CMS Snags Victory in Sixth Street Rivalry Game

As the Stags crossed back over Sixth Street after taking
down Pomona-Pitzer last Saturday, Nov. 15, they got to take a piece of Sixth
Street with them. This year, for the
first time, the winner of the Sixth Street rivalry game earned the new Sixth
Street sign trophy, and for the second straight year, it was the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Stags.

The Stag defense put up a stellar front all season long, only allowing an average of 21.1 points per
game, second-best in SCIAC after Chapman University. That stinginess was on full display against
P-P (1-8, 1-6 SCIAC) as the team snagged a season-high six
interceptions to help the Stags (5-4, 4-3 SCIAC) to their first winning season since
2010 and a third-place finish in SCIAC (tied with Occidental College and California Lutheran University).

“We were
probably a little more focused since it was such a big game,” linebacker Max Winsberg
CM ’15 said. “I think everyone was really pumped. There was a lot of crowd
support, and I think a lot of people wanted to make big plays because they knew
this was a game that gets a lot of attention.”

channeled that energy into a strong start as quarterback Trey Reynolds CM ’17 connected
with wide receiver Ryan Farney CM ’16 for a 28-yard touchdown strike on the team’s first
drive of the game. Winsberg had hand in
the next two Stag scores, first sacking Sagehen quarterback Alex Bresler PO ’17 in the
end zone and forcing a fumble that defensive lineman Andrew Sova CM ’16 scooped up. On the next possession, Winsberg intercepted
Bresler and raced 93 yards down the field to give CMS a 21-0 advantage by the
end of the first quarter.

“For me,
awareness and understanding what the offense wants to do, picking up on certain
keys like what the offense wants to run in certain situations, and anticipating
the play before it happens are important,” Winsberg said. 

CMS then scored
three more touchdowns in the second half to further extend its lead.  Reynolds connected with both wide receivers Tyler Stanek
CM ’16 and Trey Smith CM ’18 for touchdowns, and defensive back Tiger Brown CM ’17
took an interception to the house. On
the defensive side, DB Geno Quaid CM ’18 had a career-high 11 tackles, and DB Victor Bunce CM ’18 had two interceptions of his own.

“We were
actually preparing most of the week for running plays, so when they started
throwing the ball it was a little surprising at first, but then we adjusted
well,” Winsberg said. “We focused on the QB because he’s also a pretty good
runner. We just focused on keeping everything in front of us and not giving up
big plays and letting our defense work.”

P-P, the offense had to work without star running back Aseal Birir PO
’18, who was out with an injury. Running back Errol Francis PO ’18 filled in and led both
teams with 68 yards rushing, but Birir’s absence forced P-P to take to the air more
often. Wide receiver Brett Harper PO ’16 took advantage of the increased opportunities and
reeled in a game-high eight passes for 114 yards and two touchdowns.

“I just played as hard as I could, and the quarterbacks did a great job finding me when I was able to get open,”
Harper said.

While P-P
was only able to capture one win this year, many of their impact players were
underclassmen who gained valuable experience this year and will be returning
for future seasons.

“We definitely have a very young
team with a lot of talent,” Harper said. “I know everyone is going to work
hard this off season, and with the experience everyone gained from this past
season, I know we can be a very good team next year.” 

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