Scott Westering spent 23 seasons of Pacific Lutheran University football in the coaches’ booth as the offensive coordinator for his father, Frosty.
It was Westering’s quiet office to call plays, or as he put it, a “sterile environment” in which to function and process the action peacefully.
Being on the sideline never felt totally comfortable. But that is usually what coaches do — so he did it since being promoted in 2004.
Well, 2016 is going to be different.
Never miss a local story.
And the Lutes hope it will show up in the Northwest Conference standings as well.
Almost a year later after suffering a season-ending right knee injury, Jon Schaub returned to throw two touchdown passes, and the Lutes held off California Lutheran, 17-14, in their season opener at Sparks Stadium on Saturday.
Dallan Rodriguez’s 29-yard field goal with just over 11 minutes to go broke a 14-14 tie.
The Kingsmen still had a chance in the final minute to win the game, driving to the Lutes’ 26.
But free safety Derek Chase knocked down Adam Friedrichsen’s third-down pass along the right sideline.
Opting to go for the victory on fourth-and-1, Cal Lutheran left the game in Friedrichsen’s hands. But as he went for the touchdown in the left corner of the end zone, his pass was swatted away by Lutes strong safety Travis McMillion.
“When you are on the road and it is a close game, go for the win,” Chase said. “Props to them for having the stones to go for it, but … we made a play.
“Guys got more physical. We locked in to their receivers.”
It wasn’t the normal high-octane Lutes’ offensive performance — they finished with 271 yards — but some of the best news was how Schaub, the senior from Salem, Oregon, came out of the game health-wise.
“Physically I feel great,” Schaub said. “It was nice to have the rotation. I am not taking as many hits. I am not having to run. I am not having to scramble out of the pocket all the time. It was nice to give myself a break.”
In fact, after starting the first two series, and rotating with sophomore Cole Chandler, Schaub was given the keys to drive much of the second half.
“I said to them we were going to decide at halftime (based on) the ebb and flow of the game,” Westering said. “It was Jon’s game.”
And after a Chase interception that brought the football back to the CLU 39, Schaub led the game-tying drive late in the third quarter.
On third down, Schaub hit D.J. Winter in the back of the end zone on a 15-yard touchdown pass to tie the game at 14 at the 5:44 mark.
“We kind of took turns making mistakes,” Schaub said. “But the maturity and experience we have, we were able to be toilets — fix it, flush it and move on.”
One of the big keys for the Lutes on Saturday — no turnovers. And they scored all three times they were in the red zone.
Those are the things that will certainly please Westering. So does that old chair in the coaches booth.
“My gosh, (it was) kind of like being back in the saddle,” Westering said. “It’s been a long time, a long time.”