The Sagehens wasted no time in turning a close game into a blowout in their 38-14 win over La Verne last Saturday. Twenty-two seconds into the second quarter, QB Jacob Caron PO ’11 connected to star wide out RJ Maki PO ’11 for a 25-yard TD pass. Pomona-Pitzer would go on to end the game on a 31 to 7 run thanks to strong play on both sides of the ball. The win puts the Hens’ record at 3–2 overall and 1–1 within SCIAC.
“I think this is one of the first games where offense and defense were both on top of their games at the same time,” said defensive lineman Ross Tanaka PO ’11.
Caron started off the offensive assault by punching the ball in from a yard out midway through the first quarter. The 6’4, 220-pound quarterback has proven to be a reliable option in short-yardage situations.
La Verne answered back late in the first quarter with an 8-yard touchdown pass to even the score at seven. La Verne would never get any closer, however, as Caron and Maki answered with their 25-yard touchdown.
Bobby Montalvo PO ’10 closed out the scoring in the first half with a huge 37-yard field goal at the end of the half, which gave the Sagehens a boost going into the locker room, especially considering some of the team’s struggles with their kicking game.
Montalvo’s field goal was P-P’s first of the season and just its fourth since 2007.
At the beginning of the second half, Tanaka intercepted a pass from the Leopards’ quarterback and nearly took it to the house before being dragged down at the 4-yard line.
“They ran a bubble screen and so my guy blocked out on me, and I read it well and got my hands up and managed to tip it,” Tanaka said. “Running with the ball is pretty much any defensive lineman’s dream. People have been giving me a pretty hard time about not getting in the end zone, though. In hindsight I should have stiff-armed him or something.”
Caron bruised his way into the end zone on the ensuing play to give the Sagehens a comfortable 24-7 lead and Caron his second rushing touchdown of the day.Pomona-Pitzer tacked on two more touchdowns in the fourth quarter, one on a two-yard run from running back Russel Oka PI ’11, and the other on a bomb from Caron to Maki that capped off a 10-play drive that ate up over 5 minutes of clock late in the quarter.
Oka finished with 109 yards on 24 carries.
On the receiving end, Maki continued his dominance by catching 18 passes for 202 yards and two touchdowns. Maki now has 52 receptions on the season for 716 yards and six touchdowns, meaning he is averaging a ridiculous line of about 10 catches, 143 yards, and 1 touchdown per game.
WR Aaron Fong PO ’12 also found some holes in the secondary and compiled 120 receiving yards of his own, 46 of which came off a deep pass from Caron that set up the Sagehens’ first score and set the pace for the rest of the game.
Caron also put up some big numbers, dishing out 363 passing yards and connecting with receivers on 28 of his 41 throws. The junior quarterback passed for two touchdowns, and ran for another two. Through five games, Caron is averaging 265 passing yards per game to go along with three touchdowns per game (15 total, with eight through the air and seven on the ground).
Defensively, LB Justin Meng PO ’13 had 7.5 tackles, and LB Max Reed PO ’11 terrorized the opposing offensive line for 6.5 tackles and three sacks. Tanaka and DB Sam Littleton PO ’11 both had an interception in the game.
Following a blow-out loss to Cal Lutheran last week, the Sagehens showed their resolve with this solid win. P-P now sits in the middle of the SCIAC with a 1-1 league record and hopes to jump to 2-1 with a win over a Whittier team that is 0-2 in conference. The game will take place at Whittier next Saturday, Oct. 24 at 3 p.m.