Stags Retain Peace Pipe – Defeat Rival Sagehens 18-6

Under a bright blue summer sky more reminiscent of July than mid-November, the CMS Stags Football Team came back from a small early deficit to beat up on cross-street rivals, Pomona-Pitzer. The game started well for the Stags, forcing a safety for an early 2-0 lead after the Sagehens made an interception deep in their territory. After neither team managed to score in the rest of the period, the Sagehens drove 59 yards quickly in the beginning of the second, scoring on a 8-yd run. The point-after attempt failed, and the scoreboard read 6-2 with 10 minutes left in the half.

The teams traded possession several times in the remainder of the period before the Stags got the ball on their own 25 with just over 5 minutes left in the half. Quarterback Ryan Larsen (CMC SR) moved the offense efficiently down the field, while D.J. Lillard (CMC JR) pounded away at running back. After a big completion to Mike Hirokawa (CMC JR) and another Lillard run, the Stags were knocking on the Sagehens’ door.

The drive appeared to stall on the P-P 9-yd line, but Larsen lofted up a perfectly thrown jump ball that found the hands of Andy Doyle (CMC SR) for a touchdown on third down. Bryan Downs (HMC SR) added the extra point and the Stags had the lead again, 9-6.

The Sagehens stormed back, racing against the clock and driving down the field, helped by a roughing the passer penalty that saved their drive. Fortunately for the Stags, the ‘Hens missed a 37-yd field goal as time expired in the half.

The men came out in good form after the halftime break. Using a mixture of running backs and different sets, the Stags marched down the field in a time-consuming 6 minute drive. The drive stalled on the P-P 6 though, and Coach Rick Candaele and the boys had to settle for a fieldgoal – 12-6 on the scoreboard.

After a couple of possession trades, the Sagehens worked a drive through the end of the third quarter into the opening of the fourth. Lance Rutledge then sucked the wind out of the P-P sideline, intercepting a risky pass by Pomona’s Jake Caron and running it across the field for a 20 yard return.

The Stags added a touchdown later in the fourth, when Hirokawa and Larsen hooked up on a beautiful 45-yd reception after Hirokawa burned his defender. The two-point attempt failed, but it did not matter. Today, the sun shone brighter on the Stags, and the Peace Pipe will reside on the north side of 6th Street for at least another year.

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