CLAREMONT, Calif. – The Pomona-Pitzer Football team stayed on top of the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) with their 35-21 win over Whittier College on Saturday night at Merritt Field.
The Sagehens improve to 4-1 overall and 3-0 in the SCIAC, which is their best start since the 2000-2001 season. Whittier drops to 0-5 overall and 0-3 in conference play.
Pomona-Pitzer was led by junior running back Aseal Birir who rushed for a season-high 174 yards and punched in two touchdowns in the win. Sophomore quarterback Edward Sias threw for 171 yards and had one touchdown while sophomore Ryan McGee led the receiving core with eight receptions for 98 yards.
The Sagehens fumbled on their opening drive of the game but came back with a defensive stand to force the Poets to punt the ball back to the offense.
The Sagehens then started out the scoring on their second offensive possession of the game as freshman Karter Odermann capped off a 16 play 64-yard drive with a one-yard touchdown to give the Sagehens a 7-0 lead to end the first quarter.
After the Sagehens turned the ball over for the second time of the half, the Poets got on the scoreboard after a 25-yard touchdown pass evened up the score at 7-7 with 11:53 left in the second quarter.
Pomona-Pitzer answered the Whittier touchdown with one of its own as Sias connected with Kevin Masini for a five-yard touchdown to give the Sagehens a 14-7 lead.
The Poets came back and punched in a 15-yard touchdown run with just 28 seconds left in the second quarter as the two teams went into the locker room tied at 14-14.
The second half was all Sagehens as the offense got the ball back from a quick defensive stop and Birir rumbled into the endzone from 25-yards out to cap off a six play 90-yard drive for the Sagehens to push the lead to 21-14.
After a 70-yard Whittier drive, the Sagehens blocked a field goal attempt from the five-yard line to stall out a 13 play drive by the Poets.
The Sagehens responded with a 16 play 88-yard drive that included seven first downs, which ended with Odermann's second rushing touchdown of the game to push the lead to 28-14.
After a three and out by the Whittier offense, the Sagehens sealed the game as Birir notched his second touchdown of the game from two yards out to extend the lead to 35-14 with 7:46 left in the fourth.
Whittier scored a late touchdown off of a three-yard pass from Campbell to Wilm but the Sagehens held on for their fourth-straight win of the season.
Up Next: The Sagehens next travel to Occidental on Saturday, October 22nd at 7:00 p.m.