Receiving Crops Leads Sagehen Football

Nearly five minutes after throwing a devastating interception in the Lewis & Clark endzone, QB Jake Caron PI ’11 brought his team downfield again. This time, though, he found TE Robert McNitt PI ’09 for a nine-yard touchdown completion. The pass catapulted the Sagehens ahead of Lewis & Clark, 33-28, with just 21 seconds left in the fourth, and they held on to bring their record to 2 – 0 to start the year.It was the second straight thrilling victory for Pomona-Pitzer after their 20-14 overtime victory against Puget Sound. And after five straight losing seasons, the hot start to the year couldn’t come soon enough.The Sagehens are led by All-SCIAC QB Caron, who broke the Pomona-Pitzer single-season passing record last season throwing for 2,503 yards. This off-season, Caron added 15 pounds, increased his flexibility through yoga classes, and worked vigorously with long-time wide receivers RJ Maki PO ’11 and Colin Regan PI ’10.Caron returns for his third straight season as a starter. With his experience and passing efficiency, look for the 6-foot-4-inch quarterback to put up some big numbers. Including Caron, the offense returns a total of 10 starters, including the entire offensive line. This should help give the quarterback time in the pocket to find his talented receiving core of Maki, Regan, and McNitt.The Sagehens hope to keep the defense guessing with a balanced running attack that features the tough, speedy RB Russell Oka PI ’11, who has proven he can find the end zone with his small frame. Defensively, head coach Roger Caron hopes the team can make stops and allow the offense to stay on the field, something that the team had a hard time doing last season, when it allowed an average of 38.6 points.The Sagehens will look to 285-pound defensive lineman Alpha Anders PO ’10 to anchor the defensive trenches and put pressure on the quarterback. The captains for the 2009 season are Maki, defensive back Bobby Montalvo PI ’09, and offensive linemen Augie Lagemann PO ’09. Coach Caron returns for his 16th season.The Sagehens played their first game at Puget Sound Sep. 12, where they defeated the Loggers 20-14 in overtime. Maki completed the winning touchdown pass to McNitt off of a fake field goal. Caron was 32-of-52 passing, and Regan proved to be his favorite target, with 13 catches and 111 receiving yards. Coach Caron noted that the win was a huge confidence booster for the team, especially since it was the first game of the year. Next, in their home opener against Lewis and Clark on last Saturday, the Sagehens failed to disappoint in another last-second thriller with the 33-28 win.The two teams traded touchdowns for most of the game and went into the half tied 21-21. Down 28-27 with the ball on his own 29-yard line with 2:12 left in the game, Jacob Caron led the offense on a game-winning drive that culminated in a scrambling touchdown pass to McNitt in the left side of the end zone with 21 seconds left. The Sagehens were able to make key stops defensively in the 4th quarter, where they kept the Pioneers scoreless thanks to 12 tackles from LB Jacob Rollins PO ’13 and eight from LB Charles Sander PO ’11 for the game.After Caron threw an interception late in the 4th quarter, the defense came up with a huge stop, forcing the Pioneers to go three and out and putting the Sagehen offense back on the field. Offensively, Caron and Maki connected big play after big play. Caron compiled 350 passing yards and 3 touchdowns and controlled the clock perfectly on the game winning drive, scoring with less than 15 seconds left on the clock.Maki proved to be the key to the passing game, compiling 254 receiving yards and 2 TDs. Oka, at 5 feet 7 inches and 170 pounds, wowed the crowd with his power rushing, compiling 104 yards on the ground.P-P’s next game will be at home against Chapman on Saturday, Oct. 3 at 7 p.m. Their first league game will be at home against Cal Lutheran the following Saturday at 1 p.m.The Sagehens have already matched their win total from last year, and with an explosive passing game and a defense that has held its own in the first two games of the season, look for the Sagehens to have an exciting season on the gridiron.

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