Harris, Tigers Crush Whittier to Keep Shoes

Harris, Tigers Crush Whittier to Keep Shoes

LOS ANGELESCordell Harris did just about everything on the field, Bryan Scott was nearly perfect at quarterback and the Occidental football team kept the "Shoes" Trophy with a 56-38 win over Whittier at Jack Kemp Stadium on Saturday.

Harris, an All-SCIAC wide receiver, ran a kickoff back for a 96-yard touchdown, played cornerback on defense, intercepted a pass, made five tackles and caught six passes for 62 yards and a touchdown. 

Scott went 20 for 25 for 235 yards, with three touchdowns, despite only having the ball for 19 minutes of the game. He has now thrown 18 touchdowns with just one interception this season.

Scott, who became the SCIAC's all-time leader in career passing yards two weeks ago, also ran for 86 yards on a pair of designed runs for long touchdowns.

After taking a 28-24 lead into halftime, the Tigers scored three consecutive touchdowns in the third quarter, putting the game out of reach.

Harris' kickoff return for a touchdown was followed up by another kick off return for a score in the second quarter by teammate Chris Rom-Toribio, who took the ball 85 yards to the end zone.

Max Gruber also had a big day for Oxy's offense, running for 62 yards and touchdown on seven carries, and catching four passes for 54 yards.

The Tigers' defense had its best showing of the season, forcing the Poets into four turnovers. Marcus McDuffie forced and recovered a fumble, and Evan Buckwalter forced a pair of fumbles. 

Chris Garcia led Oxy with 12 tackles, Buckwalter made 11 and McDuffie made 10. Benjamin Kamerin had a nine-yard sack.

Season Impact: The Tigers win their first game of the season, improving to 1-6 overall.

Whittier falls to 0-7.

Battle for the Shoes Rivalry: As the legend has it, members of the Occidental football team stole Whittier running back Myron Claxton's cleats on the Thursday before the meeting between the teams in 1939. Claxton played in his work boots and led Whittier to a 36-0 win. After the game he went over to the Oxy sidelines and reclaimed his shoes. A few years later the Shoes were bronzed into a trophy and one of the quirkiest rivalries in college football was born. 

It is often featured on the popular show College Gameday. 

Next Game: The Tigers are back in action on Nov. 5 at Cal Lutheran and then finish the season at Chapman on Nov. 12.

Follow Oxy Athletics on Twitter
Sign Up for Newsletters
Watch on Youtube
Follow us on Instagram