Oxy Falls to Whittier in Shoes Rivalry

Oxy Falls to Whittier in Shoes Rivalry

Photo by samsphotosevices.com

LOS ANGELES — The Occidental football team came up short in its Battle for the Shoes rivalry game against Whittier, falling 28-13 at Jack Kemp Stadium on Saturday.

Whittier ran the ball effectively and took advantage of an Oxy turnover in the third quarter, scoring 14 points in less than 5 minutes to take control of the game.

The Poets played power football, feeding Alex Retana for a 3-yard score to cap a 10-play, 61-yard drive to go up 21-13 with 11:21 left in the third. Oxy fumbled on its ensuing possession and the Poets took advantage, scoring four plays later on another run by Retana to go up 28-13.

Oxy couldn't cut into the Poets' lead on any of its remaining drives.

Retana finished the game with 21 carries for 98 yards and four touchdowns. Jovan Bea ran for 12 carries and 50 yards.

DJ Adams had five carries for 50 yards and Joshua Greaves had nine carries for 50 yards, one rushing touchdown and one 25-yard passing touchdown to Lucas Savoie for Oxy. John Isaac Cordova had six catches for 37 yards.

Jackson Caudle led Oxy with seven tackles, John Gayden had a sack and Sam Meinhard had five tackles and forced a fumble.

The Poets' defense was led by Nicolas Markarian with eight tackles and Sean Hamilton who added seven. 

Legend of the Shoes: During the week prior to the 1939 matchup between the teams, members of the Occidental team stole Whittier running back Myron Claxton's shoes. Without his football shoes, Claxton would lead the Poets to a 36-0 victory over the Tigers and after the game walked over to Oxy's sideline and took back his shoes. Seven years later in 1946, Claxton's shoes would be bronzed and made into a trophy for the Tigers and Poets to battle over.

Since the teams have played for the coveted "Shoes" Trophy Oxy leads the series score 38-36, an the Tigers have a 57-51-2 record vs. Whittier all-time. 

The Tigers won the last meeting between the teams 55-26 in 2016.

The Poets and Tigers have a long history. Competition between the two teams started in 1907 when Whittier first fielded a team and the teams have met more than 100 times since that initial game.

1st Quarter

Whittier scored on its first possession of the game, moving the ball 33 yards in six plays. The Poets took advantage of a personal foul penalty to start the possession in Oxy territory. 

2nd Quarter

The Poets set up their second score with a 63-yard catch and run from Hakim Williams Jr. on a pass from Matthew Valencia. Alex Retana punched the ball in two plays later for a 1-yard score.

DJ Adams had a big return on the ensuing kickoff for 44 yards into Poet territory, but a personal foul penalty after the play moved Oxy back to its own 34. Adams and John Isaac Cordova both had big runs to set up a 25-yard touchdown pass from Josh Greaves to Lucas Savoie, cutting Whittier's lead to 14-7. 

3rd Quarter

The Tigers came out clicking on offense with their opening drive in the third quarter. Greaves, Adams and Golden all had solid runs of more than five yards and then Adams broke a 25-yard run to get to the 7-yard line. On the next play, Greaves kept the ball on an option and ran it in for a touchdown. Oxy missed the point after, trailing 14-13 with 11:21 to play. 

Whittier countered on the next drive with some power football, feeding Retana down the field until he punched in a 3-yard touchdown run with 6:47 to play. 

Oxy fumbled on its next offensive play at the 16-yard line and Whittier recovered. Retana looked sharp again on the ground, finishing the drive with a 3-yard score. 

Oxy turned the ball over twice in the third quarter. 

4th Quarter

Oxy couldn't get anything going on offense, despite playing solid defense, and neither team scored in the fourth.

Season Impact: The Tigers fall to 1-3 and 0-2 in SCIAC.

Whittier improves to 1-3 and 1-1 in SCIAC. 

The Poets snap a 33-game losing streak that dates back to October of 2014.

Next Game: Oxy is back in action next Saturday at Chapman at 7 p.m.

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