, then got swept 3-0 by USC last weekend at Matthew Knight Arena. The Ducks, once ranked as high as 10th in the nation, are 6-11 and figure to need at least nine wins in their remaining 12 matches to get into the NCAA tournament.

Oregon will play Friday at Arizona State and Sunday at Arizona, while Oregon State is set to be at UA on Friday and at ASU on Sunday. The Beavers (8-11) fell 3-1 to USC and 3-2 to UCLA last weekend.

• Portland State is 3-5 and tied for eighth in the Big Sky. The Vikings have a four-match losing streak going into Thursday's 7 p.m. home date with Montana State (5-3). On Saturday, PSU plays at Montana (1-7). The conference tournament, which starts Nov. 28 at Sacramento State, will take the top eight regular-season finishers.

• Portland is 2-6 and eighth in the 10-team WCC. The Pilots split on the road last week, topping San Francisco 3-2. Their next match is noon Saturday at Chiles Center against Gonzaga (0-8).

• Concordia (5-5 and tied for sixth in the 11-team GNAC) is away this week, facing Western Washington (first at 9-1) on Thursday and Simon Fraser (third at 7-3) on Saturday to end the first half of the league season.

College cross country: The Pac-12 championships are Friday, Nov. 1, at Monmouth. The West Coast Conference meet is the same day at Van Nuys, Calif. The Big Sky championships are Nov. 2 at Greeley, Colo.

Concordia will run in the GNAC championships Saturday at Billings, Mont. Lewis & Clark will be in the NWC meet Nov. 2 at Lakewood, Wash. The Cascade Collegiate Conference championships, to include Multnomah and Warner Pacific, are Nov. 8 at Cottage Grove.

Volleyball: Portland Christian High graduate Kim Hill, 29, helped the United States earn the silver medal in both the FIVB World Cup, which ended Sept. 29 in Japan, and in the mid-October NORCECA Continental Championship in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Team USA went into the World Cup ranked No. 3 in the world and went 10-1 in the 12-team round-robin event. China went undefeated to take the gold. Hill, a 6-4 national team veteran at outside hitter, finished with 18 kills in 23 sets.

In the NORCECA tournament, the U.S. went 4-1, losing 3-2 in the final to Dominican Republic. Hill starred in a 3-0 semifinal victory over Canada, leading the team with 17 kills on 29 swings.


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