December 12, 2011

RESILIENT TIGERS TEAM FINISHES 2011 SEASON

More news about: Occidental
By Michael Wells
Sports Information Director
 

LOS ANGELES — The 2011 Occidental College football team won't go down as one of the elite Oxy teams that have made the program the class of the SCIAC over the last 30 years, but the 2011 Oxy squad can certainly lay its claim as one of the more resilient.

Led by senior quarterback Luke Collis, a pair of standout wide receivers, and a playmaking defensive back, the Tigers overcame three fourth quarter deficits and were a perfect 4-0 on the road, finishing the year 5-4 overall and 3-3 (third place) in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

It was a 42-40 home loss to the University of Redlands on Oct. 22 though that 30th year head coach Dale Widolff said best represented the character of the team.

Oxy came into the game clear underdogs and despite two interceptions, a blocked punt a missed field goal and a missed point after touchdown, they still had the ball and a chance to send the game into overtime with 10 seconds left.

But after pulling within two on a 21-yard Collis touchdown pass to junior Matthew Tuckness, the two point conversion attempt to freshman Teran Mawhinney fell incomplete along with the improbable comeback.

Had they won, the Tigers would have finished tied with the Bulldogs for second place and set up a championship game in the season finale against Cal Lutheran University.

DATE OPPONENT RESULT STORY PHOTOS VIDEO RECAP
Sept. 10, 2011 @ Puget Sound W, 30-12 Full Story Album  
Sept. 17, 2011 Menlo L, 41-17 Full Story Album  
Oct. 1, 2011 @ Whittier  W, 31-17 Full Story Album Highlights
Oct. 8, 2011 La Verne L, 30-21 Full Story Album Highlights
Oct. 15, 2011 @ Pomona-Pitzer W, 42-35 Full Story Album Highlights
Oct. 22, 2011 Redlands L, 42-40 Full Story Album Highlights
Oct. 29, 2011 Chapman W, 27-17 Full Story Album Highlights
Nov. 5, 2011 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps W, 35-31 Full Story Album
Nov. 12, 2011 Cal Lutheran L, 70-20 Full Story Album  

Oxy fell behind, had things go the wrong way but didn't quit in a performance that Widolff said was indicative of the Tigers character all season.

"It says a lot about the character of the team. Even though it's not a moral victory, I thought our effort against Redlands was outstanding," Widolff said. "This was one of the most tight knit groups I've had in my 30-plus years at Occidental."

Besides coming up short on that occasion and a few others, the Tigers still managed to fend off their two biggest rivals.

Oxy beat Pomona-Pitzer 42-35 on Oct. 15 in the "Battle of the Drum," Southern California's longest standing college football rivalry, and Whittier College 31-17 on Oct. 1 to keep the "Shoes" trophy.

The Tigers had no problem moving the ball through the air this season; they just struggled stopping it on the ground. The Tigers were sixth in the SCIAC in run defense, surrendering 219 yards per game.

Offensively, Oxy's top rated passing attack outgained any other SCIAC school by 70 yards per game.

Collis led the league in passing, Tuckness ranked in the top five in the nation with 14 touchdown receptions and junior Ryan Rodriguez caught more passes than anyone in the conference.

Senior defensive back Ayrton Bates was second in the league in interceptions and forced fumbles often bailing out the Tigers late and holding together a battered secondary that had player after player go down with injuries.

With starters Nate ProulxAdam DiBenedetto and Carter Norfleet all missing significant time throughout the season, Bates accounted for eight turnovers — five interceptions and three forced fumbles — including a pair of picks in the fourth quarter to beat Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 35-31 on the road Nov. 5.

"Defensively we overcame injuries, especially in the secondary," Widolff said. "We forced turnovers so that was helpful and Bates had maybe the play of the year with that interception in the end zone."

Kevin May, one of the team's best defenders as a LB/DB, missed all but the first game of the year due to injury.

Six Oxy players — three on offense and three on defense — were named All-SCIAC.

Collis, Rodriguez and Tuckness earned the distinction on offense and Bates, junior defensive lineman Casey Shibuya and senior linebacker Greg Holsworth were recognized on defense. Collis, Tuckness and Bates made the first team.

