Claremont, Calif. - Pomona-Pitzer's football squad led early, and stayed close throughout the game, but eventually fell to Occidental, 23-14, Saturday afternoon on Merritt Field. Occidental retains possession of The Drum in the longstanding rivalry game.
The Sagehens bolted to an early 7-0 lead after quarterback Tyler Mensik's 62 yard run just three minutes into the game. Starting at Pomona-Pitzer's own 30 yard line, Mensik first hit Ryan McGee (pictured) for an 8-yard pickup. The on second down, Mensik found an opening down the left sideline to score his longest rushing TD on the season. Occidental answered back in the second quarter when Tiger QB Bryan Scott scored on a 1-yard plunge. Oxy's 2-point conversion attempt failed, leaving Pomona-Pitzer with the lead, 7-6, at halftime.
In the third quarter, Occidental took the lead at the 6:25 mark when Scott hit Cordell Harris for a 10-yard score, and the Tigers entered the 4th quarter with a 13-7 lead. In the final quarter, Oxy's Garrett Bronken hit a 27-yard field goal with 9:52 left to extend the Tigers' lead to 16-7.
But Pomona-Pitzer mounted a 7-play, 59-yard drive in just over three minutes of play, culminating in a 19-yard Mensik pass to McGee to narrow Occiddental's lead to just two points, 16-14, with 6:30 to play. Occidental countered with their own three minute drive and scored with just 2:45 remaining when Scott found Devin Bullock for a 32-yard strike to give Oxy a 23-14 lead. Pomona-Pitzer got the ball back and ran 10 plays, getting all the way to Occidental's 19-yard line with 22 seconds remaining, but couldn't convert on a 4th and 2 and turned the ball over.
Mensik completed 12-20 passes for 125 yards and a score, and rushed 20 times for 106 yards. Receiver Brett Harper caught six passes for 61 yards.
Pomona-Pitzer falls to 2-5 overall and 1-4 in SCIAC, while Occidental climbs to 4-3 and 3-2.
Pomona-Pitzer hosts SCIAC-leading La Verne (6-1, 5-0) Saturday, November 7 at 1pm at home at Merrit Field. Following this, Pomona-Pitzer closes out the season at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps on November 14 at 1pm.