Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com
WHITTIER, Calif. – Sophomore quarterback Miguel Avina (Indio, Calif.) got off to a slow start Saturday afternoon but finished strong in a 45-23 loss to Pomona-Pitzer.
Avina combined for 443 yards both in the air and on the ground along with two touchdowns as he put together one of the best individual performances as a quarterback since 2007 when Josh Scurlock led the Poets Football team to an upset win over No. 24 Occidental 67-61.
In that game, Scurlock finished with 443 yards passing on 25-40 with seven touchdowns. But not only did he attack through the air he also finished with 105 yards rushing and another score.
Avina threw for 331 yards and two touchdowns and also led the rushing unit with 12 carries for 112 yards averaging 9.3 yards per rush. Chance Trammell (Chico, Calif.) carried it 14 times for 60 yards and Bryson Sanders (Manteca, Calif.) led the receiving core with seven catches and a touchdown for 93 yards averaging 13.3 yards per catch.
Brian Phelan (Chino Hills, Calif.) joined Sanders and had a big day as well hauling in nine catches for 86 yards, a career high and a touchdown.
The Poet offense was held out of the endzone in the first half putting up a mere three points coming with six seconds to play on a 24-yard field goal from Eric Voss (Temecula, Calif.). They trailed 24-3 at the half but would wind up making corrections at the break to put up 20 points, while pulling within a score late in the 4th quarter.
Pomona-Pitzer struck first out of the break to move the score to 31-3 but the Purple & Gold would respond with their own drive of 15-plays for 70 yards covering 7:02. This gave the Poets some momentum as they would come back and find the endzone with Avina finding Sanders from nine yards out on their next possession this time going 98-yards on 7-plays. The spark on that drive coming from Sanders who was found over the middle for a 53-yard hookup.
With 10:58 to play in the game, the Poets saw the Sagehens miss a 38 yard field goal and would capitalize going the other way in 8-plays covering 79 yards capped off with two-yard score from Trammell. This pulled WC within a score keeping the momentum in their favor but on the very next series for PP, Birir would break out for a 71-yard scamper that gave the Sagehens some cushion.
The combination of Karter Odermann and Aseal Birir was tough to handle as Birir found the endzone four times, which included two big plays of 71 yards and 91 yards.
Michael Pirnik (Gilroy, Calif.) led the defense with eight tackles (7 solo/1 assist), while Natnael Yitayew (San Diego, Calif.) and Nickolas Perez (Shafter, Calif.) each added seven, which included a tackle for a loss. Cooper Allen (Visalia, Calif.) also had a big day with six tackles and a tackle for a loss, but had his biggest play come in the 2nd quarter when he picked off Nick Kapule in the endzone, which ended a PP threat.
Whittier returns to the field this Saturday, October 21 when they travel to take on Cal Lutheran University beginning at 7:00pm.