Holsworth, who spent most of his career as a team captain on defense, stepped in halfway through the season to fill the Tigers need at tight end playing both ways. Against Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, the senior had a pair of catches, one a crucial third down conversion in the fourth quarter.

comments powered by Disqus
Sep. 4: All times Eastern
8:00 PM
East Texas Baptist at Tex. A&M-Commerce
Audio
Sep. 5: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Anna Maria at Worcester State
7:00 PM
Western New England at Springfield
Live Stats Video
7:00 PM
Albright at Kean
Live Stats Video
7:00 PM
Widener at Rowan
Live Stats Live Stats Audio
7:00 PM
WPI at Curry
Live Stats Live Stats
7:00 PM
Mass-Dartmouth at Mount Ida
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Salve Regina at Bridgewater State
Live Stats Video
7:00 PM
William Paterson at SUNY-Maritime
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Ursinus at TCNJ
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Fitchburg State at Becker
Live Stats Video
7:00 PM
Nichols at Westfield State
Live Stats Video
7:30 PM
McDaniel at Catholic
Live Stats
7:30 PM
Trine at Manchester
Live Stats Live Stats Audio Audio
8:00 PM
Waldorf at UW-Whitewater
Live Stats
Sep. 6: All times Eastern
12:00 PM
Endicott at Framingham State
Live Stats Video
12:00 PM
Dickinson at Hobart
Live Stats Video Audio
12:00 PM
Holland College (PEI, Canada) at Maine Maritime
Video
12:00 PM
Otterbein at St. John Fisher
Live Stats Audio
12:00 PM
Union at Ithaca
12:00 PM
Pomona-Pitzer at MIT
Preview Video
12:00 PM
Husson at Alfred
Video
12:00 PM
Randolph-Macon at Johns Hopkins
Live Stats Video
12:00 PM
Cortland State at Buffalo State
Live Stats
1:00 PM
St. Lawrence at Coast Guard
Video
1:00 PM
Thomas More at Wesley
Live Stats Audio Audio
1:00 PM
Plymouth State at Castleton State
Live Stats Video
1:00 PM
Lebanon Valley at Franklin and Marshall
Live Stats Video Audio
1:00 PM
Emory and Henry at Ferrum
Audio
1:00 PM
Washington and Lee at Averett
Live Stats
1:00 PM
Hampden-Sydney at Wabash
Live Stats Video Audio
1:00 PM
Rose-Hulman at Kalamazoo
Live Stats Video Audio
1:00 PM
Wilmington at Olivet
Live Stats Audio
1:00 PM
King's at Moravian
Live Stats
1:00 PM
Alfred State at Morrisville State
Live Stats Audio
1:00 PM
Susquehanna at Lycoming
Live Stats Video Audio
1:00 PM
Oberlin at Brockport State
1:00 PM
Utica at Misericordia
Live Stats
1:00 PM
Delaware Valley at Montclair State
Live Stats Video Audio
1:00 PM
Southern Virginia at Methodist
Video
1:00 PM
Marietta at Kenyon
1:00 PM
Merchant Marine at Apprentice
1:00 PM
Muhlenberg at Wilkes
Live Stats Video
1:00 PM
Sewanee at DePauw
Live Stats Video Audio
1:30 PM
Ohio Wesleyan at Bluffton
Live Stats
1:30 PM
Adrian at Defiance
Live Stats Video Audio
1:30 PM
RPI at Norwich
Live Stats Video
1:30 PM
Alma at Heidelberg
1:30 PM
Berry at Maryville (Tenn.)
Live Stats Video Audio
1:30 PM
Bridgewater (Va.) at Gettysburg
Video Audio
1:30 PM
Muskingum at Waynesburg
Audio
1:30 PM
St. Vincent at John Carroll
1:30 PM
Mount Union at Bethany
Live Stats Video
1:30 PM
Juniata at Grove City
