Second half turnovers prove costly for Stags in 38-30 loss to Oxy

Ryan Farney
Ryan Farney

(Watch Greg Wilson's first quarter touchdown catch here)

CLAREMONT, Calif. – Through the first 30 minutes of play, the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps football team held a 22-7 lead over Occidental College and did not have a turnover. In the final half however, CMS had three turnovers which led to Occidental's 38-30 come-from-behind win over CMS on Saturday afternoon at Zinda Field in SCIAC play. CMS is now 1-3 overall and 0-2 in SCIAC play while Occidental improved to 2-2 overall and 1-1 in SCIAC.

CMS scored on their first drive to go ahead 6-0 on a 29-yard touchdown run by sophomore RB Steven Kohr at the 11:12 mark of the first quarter. Occidental answered on its next drive with a touchdown of its own by Samuel Stekol on an 18-yard pass from QB Bryan Scott to go ahead 7-6 with 7:42 left in the first quarter. Kohr had a team-high 85 yards rushing on 12 carries for CMS while Stokel led Occidental's receiving core with six catches for 105 yards.

Trailing 7-6, CMS took the lead back with a 17-yard passing touchdown from junior QB Sean McKaveney to sophomore WR Ryan Farney with 2:51 left in the first quarter to cap off a seven play, 63-yard drive. Freshman K Matthew Aven added a 41-yard field goal on its next drive to push its lead to 15-7 at the 12:41 mark of the second quarter.

On the ensuing Occidental possession, senior DB Joey Liekweg intercepted a Scott pass and returned it 24 yards to the CMS 33-yard line. CMS then marched 67 yards over 11 plays to score and take a 22-7 lead on a 4-yard pass from McKaveney to senior WR Greg Wilson with 4:59 left in the first half.

Over the next 30 minutes, Occidental outscored CMS 30-8 including a stretch in which Occidental scored 30 unanswered points. Turnovers were the driving force behind the turnaround as Occidental ran one interception back 42 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter and turned the other two turnovers – one fumble, one interception – into touchdowns.

Down 38-22 in the fourth quarter, CMS added a touchdown with 37 seconds left as freshman QB Trey Reynolds found senior WR Kris Otterholt for a 5-yard touchdown. CMS then converted the two-point conversion to narrow the Occidental lead to 38-30 and set up an onside kick which Occidental recovered.

CMS outrushed Occidental 257 to 178 and had more yards through the air as well with 233 yards passing compared to 222 by Occidental. Sophomore DB James Ingram led the defense with 10 tackles, seven of which were unassisted. Freshman DL Paul Slaats had a team-high two tackles for loss. Ross Fiegener had a game-high 13 tackles for Occidental. The 257 rushing yards is a season-high for CMS.

Next up for CMS is a SCIAC road game at Cal Lutheran on Saturday, Oct. 19 at 1 p.m.

Box score:

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