CLAREMONT, CA. – The Pomona-Pitzer Football team fell to Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) opponent Chapman 26-21 on Saturday night at Merritt Field.
Season Impact: With the loss, the Sagehens fall to 5-3 overall and 3-2 in SCIAC play.
The Sagehens were led by senior Karter Odermann who threw for 275 yards going 29-50 passing. Odermann also led the rushing attack with 44 yards and two touchdowns. Junior Win Hunter went for over 100 receiving for the fourth time this season with 112 yards off of 10 catches. The Sagehen defense played extremely well and kept Pomona-Pitzer in the game. Leading the way was senior Jack Storrs who had 10 total tackles while the defense forced one turnover off of an interception by senior Alexander Sweet as well as a fumble forced and a blocked field goal by the Sagehen special teams.
However, mistakes hurt the Sagehens on the offensive side of the ball as Pomona-Pitzer ended with three interceptions and had two botched snaps on punt attempts.
The Sagehens came up big on their first defensive possession after Chapman moved the ball deep into Sagehen territory, a blocked field goal attempt turned the ball over to the Sagehens on their own 20-yard line. Pomona-Pitzer responded with a 14 play 80-yard drive capped off by a two-yard run by sophomore Dominick Norris as the Sagehens struck first with a 7-0 lead.
After not being able to find an answer on offense, the Panthers were gifted with a 65-yard touchdown pass that went through the hands of a Sagehen defender as Chapman tied the game at 7-7 early in the second quarter.
The Panthers' special teams outplayed the Sagehens in the first half after a 44-yard punt return set up the Chapman offense for a one-play 20-yard touchdown pass to take a 14-7 lead with 11:15 left before halftime.
Another miscue on special teams as a fumbled snap led to the Sagehens turning the ball over to the Chapman offense deep in Sagehen territory. The defense responded and only held the Panthers to a field goal as Chapman extended the lead to 17-7. Chapman tacked on one more field goal just before halftime as the Panthers went into the locker rooms with a 20-7 lead.
The Sagehens made some adjustments at halftime and had a terrific third quarter as they outscored the Panthers 14-6. The Panthers got the ball to start the half and the defense came up big again as Sweet came away with an interception to jumpstart the Sagehens' first drive of the second half. Odermann led the Sagehens down the field in four plays and punched in a three-yard touchdown to cut the deficit down to 20-14.
Chapman turned the ball over on downs during their next possession and the Sagehens responded again with a scoring drive as they marched 74 yards in nine plays and Odermann found the endzone for the second time in the quarter with a one-yard run to reclaim the lead at 21-20.
The Sagehens turned the ball over with another interception and Chapman turned its next drive into points as they took back the lead late in the third quarter after a three-yard touchdown run put the Panthers up 26-21.
Neither team could find any scoring in the fourth quarter, but the Sagehens did have the ball late in the fourth quarter with an opportunity for a game-winning drive. Pomona-Pitzer started its final drive on their own five-yard line and after a few big plays, had the ball just outside of the red zone with 1:28 left on the clock. The Sagehens took a shot towards the endzone but the ball was picked off by a Chapman defender as the ball was given back to the Panthers with just over a minute remaining.
The Panthers were able to control the clock and run out the remainder of time left as they held on for the win at Merritt Field.
Up Next: The Sagehens will next host SCIAC opponent Occidental on Saturday, November 9th at 7:00 p.m.