Too Little, Too Late for Sagecock Football

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If you were to simply glance at the score of last Saturday’s 34-7 loss to_x000D_
Whitworth University in Spokane, Washington, it would be easy to say that the Pomona-Pitzer football team is in_x000D_
for another long season. But those of us who saw the game know that such an assumption could not be farther from the truth.

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The Sagehens appeared to have improved from last year on both sides of the ball. And in almost all areas, the game was far closer than the score indicates. After losing several talented seniors last year, including_x000D_
SCIAC Offensive Player of the Year and future French American Football League star Jake Caron,_x000D_
the Sagehens had many first-time starters on_x000D_
the field. This year’s team_x000D_
is relatively young, boasting only five seniors, but running back Luke Sweeney PO ’13 considers that an_x000D_
advantage for P-P.

 “The youth helps us. Last year we lost a lot of key_x000D_
seniors, but the team needed to go in a different direction. We only won one_x000D_
game last year. All this youth brings a lot of excitement about what new things_x000D_
we can do this year,” Luke said.

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Going into the first game of the_x000D_
season, the P-P football team knew their running game would be the_x000D_
key to their success this season. _x000D_
Running the ball 58 times for 196 yards, the Sagehen offense certainly ran_x000D_
well enough to win the game. Unfortunately for the Sagehens, the Whitworth Pirates managed to come up with big plays when it mattered. The Pirate defense set the tone for the game early on, stopping P-P’s opening drive at the eight-yard line after a well-executed march down_x000D_
the field by the Sagehen offense. Unfortunately, it was the closest the_x000D_
Sagehens would get to the end zone until the fourth quarter. 

Sweeney paced the Sagehen offense with an impressive 176 yards rushing on 41_x000D_
carries. Quarterback Luke Ferguson PO ’13 scored the only P-P touchdown of the_x000D_
game, powering his way into the end zone from the one-yard line late in the_x000D_
fourth quarter. Wide receiver Andre_x000D_
Shepley PO ’12 got his first interception of the season, picking off a tipped pass during the_x000D_
middle of the third quarter to help create momentum for the Hens. Unfortunately,_x000D_
it proved to be too little, too late. 

Later that night, Sweeney laid out his thoughts about the game in the comfort of the Sagehen locker room.

“The game really did come down_x000D_
to the big plays and our inability to score touchdowns,” he shrugged.

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It was a tough first game, but the Sagehens hope to get their season going on the right track this_x000D_
Saturday at 1:00 p.m. when they square off against the Lewis & Clark Pioneers in their first_x000D_
home game of the season. This will be a big match-up for the Hens, since the Pioneers put up 63 points against P-P last year and gave CMS a sound thumping this past weekend. Despite the_x000D_
lopsided score of last week’s game, Coach Roger Caron remains optimistic and believes the Sagehen offense should be able to run the ball effectively against the Pioneer defense. 

Sweeney echoed Coach Caron, adding, “I know we have_x000D_
a team that is going to try hard and fight. We aren’t worried right now. We are_x000D_
going to come out on Saturday with the attitude that we are going to win the_x000D_
game.”

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