Tigers leap over Sagehens on Homecoming weekend


Author: Alex Nieves

The Occidental football team, behind quarterback Tommy Edwards (junior), won a nail-biting game against Pomona-Pitzer in the teams’ 114th meeting of their annual rivalry game, to finish off a very memorable homecoming weekend. This marks the ninth straight year that The Drum, the coveted trophy that the teams compete for, will stay in Eagle Rock, CA.  

Edwards, who passed for 372 yards and added two scores on the ground, led the Tigers (2-5 overall, 2-3 SCIAC) to a game winning drive with 2:34 left on the clock after they had given up a late lead. The Tigers drove the ball 66 yards in eight plays, including an amazing one-handed catch by receiver Sam Stekol (sophomore) that got the ball down to the one yard line. Running back Kwame Do (first-year) pounded in the go-ahead score with 1:36 remaining. This left the Sagehens (0-7 overall, 0-5 SCIAC ) with enough time to mount a final attack, but a final Hail Mary attempt fell short, sealing the win for the Tigers.   

“We found ourselves down with two minutes left and we needed to make something happen,” Edwards said when asked about the game winning drive. “The were some great plays made by Sam Stekol and Matt Tuckness and we found a way to get into the end zone. It was a great way to end Homecoming.”

As a whole, the Tigers played one of their best games of the season. The team continued to pass the ball well, gaining over 300 yards for the fourth time this season, and they 

also came away with their first 100-plus yard performance on the ground, with running back Austin Cheadle (sophomore) as the top rusher with 64 yards.  

The football victory capped a festive Homecoming weekend that started with the first induction of outstanding Occidental athletes into the brand new Athletics Hall of Fame. 

The inaugural class, which was officially inducted on Friday, included eight of the greatest athletes in Occidental’s long and proud athletic history. 

Some of the more notable inductees included Dr. Sammy Lee ‘43, a two-time Olympic gold medalist in diving, Jack Kemp ‘57, a successful professional football quarterback and politician, Bill Redell ‘64, a College football Hall of Fame member and the current coach of the Occidental football team. 

“It recognizes our rich athletic history…it brings back some of the most recognized names among our alumni,” said Athletic Director Jaime Hoffman when asked about the importance of this new, all-inclusive Hall of Fame. 

“It bridges the gap between our greatest accomplishments of the past and our possibilities for the future.”  

The timing of the induction was also very special, as the Athletics Department which has been hard at work for five years to make the Hall of Fame a reality, was able to unveil it during Occidental’s 125th anniversary year.

“This has been a priority of our athletic administrative team for five years now,” Hoffman said. “Our 125th anniversary felt like the right time to induct our inaugural class.”

Along with the Hall of Fame inductions, Homecoming weekend featured a host of activities for students to enjoy with their parents, including an aquatics BBQ, homecoming floats, a Glee Club concert, a pep rally on Friday, and an alumni water polo game.

On Sunday, the Occidental women’s and men’s water polo teams invited back former players to face the current team in a friendly competition. Those participating included recent graduate Karie Nickle ‘10, a former attacker for the Lady Tigers.

In addition, the recently renovated and expanded Swan Hall was officially rededicated with a formal ribbon cutting. These events culminated with the football team’s victory on Saturday night in Jack Kemp Stadium. 

While the men will not make a postseason appearance this year, the Tigers experienced some rebuilding success in their first season under Redell.

With a 2-3 SCIAC record, the squad still has a chance to finish the season over the .500 mark in conference if they can beat their final two opponents. They host the Whittier Poets on Saturday night.

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