September 11, 2013

New Coach, High-Powered Offense Leads Oxy Football

More news about: Occidental

LOS ANGELES — Senior captain and offensive lineman Dalton Spinas knows what it's going to take for the Occidental College football team to make a jump in the SCIAC standings.

 "Last year we were really good at moving the ball, we just lacked the discipline to finish drives and get in the end zone," said Spinas.

Photos of Oxy's Intrasquad Scrimmage

The Tigers had the most prolific passing offense, but finished 2-7 and left two wins on the table at La Verne and Chapman. Oxy was inside the La Verne five-yard-line with less than 2 minutes left, but failed to convert on 4th and 1. Against Chapman, the Tigers would have had a 2-minute drill to win if their defense hadn't allowed a conversion on 3rd and 15 late in the fourth quarter.

"I think that discipline will come with the new coaching staff this year," said Spinas, who's moving from right guard to left tackle this year. "We're still going to be productive we're just going to get more points on the board."

First-year head coach Doug Semones' contagious enthusiasm is the catalyst.

"The morale of the team is higher than I've ever seen at Occidental," Spinas said. "Coach Semones is a real high-energy guy, which we haven't really had in the past. He's really a players coach so all the younger guys are buying into that."

Semones was an assistant at Yale from 2009-11 and has had successful stops as a high school head coach and assistant in the Arena Football League. He is new to the SCIAC, but he doesn't have to see much to recognize attitude and ability.

"We're practicing well, the effort is there, the guys have bought in and we have some guys that can do some things," Semones said.

All-SCIAC Senior QB Tommy Edwards His Tigers will be among the best in the SCIAC at a handful of skill positions. Oxy returns Second Team All-SCIAC quarterback Tommy Edwards, who led the SCIAC with 340.3 passing yards per game and became just the fourth SCIAC quarterback to throw for more than 2,900 yards in a season.

Edwards' primary target will be junior wide receiver Samuel Stekol, who caught 50 passes for 715 yards as Oxy's No. 2 target last season. This year, with First Team All-SCIAC wide receiver Matthew Tuckness graduated, he'll be the focal point.

In the backfield, sophomore Kwame Do and senior Austin Cheadle will split carries.

On the other side of the ball, Oxy's defensive line will be its strength. The Tigers return Second Team All-SCIAC senior defensive endMichael Gilliam and standout junior defensive tackle Dallas Gosselin.

The difficulty for the Tigers on defense will be stopping the run, a challenge senior captain and inside linebacker Matt Matulaitis says Oxy's ready for.

 "We expect to be a lot better than we were last year. Defensively our strength will be our speed," said Matulaitis, who led Oxy with 64 tackles in 2012. "We're going to stop the run. We're another year older and we're going to stay gap sound."

Oxy returns a total of 17 of 23 starters, including kicker and punter Marc Kuzbari.

Oxy opens the season at Pacific this Saturday at 7 p.m.

