If you think Hans Fortune is off to a blazing start early in the regular season, University of Puget Sound football coach Jeff Thomas has news for you.
This streak goes back to fall camp.
Fortune, the 6-foot-6, 220-pound senior from Kenmore, had a career night Saturday in the Loggers’ 49-42 victory at Occidental College in Los Angeles.
He completed 43 of 62 passes for 587 yards and seven touchdowns. His final 7-yard scoring strike to Aiden Santino with 5 minutes, 35 seconds remaining was the winner.
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One of the most amazing things about Fortune’s start? In 113 passing attempts, he has not thrown an interception or fumbled away the football.
Which doesn’t entirely surprise Thomas, who is coordinating the defense for the first time in his seven seasons.
“He hasn’t thrown a pick in a game — and he literally hasn’t thrown a pick in practice,” Thomas said. “It drives me crazy as a defensive coach. I tell my guys to cheat in practice to get one.”
This is essentially Fortune’s third season as the UPS starting quarterback, and he is certainly performing like an unfazed veteran.
“He was everything you’d ever want from our type of offense Saturday — calm, cool and collected,” Thomas said.
And Fortune certainly likes playing against Occidental. In fact, he made his first career start against the Tigers in 2014, throwing for 533 yards and five touchdowns.
In 12 quarters against the Occidental defense, he has totaled 1,551 yards and 18 passing touchdowns.
“(Those numbers) are weird to think about,” Fortune said. “We match up well with them. They run a lot of man (defense), and our guys do a great job of getting open.”
One of the revelations after Saturday is that the Loggers might have found a reliable secondary option in Santino, a freshman from San Marino, California, who primarily works out of the slot.
“In fall camp, a couple guys (were out) with pulled hamstrings, so he ran some first-team snaps five days into camp,” Fortune said. “Our timing and chemistry was built then. And he ran the same offense in high school, so he felt comfortable.”
A couple of UPS single-game records were set Saturday night:
▪ Fortune’s 601 yards — passing and rushing combined — set the mark for total offense, eclipsing the previous record of 593, set by Duncan White in 2010.
▪ The team’s 702 total yards smashed the previous mark of 643, set in 2010 against Lewis & Clark.
And that 2010 game — a 68-64 Pioneers victory at Baker Stadium — produced all the current single-game passing records. White was the starting quarterback of that squad, and he went 46 for 68 for 625 yards passing and eight touchdowns. White lost 32 yards on sacks.
Fortune’s numbers Saturday sit as second all-time across the board. Because of the complexity of the playbook, Thomas says he thinks his senior’s performance was better than White’s six years ago.
“I don’t want to discount what Duncan did, but this was at a different level, based on the multitude of throws we are asking of him (Fortune) to make,” Thomas said.
The UPS defense did sew up the victory by stopping Occidental on fourth-and-1 at its own 41-yard line with three minutes to go. Defensive lineman David Teskey forced Tigers quarterback Bryan Scott into an errant throw.
But the story of the game was the Loggers offense, led by Fortune.
“We have a lot of senior guys on offense,” Fortune said. “We kind of have that feeling that this is our last shot. We are trying to take the next step up to be as good as we can, and compete with anybody.”