On Saturday, Oct. 29, the Pomona-Pitzer Sagehens (5-2, 4-1 SCIAC) hosted the University of Redlands Bulldogs (6-0, 5-1 SCIAC) in an epic match under Saturday night lights. Each team entered the game with an undefeated record in conference play, each working long and hard to achieve such a record. However, only one would leave the field with the SCIAC first place standing.
The Sagehens entered the field prepared and hopeful, riding the wave of their best season since 2003. Led by quarterback Edward Sias PZ ’19, ranked third in SCIAC in passing yards per game at 238.8 and third in touchdowns at 12, and running back Aseal Birir PO ’18, ranked second in SCIAC in rushing yards per game at 119.0, the Sagehens gave their fans a game to remember.
The first half of the game looked promising as the Sagehens worked together to earn a 14-3 lead minutes before halftime. However, the Redlands offense somehow forced a Hail Mary, covering 51 yards and forcing a 14-10 score at the end of halftime. Though the Sagehens came up short on this unexpected play right before the buzzer sounded, these men fought tooth and nail and came up just short in a close game ending at 23-21.
Birir recognized it was a tough game, “decided by a few big plays that Redlands made that the Sagehens didn't have an answer for.” Other than those few plays, Birir believes his team worked hard to prepare for the Bulldogs and gave a great effort on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball. The running back also stated how this game was a tough loss since it was such a close score. However, Birir noted how the game “speaks a lot about us as a team to collectively turn around a record from 2-7 last year to the 5-2 start we have now, and the team goals for the rest of the season is to treat our next two games as if they were championship games, and just like the Redlands game”. The Sagehens still have a shot at winning SCIAC, depending on how the next two games go for Redlands.
Offensive lineman Paul Mesa PO ’19 recounts how, despite the disappointment of the loss, “our team held our own and our performance has shown just how far our program has improved over a short amount of time.” Mesa is proud of how well the team has done thus far and is excited to see how the Sagehens will finish a strong season.
Defensive Back Andrew Phillips PO ’19 recalls how the Sagehens “played really hard and the effort was there the entire night.” Though it may not have been the result the Sagehens were hoping for, Phillips believes this game proved to the P-P Football team that they could play with any team. Phillips noted how “all we can do now is focus on closing out the season strongly and playing as hard as we can for our next two games” against the University of La Verne Leopards on Nov. 5 as well as the infamous Sixth Street rivalry game against the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Stags on Nov. 12.