CMS Football Defeats Occidental 37-0 in First Shutout in 16 Years

The CMS Stags and Occidental Tigers face off at Claremont McKenna’s Zinda Field on Saturday, October 7. (Lauryn Cravens • The Student Life)

For the first time in 16 years, the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps football team (3-1, 2-0 SCIAC) succeeded in shutting out an opponent in its 37-0 blowout win over conference opponent Occidental (0-3, 0-2 SCIAC). The last shutout was a 29-0 routing of Lewis and Clark on Sept. 29, 2001.

CMS absolutely dominated the Tigers in all facets of the game, out-gaining them on offense 459 yards to 113, limiting them to just six first downs, and having both would-be special teams and a defensive touchdown called back.

“Our guys played really well,” said CMS head coach Kyle Sweeney. “They played good assignment football: they were very aggressive, very physical, played the ball very well in the air. I think, collectively, it showed how well we can play when we play our assignments.”

The Stags started with an average field position of their own 49-yard line. “It really makes this easier when you’re only really working on a half field the whole day,” said Sweeney. “What’s amazing is that we had a drive that started at our own 1 [yard line], so that really skewed the average and the reality is that the rest of the day we were even closer [than midfield]."

This made the offensive play-calling easier and led to an extremely efficient day from quarterback Sam Healy CM ‘18, who completed five of seven passes for 121 yards and two touchdowns.

Wide receiver Ethan Takeyama CM ‘21 was one of the players who stood out to Sweeney, as he caught two balls for 67 yards and his first career touchdown. Sweeney also pointed to tight end Chris Cziesla CM ‘18, who scored the game’s first touchdown on a 16-yard catch in the middle of the field.

The Stags broke the game open early, scoring two quick touchdowns to take a 14-0 lead, and didn't let Occidental produce a single first down in the entire first quarter. The CMS offense tacked on a field goal from Mitchell Allan CM ‘19 in the second quarter. Allan hit four of his five extra point attempts, along with that 34-yarder.

CMS Stags return to the bench under a 30-0 scoreboard at Claremont McKenna’s Zinda Field on Saturday, October 7. (Lauryn Cravens • The Student Life)

CMS then put the game away early in the second half, as running back Shane Pico CM '18 scored his second touchdown of the season on a 10-yard carry to give his team a 24-0 lead. The Stags ended up scoring 20 points in the third quarter, making it 37-0, before easing up and not scoring in the final frame.

The Stags will next face California Lutheran University (3-1, 1-1 SCIAC) on Saturday at 1:00 p.m. The team wants to win a SCIAC title, something they have been agonizingly close to each of the past two seasons and what Sweeney professes as the ultimate goal of the 2017 season. But to get there, CMS must continue its winning streak this weekend against Cal Lutheran. “[They] beat us last year, Redlands beat us last year, and those are the next two weeks,” Sweeney said. “We’ve got some tough ones coming up.”