CLAREMONT, Calif. – On a beautiful Saturday afternoon the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps football team hosted the Washington and Lee Generals. The Generals used a methodical ground attack to build a 24-0 lead before the Stags battled back to score the next 14 points. The second-half comeback was not enough as the Generals held on for the 24-14 victory.
Chris Cziesla (CMC) hauled in five passes for the second-straight game, totaling 58 yards to lead the Stags on the receiving end. Trey Smith (CMC) matched Cziesla with five catches and a total of 47 yards.
In the backfield, Shane Pico (CMC) rushed for 83 yards on 13 carries.
The Generals took a 7-0 lead just 2:41 into Saturday's contest with a 5-play, 83-yard drive. Walker Brand punched in a one-yard touchdown run moments after he broke off a 49-yard run to set-up the score. On the ensuing drive the Generals picked off a pass that put them in scoring position again.
The Generals worked their way down to the five, but would have to settle for a field goal to push the lead to 10-0.
After the Stags and Generals traded punts, CMS put together their most promising drive of the first-half. Shane Pico gained 39 yards on the ground on a nine-play, 56-yard drive that took the Stags down to the six-yard line. After Pico ran for a first down on fourth and two, the Stags put the ball in the air and it was promptly intercepted on the goal-line.
The Stags forced the Generals to go three and out and put together another promising drive down to the ten, but a missed field goal gave CMS another empty possession in the red-zone and the Generals carried their 10-0 lead into the half.
Early in the second-half, Washington and Lee put the ball in the hands of Walker Brand yet again on a 14-play, 93-yard drive that took a majority of the third-quarter. Brand had 11 touches out of the backfield for 74 rushing yards and ended the drive with a leap over the pile for another one-yard touchdown run. The drive took 7:59 and after the extra-point, the Generals held a 17-0 lead.
A penalty on the ensuing kick-off pinned the Stags deep in their own territory. After a five-yard pitch-and-catch, the Stags threw their third interception of the afternoon on their own 12-yard line.
Four plays, and less than two minutes, later the Generals turned that pick into another touchdown.
Trailing 24-0, the Stags quickened their pace and found success. Sam Healy started off a six-play, 65-yard drive with a 21-yard run. Two plays later, Spencer Sheff (CMC) broke a 21-yard run of his own and two plays after that, Healy found Trey Smith on the sideline. Smith made the catch and spun away from his defender to put the Stags on the board with a 16-yard touchdown reception. The quick scoring drive took less than a minute and closed the gap to 24-7.
Early in the fourth-quarter, the Stags were back at it, piecing together an 80-yard, 10-play drive that ended with Sam Healy avoiding the rush on fourth down and breaking a 13-yard touchdown run. With 7:20 remaining in regulation, the Stags had closed the gap to just 10 points at 24-14.
CMS then attempted an on-side kick, and while they did not recover the kick they forced Washington and Lee into a quick three and out, taking over less than 2:30 later.
The following CMS possession started with Healy finding Chris Cziesla for 14 yards out to the 26-yard line. Three plays later, the Stags faced a fourth and five. A pass intended for Spencer Sheff fell incomplete and the Stags turned the ball over. CMS would get the ball back briefly with 2:17 remaining, but that drive would stall on the Stags' 45-yard line and the Generals would take over on downs. A kneel would seal it and give the Generals the 24-14 victory.
The Stags kept the Washington and Lee rushing attack in check. Entering the game, the Generals were the nation's most potent running game. CMS held Washington and Lee over 150 yards shy of their their season average of 432.5 yards per game.
The Stags fall to 1-1 on the season and will take off next week before opening SCIAC play on the road against Whittier on Sept. 30. Kick-off is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.