It is really anybody's conference at this point with Cal Lutheran and Chapman showing improvement while CMS and Pomona-Pitzer may not be as good as advertised.
Week 6 Results
La Verne Leopards 0 | Cal Lutheran Kingsmen 55
The 2023 season is becoming a long year for the Leopards as their struggles against SCIAC competition continue. Quarterback Nick Garcia would throw two interceptions - one of which was returned 95 yards for a touchdown. Cal Lutheran also sacje Garcia sacked nine times.
On paper, it was an unspectacular performance for JP Andrade, who only threw for 165 yards, but at an efficient 14/17 rate with two touchdowns.
The star of the day was RB Dylan Turner, who hit the century mark with 100 yards on 19 carries and 2 TDs. It was enough for the sophomore to receive the SCIAC Offensive Player of the Week.
On defense, sophomore DL Devin Goosby had three of the team's nine sacks, and junior DB John Moore had the 95-yard interception return for a touchdown.
Outside of La Verne, there is little separation between the football programs of the SCIAC. The next four weeks leading into seeding week should be full of tight matchups.
CMS Stags 7 | Chapman Panthers 20
With Nathaniel Espinoza sidelined with an injury, sophomore Tyler Pacheco got his first career start and did everything he could to bring the Panthers their first conference win of the season.
The Chapman defense was the biggest surprise, playing stout defense against a Stags team that had scored 79 points through their first two conference games.
Even though the Stags still had 239 yards of offense, they could not put enough positive plays together to sustain drives down the field, unable to even get in position for a field goal.
Chapman was advantageous and converted their sole interception into a touchdown to take a 7-0 lead in the first.
Tyler Pacheco is a tough, fluid athlete, but also raw as a passer. He completed 9/18 for only 103 yards, but two of those incompletions were interceptions.
Chapman came into the game with a game plan of shrewd simplicity, as the QB read option powered the offense, leading to Pacheco accumulating 22 carries for 134 of the team's 223 yards on the ground.
Whether Chapman can carry this momentum of a convincing victory forward towards a berth in the SCIAC Championship Game looms. They control their destiny with games remaining against Pomona-Pitzer and La Verne, and rematches against CMS and Cal Lutheran.
Pomona-Pitzer Sagehens 10 | Redlands Bulldogs 9
This game was similar to a heavyweight boxing match where Redlands could not quite land the knockout blow but lost on points.
The Bulldogs are a stout and physical team and dominated the Sagehens' offense up front with seven sacks and a net rushing total of -43 yards.
Both starting quarterbacks would leave the game with injuries - would be Nick Kim replaced Ethan Gretzinger of Pomona-Pitzer, and performed admirably (15/20 for 178 yards and a TD). Jordan Ford replaced Tyler Tremain of Redlands was late in the game and only went 3/7 for 47 yards.
Although the Bulldogs outgained the Sagehens 406-178 in net yards, it was a day of missed opportunities with three missed field goals and a turnover on downs inside field goal range. They would score a touchdown on their first possession of the 2nd half to cut the Sagehens' lead to 10-7. However, they failed to get any closer until the final snap when Pomona-Pitzer would concede a safety to run out the clock.
The programs will face off again on November 4 in a match that could determine which program gets to represent the Sun Pod in the SCIAC Championship Game.
Week 7 Schedule
All times are PST and will be on the SCIAC Network.
CMS Stags (4-1, 2-1) at La Verne Leopards (1-4, 0-3) | 2PM
It will be interesting to see if CMS can recover from their offensive struggles against Chapman or their problems run deeper.
RB Justin Edwards has not had much of an impact this season. Consequently, the Stags have relied on QB Walter Kuhlenkamp as a dual-threat leader.
Even if the Stags struggle on offense, it is difficult to foresee their defense struggling to stop a Leopards offense that has scored only two touchdowns through three conference games.
However, the timing of this matchup has the makings of a possible upset if everything goes La Verne’s way.
Chapman Panthers (1-3, 1-2) at Pomona-Pitzer Sagehens (3-2, 2-1) | 7 PM
The Panthers' defensive dominance over the CMS Stags has breathed new life into their season. However, they must try to pack up that momentum and bus it to Claremont to face the Sagehens.
It is unclear if Sagehens QB Ethan Gretzinger will be available to play, but there was not much fall-off with the switch to Nick Kim before halftime last week.
For the Panthers, QB Tyler Pacheco gave the offense an identity behind a heavy diet of QB read option play calls to push them towards the upset victory. If healthy, Nathaniel Espinoza is also a capable athlete on the ground. Yet, he may play injured, and the pass game has been erratic this season.
Cal Lutheran Kingsmen (3-2, 2-1) at Redlands Bulldogs (3-2, 2-1) | 7 PM
Redlands may have the best defense in the conference this season. This will be the biggest test for a Kingsmen offense flying high after scoring seven offensive touchdowns against La Verne.
Quarterback JP Andrade has taken the road less traveled in his career, joining the Ohio State Buckeyes out of high school as a preferred walk-on after turning down scholarship opportunities from the likes of South Alabama, Fordham, and Morehead State and spent three seasons on the roster in Columbus. He then transfered to Jackson State for 2022 and saw limited action as a backup to Shedeur Sanders before transferring to Cal Lutheran as a graduate. Now, he finally has an opportunity to start close to his hometown of La Verne.
So far this season, he is arguably the top passing quarterback in the conference. With each week, the potential for this team grows.
For the Bulldogs, the availability of Tyler Tremain is unclear as he clutched his lower leg on a failed 4th & 2 rush attempt. Regardless of who Redlands has at quarterback, their offense will still depend the rushing ability of RB Tony Williams Jr., who had only 68 yards on 17 carries last week.
Week 7 SCIAC Power Ranking
- Pomona-Pitzer Sagehens
- CMS Stags
- Redlands Bulldogs
- Cal Lutheran Kingsmen
- Chapman Panthers
- La Verne Leopards