LOS ANGELES, Calif. (Oct. 16, 2010) – In the last 20 plus years no Occidental College football player had recorded more than 20 tackles in a game, but tonight Nate Proulx tallied 22 to lead the Tigers to a 39-26 Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference victory in the 112th meeting with Pomona-Pitzer. Occidental retained possession of The Drum for the seventh consecutive year in the longest running rivalry in Southern California.
Tonight the Black and Orange scored via two passing touchdowns, a rushing touchdown, a fumble recovery, an interception, two safeties and five PATs by Joshua Mun.
In a game that saw a little bit of everything, Proulx shined. He recorded nine solo stops with 12 assists and broke up a play as well. Another defensive standout tonight was Dillon Tucker who got the only interception of the evening, in the fourth quarter, and ran the pick back 60 yards for a touchdown. That, however, was not the only scoring opportunity for the defensive back. Towards the end of the third quarter Greg Fryan blocked a PAT attempt by Alex Lammers and Tucker recovered the ball and ran it back 90 yards for a safety.
As rare as a safety is, the Tigers got two tonight. The first came at the beginning of the third quarter when freshman Jordan Lance blocked a Lammers punt attempt.
The crazy plays did not end there. After Lance's blocked punt the Tigers drive began at the PP 49 yard line. It ended with a 21 yard rush by Wes McDaniel who fumbled at the goal line but the ball was recovered by Nate Sullivan in the end zone for a touchdown.
McDaniel did land in the end zone tonight, thought, on the first drive of the game when he rushed one yard for a TD just two and a half minutes into the game.
Pomona-Pitzer tied things up with 31 seconds to go in the first quarter and took a 14-7 lead early in the second stanza on two rushes.
The Tigers responded with a pair of Luke Collis to Matthew Tuckness touchdown passes for six and 42 yards, respectively, at the 5:03 and 1:39 marks to tie and take the lead.
Overall Collis was 11-for-15 for 178 yards and two TDs. His longest completion of the night was the 42 yard pass to Tuckness. He was responsible for another 40-yard pass to senior Nick Saraceni in the first quarter. At halftime Collis was 8-for-11 passing. Tuckness and McDaniel each nabbed three passes while Sullivan caught two.
On the ground McDaniel racked up 90 yards and Ryan Nastor had one rush for 17 yards. McDaniel finished with 115 all purpose yards to lead the Tigers.
To go along with 16 receiving yards, Chandler Tunney retuned a kick for 12 yards and two punts for 21 total yards. William Stanton had two kick returns tonight for 45 total yards, with his longest at 25 yards.
Joining Proulx with double figure tackles was Kevin May with 10 while hurrying the quarterback a pair of times. Carter Norfleet came up with nine tackles of which seven were solo stops while breaking up four plays. Greg Holsworth had some hard hits tonight as he also finished with nine tackles. Ayrton Bates was next in line with eight stops, three solo, as he broke up five plays for the Black and Orange. Tucker, Justin Garza and Jim Hildensperger each tallied seven tackles and Kyle Spaulding had six. Both Adam DiBenedetto and Casey Shibuya recorded tackles for a loss.
Pomona-Pitzer had three players with more than 100 all purpose yards, with Luke Sweeney leading all players with 247, 220 rushing and 27 on kick returns. PP quarterback Jacob Caron rushed for 104 yards while going 22-for-45 for 212 yards and one touchdown to Ryan Randle. Max Reed was credited with both sacks of Collis and Justin Meng finished with 12 tackles for the Sagehens.
PP has possession for more than 39 minutes leaving the ball in the hands of the Black and Orange for just 20:38. The Sagehens ran more than twice as many offensive plays as the Tigers. Oxy was 2-for-2 in the red zone while PP was 3-for-5.
Occidental (4-1, 3-0 SCIAC) travels to the University of Redlands (4-1, 2-1) next Saturday, Oct. 23 to play the Bulldogs in a SCIAC showdown. Teams will take the field at 2:00 p.m.
Article by Tracy Maple, Sports Information Director