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2013 Schedule

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Sep. 1: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Coast Guard at Anna Maria
7:00 PM
Defiance at Baldwin Wallace
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Washington and Lee at Johns Hopkins
7:30 PM
Trine at Manchester
Live Stats
8:00 PM
Millsaps at Belhaven
Sep. 2: All times Eastern
TBA
Muhlenberg at Wilkes
6:00 PM
Mass-Dartmouth at Mount Ida
6:00 PM
Delaware Valley at Wesley
7:00 PM
N.C. Wesleyan at Stevenson
7:00 PM
Western New England at Springfield
Video Live Stats
7:00 PM
Fitchburg State at Becker
Video Live Stats
7:00 PM
Albright at Salisbury
7:00 PM
WPI at MIT
7:00 PM
Salve Regina at Worcester State
7:00 PM
Bridgewater State at Curry
7:00 PM
Morrisville State at St. Lawrence
10:00 PM
Adrian at Pacific
Sep. 3: All times Eastern
TBA
Endicott at Framingham State
TBA
UW-Platteville at George Fox
Live Stats
12:00 PM
Washington U. at Carnegie Mellon
Live Stats
12:00 PM
Chicago at Case Western Reserve
12:00 PM
Husson at Alfred
12:00 PM
SUNY-Maritime at Maine Maritime
Video
12:00 PM
Cortland at Heidelberg
12:00 PM
Otterbein at Buffalo State
12:00 PM
Ursinus at Bethany
12:00 PM
Sewanee at Kenyon
1:00 PM
King's at Moravian
Live Stats
1:00 PM
Kean at Christopher Newport
1:00 PM
McDaniel at Catholic
1:00 PM
Lebanon Valley at Franklin and Marshall
1:00 PM
Plymouth State at Castleton
Live Stats
1:00 PM
RPI at Norwich
1:00 PM
Randolph-Macon at Dickinson
1:00 PM
Oberlin at Kalamazoo
1:00 PM
Emory and Henry at Ferrum
1:00 PM
Wooster at Washington and Jefferson
1:00 PM
Alfred State at William Paterson
1:00 PM
St. Vincent at Alma
1:00 PM
Concordia (Wis.) at Finlandia
1:00 PM
Olivet at St. John Fisher
1:00 PM
Rowan at Widener
1:00 PM
Hobart at Brockport
1:00 PM
Union at Ithaca
1:00 PM
Susquehanna at Lycoming
1:00 PM
Utica at Misericordia
1:00 PM
The Apprentice School at Methodist
1:00 PM
TCNJ at UW-Whitewater
1:30 PM
Wilmington at Bluffton
1:30 PM
Monmouth at Hope
1:30 PM
Bridgewater at Gettysburg
1:30 PM
Muskingum at Waynesburg
1:30 PM
Juniata at Grove City
2:00 PM
Wisconsin Lutheran at Trinity Int'l
2:00 PM
Lakeland at Carroll
Video Live Stats
2:00 PM
UW-Stevens Point at St. Norbert
2:00 PM
Austin at Hendrix
2:00 PM
Maranatha Baptist at Martin Luther
Live Stats
2:00 PM
Millikin at Greenville
Live Stats
2:00 PM
Eureka at Knox
Live Stats
2:00 PM
MacMurray at Rockford
2:00 PM
Gustavus Adolphus at Westminster (Mo.)
Video Live Stats
2:00 PM
UW-La Crosse at Luther
2:00 PM
Beloit at Lake Forest
2:00 PM
Concordia-Moorhead at Jamestown
2:00 PM
Crown at Hamline
Live Stats
2:00 PM
Carleton at Macalester
2:00 PM
Bethel at Dubuque
2:00 PM
St. Scholastica at St. John's
Live Stats
2:00 PM
St. Olaf at Grinnell
2:00 PM
Buena Vista at Mayville St.
2:00 PM
Simpson at UW-Stout
2:00 PM
Aurora at Carthage
2:00 PM
UW-River Falls at Coe
2:00 PM
Ripon at Concordia-Chicago
2:00 PM
Elmhurst at Loras
2:00 PM
Huntingdon at Louisiana College
2:00 PM
North Central (Ill.) at Robert Morris-Chicago
2:00 PM
Benedictine at Wheaton (Ill.)
2:00 PM
John Carroll at UW-Oshkosh
2:30 PM
Southern Virginia at Earlham
Live Stats
2:30 PM
Lawrence at Presentation
4:00 PM
La Verne at Puget Sound
Live Stats
4:00 PM
Central at Whitworth
5:00 PM
Hartwick at Western Connecticut
6:00 PM
Wabash at Albion
6:00 PM
Maryville (Tenn.) at Berry
6:00 PM
Augustana at Mount St. Joseph
6:00 PM
Thomas More at Franklin
Live Stats
6:00 PM
Hampden-Sydney at Averett
6:00 PM
Redlands at Trinity (Texas)
7:00 PM
Marietta at Denison
7:00 PM
Hiram at Westminster (Pa.)
7:00 PM
Thiel at Allegheny
7:00 PM
Capital at Wittenberg
7:00 PM
Shenandoah at Gallaudet
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Illinois College at Rose-Hulman
Video Live Stats
7:00 PM
Geneva at Frostburg State
7:00 PM
Nichols at Westfield State
7:00 PM
Greensboro at Guilford
Live Stats
7:00 PM
LaGrange at Birmingham-Southern
7:00 PM
Hardin-Simmons at Southwestern
7:00 PM
Anderson at North Park
7:00 PM
Ohio Wesleyan at Mary Hardin-Baylor
7:00 PM
East Texas Baptist at Texas Lutheran
7:10 PM
St. Thomas at UW-Eau Claire
Video Live Stats
7:30 PM
Hanover at Centre
8:00 PM
Willamette at Rhodes
8:00 PM
Cornell at Iowa Wesleyan
Live Stats
8:00 PM
Augsburg at Northwestern (Minn.)
Live Stats
8:00 PM
Southwestern Assemblies at Howard Payne
8:00 PM
Sul Ross State at UT-Permian Basin
Dec. 18: All times Eastern
Final
Mount Union 49, at St. Thomas 35
@ Salem, Va.
Box Score Recap Recap Photos