The Pomona-Pitzer football team lost big to SCIAC opponent University of Redlands this past weekend 70-0, the worst loss of the season for the Hens. The Sagehens are now 0-8 on the season and 0-5 in SCIAC play.
Going into the game, the Hens knew it would be a very difficult matchup, considering the Redlands Bulldogs are a team that always expects to make the playoffs and is known for its physical toughness. Once both teams hit the field, it quickly became apparent that the Hens were overmatched physically and did not come out ready to match the vigor of Redlands. The Bulldogs used this to their advantage, building an early lead and never looking back.
With so many players out for the Hens, especially on the offensive side of the ball, many younger players had to step in on Saturday. For the most part, these younger players played very well, even if it was not reflected in the final score. Many fresh faces got some game time in at wide receiver, including Jack Pietrykowski PO ’16, who had several spectacular grabs in the game and led the team with four catches for 33 yards. Captain Yoshi Rothman PO ’13, one of the injured wide receivers, had only good things to say about the young receiving corps after Saturday’s game.
“Jack and the rest of the receiving core went out there and performed against Redlands,” he said. “Travis Muraoka PZ ’13, Al Thompson PO ’15 and Guy Scherzer PO ’15 had some outstanding plays out there, and I think the Hens should be optimistic about the future passing game.”
After the big loss, Coach Roger Caron made sure to point out that a loss is a loss, no matter the margin of defeat, and that the team needs to rally quickly to prepare for the Sixth-Street Rivalry game this Saturday.
Caron is optimistic about the game with Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, especially considering many key players are slated to return from injuries and make it into the starting lineup for the Hens. The Sagehen offense should have star running back Luke Sweeney PO ’13 in the lineup for the first time since he hurt his leg against Whittier College in early October. Sweeney still sits in second place in P-P career rushing and only needs ten yards to match the record. Caron stressed to the team, however, that no matter what the records are, both teams always show up for the Sixth-Street Rivalry; CMS will not just give the game to P-P, and the Hens will have to play to their full potential to beat the Stags.
Like the Hens, the CMS Stags have struggled so far this season and are still looking for their first win. Rothman believes that the offense will finally be able to fire on all cylinders this week with all of the pieces falling back into place for the Sagehens.
“Throughout the season we have had injuries that have set back the running game and the passing game, but this week is different. The offense will be as healthy as we’ve been all year, and we plan to mix it up and keep them guessing all game long,” Rothman said.
Defensively, the Hens will have to be prepared to defend against a variety of formations and plays, since the Stags still seem to be searching for an offensive identity and change their game plan from week to week.
This is a big game for both teams, particularly for the Hens, who look to win for the Homecoming crowd. The Sagehens will have to focus mentally and physically all week to come out strong Saturday to win back the Peace Pipe. P-P is looking to win back the Peace Pipe for the first time in six years, and the seniors on the team are looking forward to holding the Pipe for the first time in their careers.
“The mental preparation for this week is no different than any other week. Clearly the emotions are high coming into the week, but it’s important to stay focused and play disciplined. I have no doubt that we will be mentally and physically ready for this game. It’s time to make it happen,” Rothman asserted.
Kickoff is at 1 p.m. on Saturday, and there will be Homecoming festivities leading up to the game.