LOS ANGELES — Bryan Scott and the Oxy receivers had an incredible day through the air, Ross Fiegener made big plays on defense and the Occidental College football team routed La Verne 49-21 at Jack Kemp Stadium on Saturday, clinching a winning season for the first time since 2011.
"I'm especially happy for our seniors. We have some guys who hadn't had a winning season in a while dating back to high school so I'm excited for them," Oxy head coach Doug Semones said. "Everyone contributed, it was a team win and it's nice to end the season on a positive note with a winning record."
Oxy finishes the season 5-4 overall and in third place in the SCIAC standings at 4-3.
Scott, a freshman quarterback who has filled in nicely for injured senior Tommy Edwards since early October, was money on the deep ball, finding eight receivers for a career high 473 yards and six touchdowns.
"First it starts with the line giving me time and the running backs," Scott said. "Samuel Stekol,Samuel Crizer, Devin Bullock and Cordell Harris all made plays for me today. I just have to put the ball up there and give them a chance."
Scott had 375 yards passing with four touchdowns by halftime.
Stekol and Crizer were his top targets, each going over 100 yards with a pair of touchdowns.
Stekol had three receptions for 146 yards including a 63-yard catch-and-run in the second quarter and a 76-yarder that gave the Tigers a 28-7 lead headed into the locker room.
Crizer finished with his best career day, catching five passes for 141 yards. He had a 35-yard score in the second quarter and a 55-yard touchdown in the third quarter.
La Verne, probably rightfully concerned with SCIAC leading rusher Kwame Do, played primarily Cover-1 and Cover-0 defenses in the first half, manning up on the outside against Oxy's receivers.
It didn't work.
Four Oxy receivers caught touchdowns and at least one pass for more than 20 yards. Bullock had a 21-yard touchdown in the second and Kaleb Mitchell caught an 11-yarder in the third to go along with Stekol and Crizer's big days.
Do had a relatively quiet afternoon by his standards, rushing for 112 yards on 26 carries, well below his season average of his 151.6 yards per game. Do, who broke Oxy's single season rushing record last week at Whittier, busted loose on his last carry of the game for a 17-yard touchdown, setting Oxy's new single-season rushing mark at 1,325 yards.
If Scott and the Oxy wide receivers were the star of the game offensively, Fiegener was as important on the other side of the ball, continuing his playmaking for Oxy on defense. The junior inside linebacker had two interceptions, nine tackles, two fumble recoveries, one forced fumble, a pass break up and he even fielded an onside kick attempt in the third quarter.
Fiegener's first interception ended La Verne's opening drive and his second was in Oxy's own end zone in the third quarter with the Leopards threatening again. His most impressive play was a strip of Travis Sparks in the second quarter, taking the ball right out of the back up running back's hands. Fiegener also recovered a fumble forced by Teran Mawhinney in the first quarter.
Mawhinney had a game-high 14 tackles for Oxy.
"It's all about the team. None of the picks, none of the turnovers would have happened if guys weren't in the right spots," Fiegener said. "Mostly I'm just happy we got that win for the seniors."