Live Stats Audio
2:00 PM
Franklin at Illinois Wesleyan
Live Stats Video
2:00 PM
Rhodes at Austin
Live Stats
2:00 PM
Carleton at Macalester
Live Stats Video Audio
2:00 PM
UW-Platteville at Buena Vista
Live Stats Video
2:00 PM
Ohio Northern at Washington U.
Live Stats Video
2:00 PM
UW-River Falls at St. John's
Live Stats Video Audio
2:00 PM
Crown at Gustavus Adolphus
2:00 PM
Concordia-Moorhead at Jamestown
2:00 PM
Simpson at Iowa Wesleyan
2:00 PM
Hope at Monmouth
Preview Audio
2:00 PM
Lawrence at Rockford
2:00 PM
Carroll at Lakeland
2:00 PM
Elmhurst at Loras
2:00 PM
Millikin at Greenville
Audio
2:00 PM
Coe at Wheaton (Ill.)
2:00 PM
Presentation at Luther
Video
2:00 PM
Martin Luther at Maranatha Baptist
Video
2:00 PM
MacMurray at Culver-Stockton
2:00 PM
Eureka at Knox
2:00 PM
UW-Stout at Dakota Wesleyan
2:00 PM
Huntingdon at Louisiana College
Video
2:00 PM
Ripon at St. Scholastica
Live Stats
2:00 PM
Hendrix at Westminster (Mo.)
Video
2:10 PM
UW-Eau Claire at St. Thomas
Audio Audio
3:00 PM
St. Norbert at Carthage
Live Stats Video
4:00 PM
Claremont-Mudd-Scripps at Puget Sound
4:00 PM
Lewis and Clark at Whitworth
Live Stats Video
4:00 PM
College of Idaho at Pacific
Live Stats Video Audio
4:30 PM
Arizona Christian at George Fox
5:00 PM
Hartwick at Western Connecticut
6:00 PM
Salisbury at Christopher Newport
6:00 PM
Augustana at Mount St. Joseph
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Carnegie Mellon at Case Western Reserve
Live Stats Video
7:00 PM
Stevenson at N.C. Wesleyan
Live Stats Video Audio
7:00 PM
Butler at Wittenberg
Live Stats Video
7:00 PM
Shenandoah at Gallaudet
Live Stats Audio
7:00 PM
Wooster at Washington and Jefferson
Live Stats Video Audio
7:00 PM
Geneva at Frostburg State
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Thiel at Allegheny
7:00 PM
Taylor (Ind.) at Anderson
Live Stats Audio
7:00 PM
Hiram at Westminster (Pa.)
7:00 PM
Denison at Earlham
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Greensboro at Guilford
Live Stats Video
7:00 PM
Aurora at Illinois College
7:00 PM
Albion at UW-Stevens Point
Live Stats Video Audio
7:00 PM
Concordia (Wis.) at North Park
7:00 PM
Beloit at Chicago
Live Stats
7:00 PM
LaGrange at Birmingham-Southern
7:00 PM
Howard Payne at Trinity (Texas)
Audio
7:00 PM
Mary Hardin-Baylor at Millsaps
Live Stats Video
7:00 PM
Sul Ross State at Texas Lutheran
Live Stats Video
7:00 PM
Robert Morris-Chicago at UW-Oshkosh
7:00 PM
UW-La Crosse at Dubuque
Live Stats Video
7:30 PM
Hanover at Centre
7:30 PM
Central at Benedictine
Live Stats Video Audio
8:00 PM
St. Olaf at Northwestern (Minn.)
8:00 PM
Hamline at Minnesota-Morris
8:00 PM
Lake Forest at Wisconsin Lutheran
Live Stats Audio
8:00 PM
Wartburg at Augsburg
Live Stats Video Audio Audio
8:00 PM
Hardin-Simmons at Southwestern
Live Stats Audio
Dec. 20: All times Eastern
Final
at UW-Whitewater 52, Mount Union 14
@ Salem Stadium; Salem, Va.
Recap Photos Photos
Dec. 14: All times Eastern
Final
UW-Whitewater 16, at Mary Hardin-Baylor 15
Recap Recap Photos
Final
at Mount Union 41, North Central (Ill.) 40
Box Score Recap Recap Photos

What We're Reading