PORTLAND, Ore. - The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps football team opened the 2017 season with a 37-16 victory over the Lewis and Clark Pioneers on Saturday afternoon. The Stags' defense held the Pioneers to just two points for the first 55 minutes before Lewis and Clark pushed two late touchdowns through.
Quarterback Sam Healy (CMC) started his senior season with a strong effort, completing 12 passes for 178 yards and three touchdowns. Healy's favorite target on the day was tight-end Chris Cziesla (CMC) who hauled in five receptions for 111 yards including a 51-yard score just before the end of the first-half.
The Pioneers started with the ball and looked to be in business thanks to a 38-yard return to start the game. The drive was quickly halted after just five plays when senior Victor Bunce picked off a pass to the right-side for his 16th career interception. The Stags were unable to generate a sustained drive after the takeaway, eventually turning it over to Lewis and Clark.
The Stags' defense stood strong throughout a majority of the contest, but particularly in the first quarter. The Pioneers finished the quarter with -4 yards and one turnover.
Late in the quarter, the Stags begin a drive on the Pioneer's 35. The tandem of Shane Pico (CMC) and Garrett Cheadle (HMC) combined for a run-heavy drive that ended in a Pico slicing through the line for a two-yard touchdown run. Despite a missed extra-point the Stags led 6-0.
After a short drive for Lewis and Clark, the Stags mounted a five-play, 80-yard drive to score their second touchdown of the season. On the drive Same Healy found Chris Cziesla down the sideline for a 42-yard pick-up. On the ensuing play, Healy found Nick Parise (CMC) for a 22-yard touchdown that put the Stags up 13-0.
After a safety got Lewis and Clark on the board, the Stags struck with the big play at the end of the first-half to expand their lead. With 53 seconds remaining in the half the Stags took over on their own 30-yard line. After a short run by Pico and a quick pass to Theo Chamberlin (CMC), Healy found a streaking Cziesla over the top for a 51-yard touchdown just second before the half-time horn sounded.
The late touchdown put the Stags up 20-2 at the half.
Late in the third quarter Healy tossed his third touchdown of the contest, finding Christian Curcio (CMC) for the 10-yard score. The touchdown ended a nine-play, 74-yard drive that took 4:01 off the clock. On the drive, Garrett Cheadle rushed for 34 yards including a 27-yard scamper.
Early in the fourth quarter, Mitchell Allan (CMC) put thorough his first career field goal with a 33-yard kick that put the Stags up 30-2.
As the clock ticked under five minutes, the Pioneers crossed the goal-line for their first touchdown of the season when Sawyer May found Dalla Garreaud for a two-yard score.
Still trailing by three touchdowns, the Pioneers went for the onside kick. Trey Smith (CMC) scooped up the ball and hustled in for a 45-yard touchdown that pushed the lead up to 37-9 with 4:51 remaining in the game.
The Pioneers scored a late touchdown and converted the extra point, but it was not enough as the Stags held on for the 37-16 victory in the season opener.
The Stags completely halted the ground game for Lewis and Clark. The Pioneers were held to just four total rushing yards thanks to a team effort from a very young defensive line. In the game, the Stags recorded nine tackles for loss including three sacks from Nick Gott (HMC), Brendan MacDonald (CMC), and Will Edwards (CMC).
With the victory, CMS is now 18-4 over their last 22 games.
The win starts the Stags off with a 1-0 record on the 2017 season. CMS will be back in action next weekend in their home opener when they host Washington and Lee at 1:00 p.m.