Rushing attack not enough in loss to Sagehens

Rushing attack not enough in loss to Sagehens

Photo by: Tony Leon/

CLAREMONT, Calif. – The Whittier College Football team struggled to put points on the board Saturday night as they fell 42-17 to Pomona-Pitzer. 

After a solid 28-13 victory over Occidental College a few weeks ago, the Purple & Gold have dropped two straight moving to 1-5, 1-3 SCIAC.  Whittier was held to just three points over the first three quarters before adding two touchdowns in the fourth.  But it wouldn't be enough in the loss to the Sagehens.

The seventeen points is the second lowest offensive output on the season as Whittier totaled 325 yards of offense (109 Passing/216 Rushing).  They found their success on the ground behind freshman Alex Retana (Whittier, Calif.) who rushed 29 times for 155 yards with a long being for 16.  He also averaged 5.3 yards per carry.

Matthew Valencia (Commerce, Calif.) was under center for the second straight game going 9-for-30 for 61 yards and two picks.  Freshman Daniel Garlick (Lodi, Calif.) was 4-for-5 for 48 yards and a touchdown.  Moises Gonzalez (Long Beach, Calif.) led the receiving core hauling in two catches for 39 yards averaging 19.5 yards per catch with a long being a 32-yard touchdown late in the fourth.

Neither team had much luck on offense in the first quarter as we saw punts on the first seven possessions of the game.  The Sagehens finally broke through for the first score early in the second quarter with Karter Odermann punching it in from five-yards out.  The Sagehens added to their lead on their next possession with Tate Tussing rushing it in from nine-yards out and then added another score before the half capitalizing on a Whittier interception.

The Poets' lone points in the quarter came from Cooper Allen (Visalia, Calif.) who converted a 28-yard field goal as time expired moving the score to 21-3 at the break.

Pomona-Pitzer wasted little time getting on the scoreboard in the second half as the first play from scrimmage saw Dominick Norris bust through for a 55-yard touchdown run.  They then followed that up on their next series this time with Ha scoring from eight yards out that pushed the score to 35-3.  In the fourth, Whittier found the endzone twice.  The first was from Arnie Robles (Pico Rivera, Calif.) who fell on top of a Retana fumble in the endzone, capping off a 12-play, 68-yard drive that covered 5:16.

Whittier forced a three-and-out on the Sagehens next series looking to put up more points but gave the ball right back as Valencia would throw a pick setting PP up for their sixth score on the evening coming from Tristan Noble from a yard out. 

The final points came from a Garlick-Gonzalez connection late in the contest from 32-yards out, which ended an 8-play, 74-yard drive, but it wouldn't be enough to complete the comeback.         

On defense, Thomas Mendrin (La Habra, Calif.) and Nicholas Markarian (Chino Hills, Calif.) each finished with eight tackles and a tackle for a loss.  Markarian also had a sack for a five-yard loss and a pass break-up.  Andrew Rosales (Pico Rivera, Calif.) and Alfonzo Ibanez (Whittier, Calif.) each finished with six tackles and Rosales added a tackle for a loss and a pass break-up.             

Whittier remains on the road this Saturday, October 27 back in Claremont, Calif. as they take on Claremont-M-S with kick-off set for 1:00pm.