Photo Credit: Marco Garcia
But the Occidental football team fell to Pacific (Ore.) in the first NCAA Division III game ever played in Hawaii, 45-22 at Kamehameha High School on Saturday.
The last time Oxy visited the islands for a football game was when the team took a five-day ocean voyage to play the University of Hawaii in 1924.
In 2016, the Tigers fell behind 20-0 and despite playing much better in the second quarter and the second half, couldn't overcome the slow start.
Gruber gave Oxy a spark with a series of breakout runs up the middle during the second quarter, setting up Bryan Scott for a quarterback sneak and Oxy's only score of the first half.
Gittelman-Egan broke free on a pair of catch and runs in the second half. The first was a 68-yarder in the third quarter and the second was a 43-yarder, cutting the score to 38-22 with 14:25 to play.
Oxy was never able to cut the lead to a one-possession game in the second half.
Gittelman-Egan finished his career performance with four catches for 122 yards.
Scott, who threw for four touchdowns and more than 400 yards in Oxy's opener, finished 19 for 35 for 299 yards, two passing touchdowns and one rushing touchdown.
The Tigers fall to 0-2 on the season.
Pacific improves to 1-2.
Next Game: The Tigers have next weekend off and then return to SCIAC play at Redlands on Oct. 1.
Oxy's Hawaiian Connection:
Oxy's current coaching staff is heavily rooted in Hawaiian culture. Head coach Doug Semones lived on the North Shore for 18 years. He won four OIA Championships and went 68-14-2 in seven seasons as the head coach (1989-95) at Kahuku HS in Hawaii and later had a three-year stint as the special teams coordinator and defensive line coach at the University of Hawaii from 1996-98. Shortly after his tenure with Hawaii, he was the defensive and special teams coordinator for the Hawaiian Islanders of the Arena Football League.
Oxy offensive coordinator Darnell Arceneaux is a local legend and former Oxy offensive coordinator Brian Smith is now the offensive coordinator at Hawaii.
Arceneaux began in 2003 as the head football coach of Saint Louis HS in Honolulu where he led his team to a 9-2 record, an ILH championship and a 2nd place finish in the state finals. He then became the offensive coordinator at Mililani HS in 2006 and the head coach from 2007-2010. In 2010 he returned to Saint Louis as the head coach and assistant athletic director. During his second stint at Saint Louis is when he mentored Mariota. He led that 2010 team to the State Championships and a 12-1 record and earned Hawaii's Coach of the Year awards from MaxPreps and the ILH. In 2012 he earned HS coach of the year from the NFL Pro Bowl.
He also enjoyed a decorated high school career. In 1995, he was the Hawaii Athlete of the Year (Honolulu Quarterback Club), Hawaii Offensive Player of the Year, was the nation's 14th ranked quarterback, and was first-team all-state quarterback (an honor he also received in '94). He was also all-state basketball player in 1995-96 and led St. Louis to three state prep bowl championships and two IHL basketball championships.
Here's some coverage of the game building up to kickoff: