At Long Last, Sagehens Return To Merritt Field
Claremont, Calif. - The Pomona-Pitzer Football team will play its first home game since Sept. 8 when it hosts Whittier on Saturday evening for a 7 p.m. kickoff, as part of Pomona College's Founders Day Weekend.
The Sagehens opened their season at home against Menlo five weeks ago, but have played their last three games on the road (around one bye week). Their first two SCIAC games were away at No. 8 Cal Lutheran and at Chapman over the past two weeks.
Perhaps what's even better news for the Sagehens is that, unlike the first four weeks, they have all of their offensive weapons healthy and at full strength. Senior running back Luke Sweeney (Broken Arrow, Okla.) missed the first two games with an injury, junior wide receiver Ryan Randle (Compton, Calif.) missed two games with an injury, and junior tight end Peter Ferrin (Salt Lake City, Utah) is coming off of his first action of the year against Chapman after missing the first three games. In addition, freshman fullback Grant Frazier (Newport Beach, Calif.) moved over from the defensive side of the ball two games ago and is settling into his new role on offense.
While the offensive unit has moved a lot of people around as a result of the injuries, one bright spot has been the play of senior wide receiver Yoshi Rothman (La Jolla, Calif.), who played defensive back last year but moved to the offensive side of the ball this preseason. Rothman has had back-to-back games 10 catches, including 10 for 111 yards against nationally ranked Cal Lutheran. He also had 14 catches for 163 yards at Lewis & Clark, and has 305 return yards this season as well on special teams.
The Sweeney watch will be on this weekend, as the senior standout enters this weekend with 2,568 career rushing yards, 199 away from the school record of 2,767 set by Jim Regan from 1995-98. Sweeney has moved from fourth to second so far this fall, and can break the record with 200 yards. It seems like a tall order, but Sweeney does have three career 200-yard games, including 246 at Whittier last year.
The 246 yards against Whittier a year ago marked the second-highest total of Sweeney's career, but the Sagehens dropped a 58-27 road decision at Whittier. Pomona-Pitzer led 20-10 midway through the second quarter after a 31-yard touchdown run from Sweeney, and had the ball following a Whittier fumble, but the Poets stopped that drive and then scored 35 unanswered points, including two long passing plays in the third quarter.
The Sagehens have had to wait a long time for their second home game this year, but once again head to the road for the next two weeks, as they travel down Bonita Avenue to face La Verne next Saturday, and then go to Occidental for the Battle For The Drum on Oct. 27. Pomona-Pitzer will then close out with two home games on Nov. 3 (Redlands) and Nov. 10 (CMS).