/seasons/2011/contrib/20120311nqomg5

RESILIENT TIGERS TEAM FINISHES 2011 SEASON

More news about: Occidental
By Michael Wells
Sports Information Director
 

LOS ANGELES — The 2011 Occidental College football team won't go down as one of the elite Oxy teams that have made the program the class of the SCIAC over the last 30 years, but the 2011 Oxy squad can certainly lay its claim as one of the more resilient.

Led by senior quarterback Luke Collis, a pair of standout wide receivers, and a playmaking defensive back, the Tigers overcame three fourth quarter deficits and were a perfect 4-0 on the road, finishing the year 5-4 overall and 3-3 (third place) in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

It was a 42-40 home loss to the University of Redlands on Oct. 22 though that 30th year head coach Dale Widolff said best represented the character of the team.

Oxy came into the game clear underdogs and despite two interceptions, a blocked punt a missed field goal and a missed point after touchdown, they still had the ball and a chance to send the game into overtime with 10 seconds left.

But after pulling within two on a 21-yard Collis touchdown pass to junior Matthew Tuckness, the two point conversion attempt to freshman Teran Mawhinney fell incomplete along with the improbable comeback.

Had they won, the Tigers would have finished tied with the Bulldogs for second place and set up a championship game in the season finale against Cal Lutheran University.

DATE OPPONENT RESULT STORY PHOTOS VIDEO RECAP
Sept. 10, 2011 @ Puget Sound W, 30-12 Full Story Album  
Sept. 17, 2011 Menlo L, 41-17 Full Story Album  
Oct. 1, 2011 @ Whittier  W, 31-17 Full Story Album Highlights
Oct. 8, 2011 La Verne L, 30-21 Full Story Album Highlights
Oct. 15, 2011 @ Pomona-Pitzer W, 42-35 Full Story Album Highlights
Oct. 22, 2011 Redlands L, 42-40 Full Story Album Highlights
Oct. 29, 2011 Chapman W, 27-17 Full Story Album Highlights
Nov. 5, 2011 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps W, 35-31 Full Story Album
Nov. 12, 2011 Cal Lutheran L, 70-20 Full Story Album  

Oxy fell behind, had things go the wrong way but didn't quit in a performance that Widolff said was indicative of the Tigers character all season.

"It says a lot about the character of the team. Even though it's not a moral victory, I thought our effort against Redlands was outstanding," Widolff said. "This was one of the most tight knit groups I've had in my 30-plus years at Occidental."

Besides coming up short on that occasion and a few others, the Tigers still managed to fend off their two biggest rivals.

Oxy beat Pomona-Pitzer 42-35 on Oct. 15 in the "Battle of the Drum," Southern California's longest standing college football rivalry, and Whittier College 31-17 on Oct. 1 to keep the "Shoes" trophy.

The Tigers had no problem moving the ball through the air this season; they just struggled stopping it on the ground. The Tigers were sixth in the SCIAC in run defense, surrendering 219 yards per game.

Offensively, Oxy's top rated passing attack outgained any other SCIAC school by 70 yards per game.

Collis led the league in passing, Tuckness ranked in the top five in the nation with 14 touchdown receptions and junior Ryan Rodriguez caught more passes than anyone in the conference.

Senior defensive back Ayrton Bates was second in the league in interceptions and forced fumbles often bailing out the Tigers late and holding together a battered secondary that had player after player go down with injuries.

With starters Nate ProulxAdam DiBenedetto and Carter Norfleet all missing significant time throughout the season, Bates accounted for eight turnovers — five interceptions and three forced fumbles — including a pair of picks in the fourth quarter to beat Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 35-31 on the road Nov. 5.

"Defensively we overcame injuries, especially in the secondary," Widolff said. "We forced turnovers so that was helpful and Bates had maybe the play of the year with that interception in the end zone."

Kevin May, one of the team's best defenders as a LB/DB, missed all but the first game of the year due to injury.

Six Oxy players — three on offense and three on defense — were named All-SCIAC.

Collis, Rodriguez and Tuckness earned the distinction on offense and Bates, junior defensive lineman Casey Shibuya and senior linebacker Greg Holsworth were recognized on defense. Collis, Tuckness and Bates made the first team.

Holsworth, who spent most of his career as a team captain on defense, stepped in halfway through the season to fill the Tigers need at tight end playing both ways. Against Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, the senior had a pair of catches, one a crucial third down conversion in the fourth quarter.

