Photo Credit: Sam Lee Photography
LOS ANGELES — With more than 1,200 yards of combined offense, just shy of 100 points and eight lead changes in the game, the Occidental football team's opener with Puget Sound was the definition of a shootout.
But despite Oxy's Bryan Scott throwing for 459 yards and four touchdowns, and Cordell Harris catching 13 passes for 124 of them, the Tigers were edged in a barn burner, 49-42 at Jack Kemp Stadium on Saturday.
The game seemed like it was going to come down to whoever had the ball last. Needing just one stop to get the ball back on 4th and 11, with the ball on their own 30 yard line and a little more than 2 minutes left in the game, the Tigers committed a holding penalty, giving Puget Sound an automatic first down and the ability to run out the clock.
Scott, who had completed a game-tying drive with a five-yard rushing touchdown just minutes before, never got back onto the field.
The Tigers were whistled for a handful of penalties throughout the game that kept Puget Sound drives alive and gave up field position.
Both offenses really started rolling at the beginning of the fourth quarter as the defenses got tired. The score was just 22-20 at the beginning of the fourth and the teams added 49 points combined in the quarter.
Puget Sound quarterback Hans Fortune had an outstanding game, throwing for 587 yards and seven touchdowns. Brennan Schon was his leading target with nine receptions for 159 yards and three touchdowns.
Oxy's Chris Rom-Toribio was outstanding running the ball and in the passing game, totaling 154 yards of total offense, with a receiving and a rushing touchdown. He broke loose on a 93-yard screen pass for a score in the fourth quarter and also burst through the line on a 32-yard run for Oxy's first touchdown of the game.
Oxy receivers Ian Bonde and Isaiah Amaechi were both effective and impressive in the passing game, making some dazzling catches down the field. Bonde caught nine passes for 82 yards, doing most of his work in the first half, and Amaechi had five catches for 60 yards, including a clutch catch over a defensive back in the end zone that gave Oxy a 27-22 lead early in the fourth quarter.
Max Gruber added three receptions for 76 yards and Harris had one touchdown.
Marcus McDuffie led Oxy's defense with 12 tackles, Eamon McNeil had 10 and Evan Buckwalter made eight. Defensive lineman Joe Costello made a handful of impressive plays in the backfield with 1.5 sacks and a pair of tackles for a loss.
Puget Sound, which went 6-3 in a tough Northwest Conference last season, has already beaten SCIAC defending champion La Verne 31-29, improving to 2-0.
The Tigers travel to Hawaii next weekend to play Pacific (Ore.) on Sept. 17 at Kamehameha HS in Honolulu. Kickoff is at 5 p.m. (HST).Follow Oxy Athletics on Twitter Sign Up for Newsletters Watch on Youtube Follow us on Instagram