Stags, Sagehens Ready to Fight Two SCIAC Powerhouses

Pomona-Pitzer vs. Redlands Preview

Although
the month of September has brought the Pomona-Pitzer football team (0-2, 0-0
SCIAC) two subsequent losses, the Sagehens look forward to continuing their
tenacious fight against University of Redlands (0-2) Saturday, Oct. 4.  

Earlier in September, P-P flew to Cambridge, Mass., to open their season
against MIT (3-0). The loss spoiled the remarkable debut of running
back Aseal Birir PO ’18, who had 190 yards on 23 carries, including a 58-yard touchdown
that gave the Sagehens an early lead. But P-P was unable to stay ahead after
MIT scored on two long touchdown drives in the second half, culminating in a 28-13
victory for MIT. 

Two weeks later,
the Sagehens faced Rhodes College (4-0), a team they had not seen in eleven
years. With anticipation high, P-P took the field, but ultimately came away
from their home opener with another loss.

Despite the
scores of their first two games, the Sagehens remain optimistic about their
level of potential on the field.

“We just faced
tough losses against two really good teams,” left guard Colton Coss PZ ’17 said.
“Both teams are still undefeated in their conferences. After playing them we
are definitely more ready for the upcoming season.”

The Sagehens approach Saturday’s
game feeling prepared after two weeks of practice, time that was used to work
on individual techniques such as tackling, alignment and recognition. The bye
week also gave the Sagehens time to recuperate and ensure their health and
focus.

“We usually give the guys a few days
off to make sure the guys are rested and their academics healthy,” P-P coach Roger
Caron said. “It gives them time to make sure that they are fully engaged in the
life of the college, which is the most important thing.”

In recent years, Redlands has proven
to be a competitive team, although they, too, have been unable to secure a win
this season. Regardless, the Sagehens are anticipating an aggressive game.

“Redlands is known as the big power-house
team,” Coss said. “They will be coming here with about 150 kids or so, which
means they are going to have fresh bodies on the field constantly. Our
intensity needs to be high because we are a 60-man team, so we all have to be
two players in one.”

Last season, in a tough game for the
Sagehens, Redlands scored an unanswered 49 points, an upset that could be
partially attributed to the numerous P-P players out due to injuries. However,
this Saturday the Sagehens will have the opportunity to redeem themselves with
their full starting lineup on the field.

“Having everyone healthy and keeping
our momentum forward, I think we have a lot better of a chance to match them
than we did last year,” Coss said. 

CMS vs. Chapman Preview

Looking forward to playing under
their own lights, the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps football team (1-1) gears up to
face Chapman University (1-1) Oct. 4.

The Stags head into next week’s
game toting one win and one loss after their game against Lewis & Clark
College (0-3) Sept. 13.  On that
scorching Saturday night, CMS scored 22 unrequited points in the fourth quarter
of their home opener, culminating in their first win of the season, 36-14.

The CMS team has had a strong start
to the season, debuting their talented first-year players in their fiery win against
Lewis & Clark as well as their close game against the University of Puget
Sound, ultimately ending 13 in the Loggers’ favor.

“The freshmen are awesome and hard
working; it’s a great atmosphere all around,” James Ingram CM ’16 said.  “They have definitely bought into the program, and it will be fun to see them grow this year and continue to watch them even
after I graduate.”

The Stags have been gearing up to
take on Chapman, making use of their two bye weeks. In addition to working on
individual techniques and mechanics of the game, CMS is determined to keep its
focus and intensity high during their time away from competition. 

“We are working on keeping our
minds right. The last two weeks have given us a lot of time to prepare,
practice and to focus on our game on Chapman,” Ingram said.

Similar to the Stags’ record, Chapman travels to Claremont with one
win and one loss in tow. In their first game of the season, the Panthers experienced
an upset in their first-ever meeting with No. 5-ranked Linfield College,
opening their season with a 21-14 loss. However, two weeks later, Chapman
redeemed themselves against Whitworth University. Thanks to an explosive third
quarter on both offense and defense, the Wildcats claimed their first win
49-34.

Next
Saturday will be the first, in-season meeting between Chapman and CMS after the
two teams scrimmaged a few weeks ago.

“Chapman is
a solid team,” Ingram said. “They are always up there in the conference and nationally, so
playing them before the season begins is a good way to gage ourselves to
see where we are as a team and what we have to work on.” 

Last year’s
game against Chapman ended in a tight fourth quarter, and the Stags missed out
on a win by just a few points. CMS eagerly awaits the opportunity to secure a
second win on their home field and maintain their intensity for the rest of the
season.

“We are
really excited to go up against Chapman again this year, then continue to
improve and win a conference,” Ingram added. “After that, it’s all just fun.” 

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