Two Deep Strikes Lead CMS to Victory

Oct. 4, 2006. That was the
last time that the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Stags beat the
California Lutheran University Kingsmen in football until last
Saturday, when the Stags took an early 9-0 lead in the first quarter and never
looked back, breaking an eight-year drought with the 37-30 win.

In a day filled with excitement from
beginning to end and big play after big play, the game took a turn for the
unusual right off the bat when the Stags forced a safety; from then on, the
game was a non-stop, edge-of-your-seat contest between the teams. 

It was a back-and-forth game. Whenever CMS (3-4, 2-3 SCIAC) scored, Cal Lu (2-5, 2-3 SCIAC) would answer, and whenever Cal Lu scored, CMS would answer.
However, CMS’s early lead gave them the advantage in the end.

Victor Bunce CM ’18 supplied one of the
highlights of the game when he snagged his second interception of the season.
This time he took it to the house for a pick six. The first-year defensive back concealed himself from the Cal Lu quarterback, who proceeded to throw a pass right into the hands of the
well-positioned Bunce.

“I cut back across the field and had to juke their running back,
after that, all that was left was getting around their linemen and into the
corner of the end zone,” Bunce said. “It was a great game, and Cal Lu
battled really hard, but we definitely deserved to come out on top this week.”

This was just one of the many spectacular
defensive plays for CMS during the game, in addition to head coach Kyle Sweeney’s mentions of other standout performances by defensive linemen Andrew Sova CM ‘16, Paul Slaats HM ‘17, Alex Chang CM ‘15 and Henry Wei CM ‘17.

“The guys played great,”
Sweeney said. “We made a lot of big plays, including two blocked punts and
two interception returns for TDs.”

CMS also exploded on offense. Trey
Reynolds CM ’17 delivered two beautifully-placed passes for 63- and 67-yard
touchdowns to wide receivers Trey Smith CM ’18 and Tyler Stanek CM ’16, respectively. One of the most memorable plays from the game came during the fourth quarter, when Reynolds looked down the middle of the field and found his target in Stanek. After
Reynolds unloaded the ball, Stanek managed to tip it, and the deflected ball careened off of a Cal Lu defender, whereupon Smith secured it and ran it in
for a touchdown.

Although
the Stags’ record of 3-4 may not be what they wanted,
the team has much depth going into the future with its current roster of eighteen first-years. Four of those first-years scored touchdowns in the
game on Saturday: Geno Quaid CM ’18, Shane Pico CM ’18, Smith and Bunce. 

With
this win, the Stags move forward with their goal for the end of the season:
finishing with a winning record in their two remaining games. CMS will kick off their final matches Saturday, Nov. 8, against Whittier College (2-5, 1-4 SCIAC). Next, the Stags will be tested against rival Pomona-Pitzer (1-6,
1-4 SCIAC) on Saturday, Nov. 15. The end of the season looks to be an
exciting one for the Stags as they pursue a winning record. 

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