Redlands Too Much for P-P

The Pomona-Pitzer football team (0-3, 0-1
SCIAC) kicked off its first conference game of the season against the
University of Redlands (1-2, 1-0 SCIAC) Oct 4. The Sagehens put up a persistent fight but were ultimately unable to edge their tenacious opponent, resulting in the
47-7 defeat.

Redlands
charged the field with a strong start, carrying the ball four consecutive times
for a gain of 41 yards and a pair of first downs within the first few minutes. The
Bulldogs then penetrated P-P’s end zone, scoring Redlands’ first touchdown on a
two-yard strike.

After both teams
traded punts on subsequent drives, the Bulldogs hauled another 76 yards into
the end zone, with quarterback Kevin Russell bringing the score up six more
points to 13-0.    

With nine seconds
left in the first half, the momentum of the game briefly swung back into the
hands of the Sagehens when QB Luke Lowell PO ’18 pushed the score to 19-7 by
scoring a touchdown on a quarterback sneak on fourth and goal at the one just
in time to take some newly sparked energy back into the locker room.

Regardless
of the score, the Sagehens have been able to maintain their spirit and positive
dynamic, a collective improvement since last year.

“The
team chemistry is just there this year,” LB Nick Urban PZ ’17 said. “Unlike the
previous years, where it has been more spotty. So far, it has been very strong
and encouraging.”

The
Sagehens energetically took the field with possession of the
ball after halftime, eager to close the gap on the scoreboard. However, Redlands forced a
turnover and drove past P-P 56 yards the other way, culminating in a seven-yard
touchdown pass. 

With
three minutes left in the third quarter, Redlands’ quarterback added another
touchdown pass to wide receiver Tyler Bassler, stretching the score to
33-7. 

Redlands’
momentum only intensified in the fourth quarter as the team added a 23-yard
interception return and one final touchdown to end the game triumphantly in the
Bulldogs’ favor.

Before
their face off against Redlands, the Sagehens used their bye week carefully in
anticipation of what the powerhouse team was going to bring to the table.

“Redlands is
always a competitive game for us because they see football as one of the
fabrics of their college life,” coach Roger Caron said. “A guy that goes to
Redlands takes football incredibly seriously. It is a really important part of
who they are. With our guys, football is of certain importance but so are
their aspirations to go to top medical schools.” 

Redlands traveled
to Claremont carrying about 100 players on their roster and, with that number, an
abundant amount of substitution opportunities. Despite the sometimes daunting number of players on opposing teams, P-P looks at the challenge of consistently facing new opponents as a
good exercise of endurance. 

“The size of the
Redlands team presents a series of challenges that are quite unique,” Caron said. “Physically, they are much bigger, more aggressive, and there are
just a lot more of them, but they force us to be more competitive.”

According to
Urban, the size and physicality of the Redlands team was not what ultimately fazed
the Sagehens. 

“Our main problem
was mental mistakes; those are what really killed us,” Urban said. “There were
a handful of plays when that was really noticeable. All it takes is a single
player to mess up and cost a touch down or cost a game.”

The Sagehens take
on their next opponent, Chapman University, in less than a week—the shortest
turn time they’ve had all season.

“We
are getting down to it and focusing hard for our game this weekend,” Urban
said. “Everyone has to be there for
100 percent of every play and practice because we don’t have the same amount of
time to prepare as we did before our other games. Chapman is a beatable
opponent and a team we would like to beat to get our season on track and make a
statement in the SCIAC.” 

Despite their
fall to 0-3 on the year, the Sagehens look forward to bringing home a win next
weekend when they will travel to Orange, Calif., to face off against Chapman University
(2-1, 1-0 SCIAC) Saturday, Oct. 11. 

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