Explosive fourth quarter gives Stags first win in home opener

Explosive fourth quarter gives Stags first win in home opener

(Watch Postgame Interview with Max Winsberg)

CLAREMONT, Calif. - The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Stags scored 22 unanswered points in the fourth quarter of their home opener to beat Lewis & Clark 36-14 on a hot Saturday night at Zinda Field. 

In the Pioneers' second possession of the game, Max Winsberg picked off one of Zach Littlefield's passes, running it down the field 28 yards. On the night, Winsberg had two interceptions, one on each of Lewis & Clark's quarterbacks, and was part of eight tackles.

CMS got on the board in 30 seconds following the interception for the first score of the game on a nine yard run from Nick Gott. With the 7-0 lead, CMS tried to increase their margin to 10 but a missed field goal attempted by Matthew Aven.

Lewis & Clark tied up the game midway through the second quarter driving down the field in 11 plays from their own 22 yard line. The Stags answered right back to take the lead going into halftime.

Sophomore quarterback Trey Reynolds utilized Shane Pico and Gott to run the football for positive yards five consecutive plays garnering two first downs. After two complete passes to Patrick Dixon and Tyler Stanek, CMS was in the end zone again.

The Pioneers began the second half with a successful recovery of their own onside kick. Two long passes from quarterback Cody Rochon gave Lewis & Clark seven more points, tying the game at 14-14. Rochon operated as both quarterback and punter for the Pioneers, increasing their ability to trick the defense and convert on fourth downs.

In the fourth quarter, Reynolds connected with an open Stanek who ran the remaining 70 yards for the Stags' third touchdown on the night. Stanek was Reynold's go-to receiver, catching ten passes totaling 167 yards including three touchdowns.

Two plays and 39 seconds later Winsberg recorded his second interception for the night, returning the ball 14 yards after the catch. Starting on the Pioneers' 25 yard line, Gott rushed for a first down and then a complete pass to Stanek secured the touchdown. With a two score cushion, the Stags went for a two point conversion and earned the points as Reynolds ran it in himself.

CMS' third interception came just seconds later when Henry Wei picked a Rochon pass intended for Zac Salois. The Stags marched down the field and this time, Andrew Segre ran it in to extend the lead to 35-14. Aven successfully kicked the point after for the final point of the game and to secure the win. Aven was 3-3 on point after attempts and averaged 63.2 yards on kickoffs, anchoring CMS' special teams

In just over nine minutes in the fourth quarter, CMS had two interceptions and scored 22 points.

Pico was the Stags' leading rusher with 109 yards, the longest run for 41 yards. Gott was not far behind with 92 yards and 16 carries.

Reynolds was in fine form completing 19 passes and throwing for over 200 yards.

Winsberg led the defense with eight tackles and two interceptions while Nick Nasse and A.J. Herrera combined for 14 more tackles. Paul Slaats recorded the only sack on the night, just at the beginning of the fourth quarter to force a third down and ultimately Lewis & Clark had to punt it away.

The Stags have two bye weeks before hosting Chapman on Oct. 4 at 1 p.m. The following weekend, Oct. 11, is Homecoming and Volunteer Weekend highlighting the 7 p.m. football game between CMS and La Verne.

Box Score

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