LOS ANGELES, Calif. – The Pomona-Pitzer Football team defeated Occidental College 42-35 in the 118th annual Battle of the Drum rivalry game.
Pomona-Pitzer takes home the drum for the first time since 2003 and have pushed their winning streak to five-straight games. With this win, the Sagehens improve to 5-1 overall, which is the best start to a season since 1998.
Sophomore quarterback Edward Sias completed 16 out of 24 passes for 269 yards and two touchdowns on the day. Junior running back Aseal Birir ran for 127 yards on 25 carries and added two touchdowns for the Sagehens while sophomore Ryan McGee tallied his second 100-yard receiving game of the year with 102 yards and one touchdown.
The offense gained a total of 511 yards against the Tigers with 243 of them on the ground. Freshman Karter Odermann ran for a career-high 94 yards and added two touchdowns for the Sagehens as well.
The Sagehens struck first in the game as Birir ran in his first touchdown of the night on a nine-yard run to take an early 7-0 lead.
The Tigers responded on their next drive to close out the first quarter with an eight-yard touchdown pass to make the score 7-7 at the end of the first quarter.
Occidental went on to take their only lead of the game as a 67-yard touchdown run capped off a four play 94-yard drive to take a 14-7 lead over the Sagehens.
Pomona-Pitzer responded with an Odermann three-yard touchdown run with 32 seconds left in the half as the Sagehens tied the Tigers at 14-14 at halftime.
After scoring to end the second quarter, the Sagehens came out and put together a seven play 76-yard drive ending with a 43-yard touchdown pass from Sias to Luke Lowell to take a 21-14 lead.
The Tigers came back with a few big plays on offense and a six-yard touchdown run by Bryan Scott to tie the game up for the third time at 21-21.
Pomona-Pitzer ended the third quarter with Birir's second touchdown run of the game from nine yards and held a 27-21 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
The Sagehens' defense came up with a big stop and the offense was able to put together back-to-back scores for the first time in the game as McGee made a spectacular catch over the Occidental secondary for a 15-yard touchdown reception that pushed the Sagehens' lead to 35-21.
Occidental's high-powered offense came firing back and pushed the ball down the field quickly and the Tigers responded with a touchdown of their own just over 90 seconds later to cut the lead down to 35-28 with 8:17 left to play.
The Pomona-Pitzer offense took a large chunk of time off the scoreboard in their next drive as they constructed an eight play 54-yard drive that chewed 5:25 off the clock and Odermann punched in a three-yard touchdown to give the Sagehens a two score cushion at 42-28 with just 2:45 remaining.
The Tigers made it interesting with some big plays and a quick score but the Sagehens recovered the attempted onside kick and ran out the clock to stay on top of the conference standings at 4-0.
Up Next: The Sagehens will next host Redlands University for a battle for sole possession of first place in the SCIAC on Saturday, October 29th at 7:00 p.m.