“Yeah, I'd say five touchdowns is pretty good,” Claremont-Mudd-Scripps head football coach Kyle Sweeney told TSL.
The touchdowns he mentioned were scored by Garrett Cheadle HM '20 in the team's 45-28 win over Occidental College last Saturday, Oct.8. Cheadle noted that the offensive line was excelling at its job, making his easier: “When the holes are as open as they were, it's hard not to run for that many yards or get as many rushing touchdowns as we did as a team. The field was just there, so we did our job.” Christian Curcio CM '20 also rushed an impressive 172 yards and added a touchdown of his own.
“We always talk about guys running hard, and when you get into one of those games where you're running time and time again, it's important that you're running physically. They did well and the defenders really bounced off of them,” Coach Sweeney said.
It's especially impressive to see first-year Stags excelling on the field. Cheadle played football at Lincoln High School in Portland, Oregon, and admitted, “the kids now are a lot bigger and hit a lot harder. They're also a lot faster–in high school, I could outrun people. You caught from behind on a long run if you don't focus on sprinting as fast as you could. The holes close a lot quicker and you have to hit the play a lot faster, and timing really matters,” Cheadle said.
Luckily, the Stags have had little trouble outplaying their opposition; they are 4-0 on this season and 9-0 dating as far back as last season, have outscored their opponents 156-72, and show no signs of slowing down. However, the team doesn't take their success for granted.
“I'm really optimistic for our season. Obviously, we haven't finished, so I don't want to count the eggs before they hatch. But, we're looking pretty good,” Cheadle commented.
Coach Sweeney added that the team is firing on all cylinders.
“Some games, we've run the ball really well; other games, we've thrown the ball really well. We played pretty good defense all the way through. We've made some pretty good plays on special team and done it in all three phases–different people have stepped up every week, so that part has been really great for us,” Sweeney said.
After graduating a strong senior class, Cheadle thinks that the team finds its chemistry is crucial to the Stags' success.
“We have great leadership on the team. There are a good number of seniors, but also a ton of juniors who have stepped up as leaders and mentor us freshmen,” Cheadle said.
To Sweeney, great teams have players who value the team over the individual, and the Stags are doing just that.
“Rather than guys worrying about how many times they touch the ball or who got the headline or anything like that, it's just, 'Did we win?'”
The Stags will try to answer that question with another definitive “yes” on Oct. 22 versus The University of Redlands.