Football: CMS Defeats Pacific, Picks Up First Win

Game Summary by Tristan Fitch

The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Stags got their first win at home over the Pacific University (Oregon) Boxers.  CMS, coming off a disappointing loss to Lewis & Clark College , dominated all three phases throughout the course of the game.

On offense, CMS’s vaunted rushing game showed why it was so hailed coming into this game; Patrick Rooney, the starting senior quarterback, led the team with 118 yards rushing with Trevor Beltz carrying 11 times for 42 yards and Corey Bickler carrying the rock 4 times for 14 yards.  Especially impressive was Alex Wheatley, who gained 65 yards on 11 carries, averaging 5.9 yards a carry.  On two consecutive drives, it looked like Wheatley would be taken down by a heavy rush on the inside, but on both he bounced outside for large gains.  Patrick Rooney scored all three offensive touchdowns for the Stags on rushes.

In the passing game, Rooney was a very efficient 5-13 for 83 yards, with no interceptions and only one sack.  While the passing game wasn’t the focus of the offense, the deep passes—including a very nice 33 yard bomb to Greg Wilson in the first quarter—forced the Pacific safeties to play back off the ball, opening room for the run game.

On defense, the Stags played an outstanding game.  T.C. Campbell (Pacific University’s starting quarterback), who had over 600 yards over the past two games, had on 190 and, other than an 87 yard bomb to Jordan Fukumoto, was limited to only short passes.  All night, the CMS line was in Pacific’s backfield.  Despite rarely blitzing, CMS had 2 sacks and multiple quarterback pressures, including one that forced a game-sealing interception that was returned for a touchdown by Corbin Tognoni.  This combination of tight coverage by the defensive backs and pressure by the line forced Pacific University to be 0-12 on third down.

Surprisingly, special teams was as important as both the offense and defense in this game.  Two blocked punts early in the game gave CMS a quick lead and deflated the Pacific team.  Pacific’s missed extra point put Pacific behind by 11 in the 3rd, making them unable to settle for field goals.  A high snap on a punt of CMS’s nearly gave Pacific the ball back at its own 20 in the 4th quarter.  However, punter Ben Salzman got control of the ball and kicked it on the run, pounding it about 40 yards downfield in a very impressive feat.  A roughing the kicker call gave CMS a second chance in Pacific’s red zone; however, the ball was fumbled away, missing out on a chance to capitalize on the mistake.

While CMS did make mistakes (including three lost fumbles and several rushes for losses), this game was an excellent way for Kyle Sweeney to start off his Head Coaching career for CMS sports at home.

Interesting facts of note:

After having his successful field goal called back after a roughing the kicker penalty, Chet Corcos has no  field goal attempts in the first two games.

Pacific University falls to 0-22 over the past 20 years; their football program was discontinued from 1991-2009, and has gone 0-11 over the past two years.

Pacific University, after a sack and three penalties, faced a 3rd and 39 towards the middle of the third.

Nick Nasse, a freshman linebacker for CMS, was credited for both punt blocks.

The live audio broadcast was brought to you tonight by Nathan Falk (CMC '14), Remy Pinson (CMC '14), Tristan Fitch (HMC '15), and Drew Beckerman (CMC '13). Coverage will begin at 6:45 PM, and the kickoff is scheduled for 7PM.

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