CLAREMONT, Calif. – The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps football team continued their strong start to SCIAC play by shutting out the Occidental Tigers 37-0 on Saturday afternoon. The Stags overwhelmed the Tigers on both sides of the ball, collecting 459 yards on offense and limiting the Tigers to just 113 yards. The CMS defense allowed Occidental to gain just six first downs and collected a half dozen sacks in the contest.
The shutout is the first for the CMS football program since a 29-0 victory over Lewis and Clark on Sept. 29, 2001.
With the victory, the Stags improve to 3-1 overall and 2-0 in SCIAC play.
Sam Healy (CMC) had an efficient performance, going 5-for-7 through the air for 121 yards and two touchdowns. Ethan Takeyama (CMC) snagged two passes for 67 yards including his first career touchdown on a 35-yard catch in the first-quarter.
Brendan MacDonald (CMC) and Luke Livingston (CMC) combined for three sacks on the afternoon while Victor Bunce (CMC) grabbed his second interception of the season. Defensive lineman and kicker Mitchell Allan (CMC) also earned a sack while kicking four out of five extra point attempts and converting a 34-yard field goal.
After a quick three-and-out for Occidental to start the game, CMS took over in Tigers' territory and went 40 yards in six plays for the first score of the game. Sam Healy found Chris Cziesla (CMC) over the middle for a 16-yard score and the Stags led 7-0 less than four minutes into the contest.
After forcing another three-and-out, the Stags took just two plays to go 44 yards. Healy tossed a pass to Jackson Zeledon (CMC) for nine yards before finding a wide-open Takeyama on a post-route in the end zone for a 35-yard touchdown on the next play. The score put CMS up 14-0 just 5:42 into the game.
While the CMS offense eased off their breakneck pace from the opening minutes, the Stags' defense held firm throughout the entire game. CMS allowed just 15 yards in the opening quarter and did not concede a first down until the opening drive of the second quarter for the Tigers.
The next three drives for CMS ended in a punt, a turnover on downs, and a fumble before the final drive of the first-half ended in a 34-yard field goal from Mitchell Allan as time expired. The kick from Allan ended a 12-play, 41-yard drive that took 4:42 and gave CMS a 17-0 lead at the half.
Following halftime, Robby Weissenfels (CMC) blocked a punt and put the Stags on the Tigers' 10-yard line. On the first play of the ensuing drive, Shane Pico (CMC) sliced through the Occidental defense and pushed his way into the end zone for the 10-yard score to put the Stags up 24-0.
While the Stags did not put any points on the board in the fourth-quarter, they continued to move the ball with a variety of different personnel groups on both offense and defense.
A testament to the strong defensive effort by the Stags, seven of CMS' 13 drives on the afternoon started in Occidental territory. In total, CMS' average starting field position was their own 49-yard line and that included a drive that they started on their own one-yard line after an interception by Victor Bunce.
The Stags will look to continue their hot start to conference play with a game against Cal Lutheran next Saturday. Game time against the Kingsmen is slated to begin at 1:00 p.m.