Oct. 20: All times Eastern
Final
at Johns Hopkins 52, Gettysburg 0
Video Video Box Score Recap
Oct. 21: All times Eastern
Final
at Framingham State 29, Westfield State 14
Video Box Score
Final
Moravian 20, at Juniata 17
Video Box Score
Final
at Salve Regina 41, Endicott 14
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at Thomas More 63, St. Vincent 13
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Union 28, Hobart 23
Video
Final
at Hamilton 27, Colby 24
Video Box Score
Final
at Christopher Newport 27, William Paterson 19
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Ithaca 35, St. John Fisher 10
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Allegheny 44, Kenyon 35
Video Box Score
Final
SUNY-Maritime 21, at Mount Ida 13
Video Box Score
Final
Middlebury 43, at Bates 14
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at Springfield 68, Catholic 20
Video Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Amherst 21, Wesleyan 17
Video Box Score
Final
at Trinity (Conn.) 63, Bowdoin 14
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Husson 48, at Gallaudet 21
Box Score
Final
Wabash 35, at Oberlin 21
Video Box Score
Final
at Utica 34, Buffalo State 12
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Ohio Northern 7, at Muskingum 6
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at Frostburg State 62, Montclair State 3
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Wesley 34, Rowan 3
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Stevenson 26, Albright 23
Video Box Score
Final
Wittenberg 52, at DePauw 6
Video Video Box Score
Final
at Albion 31, Alma 28
Video Box Score
Final
at Guilford 45, Shenandoah 20
Box Score Recap Photos
Final
Plymouth State 40, at Massachusetts Maritime 14
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Wooster 58, at Hiram 25
Video Box Score
Final
Washington and Lee 36, at Hampden-Sydney 6
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Final
at Anna Maria 36, Alfred State 34
Box Score
Final
Bridgewater 31, at Emory and Henry 23
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Final
at FDU-Florham 49, Wilkes 31
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Final
Lebanon Valley 17, at Misericordia 0
Video
Final
at St. Lawrence 36, Rochester 14
Video Box Score Recap
Final
RPI 30, at Alfred 15
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Final
at Curry 46, Nichols 16
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Final
at Salisbury 42, Southern Virginia 0
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Final
Ferrum 27, at Brevard 24
Video Box Score Photos
Final
Randolph-Macon 63, at Apprentice 14
Box Score
Final
at Susquehanna 21, Ursinus 14
Video Box Score
Final
Cortland 34, at Morrisville State 20
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Final
at Trine 50, Hope 14
Box Score Recap Recap
Final
Trinity (Texas) 27, at Sewanee 21
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Final
Wartburg 41, at Luther 16
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Final
at Franklin and Marshall 56, Dickinson 0
Box Score Video Video
Final
Tufts 21, at Williams 13
Video Box Score Photos
Final
Mount Union 66, at Wilmington 7
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Final
MIT 30, at Coast Guard 21
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Final
at Norwich 24, Maine Maritime 22
Video Box Score
Final
at Marietta 44, Heidelberg 21
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Franklin 29, at Rose-Hulman 22
Video Video Box Score Photos
Final
John Carroll 48, at Capital 21
Video Box Score
Final
at Manchester 28, Bluffton 21
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Mount St. Joseph 71, at Anderson 27
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Final
UW-Whitewater 20, at UW-River Falls 7
Video
Final
Kean 26, at TCNJ 3
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Final
at LaGrange 59, Greensboro 10
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Final
at Worcester State 45, Mass-Dartmouth 40
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Final
Muhlenberg 40, at McDaniel 13
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Western New England 45, at Becker 0
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Final
at Maryville (Tenn.) 35, Methodist 14
Video Box Score
Final
Adrian 36, at Kalamazoo 22
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Denison 31, at Ohio Wesleyan 20
Video Box Score Photos
Final - OT
at Washington and Jefferson 34, Westminster (Pa.) 33
Video Box Score Live stats Audio Audio
Final
Berry 37, at Millsaps 22
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Benedictine 43, Olivet 37
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Birmingham-Southern 31, at Austin 24
Video Box Score
Final
at Mary Hardin-Baylor 45, Belhaven 7
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at UW-Stout 23, UW-Stevens Point 17
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Eureka 37, at MacMurray 20
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Final
at Illinois Wesleyan 13, Carthage 10
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Final
Nebraska Wesleyan 14, at Buena Vista 13
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Final
Lakeland 48, at Wisconsin Lutheran 0
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Final
at Aurora 28, Rockford 21
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Final
at Concordia-Chicago 37, Concordia (Wis.) 17
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Final
at St. Olaf 29, Carleton 26
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Final
at St. John's 41, Gustavus Adolphus 17
Video Box Score
Final
at Concordia-Moorhead 42, Augsburg 20
Video Box Score Photos
Final
St. Thomas 84, at Hamline 0
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Westminster (Mo.) 24, at Greenville 14
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Final
at Loras 44, Coe 38
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Final
Monmouth 61, at Cornell 10
Video
Final
Wheaton (Ill.) 56, at North Park 0
Box Score Recap
Final
Northwestern (Minn.) 30, at Martin Luther 14
Video Box Score
Final
Hardin-Simmons 33, at Texas Lutheran 30
Box Score Photos
Final
at Lake Forest 70, Grinnell 6
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at Millikin 56, Carroll 35
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Macalester 47, Ripon 31
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Final
at St. Norbert 38, Lawrence 6
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Final
St. Scholastica 49, at Crown 21
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Iowa Wesleyan 24, Minnesota-Morris 17
Box Score
Final
UW-Platteville 34, at UW-Eau Claire 14
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at WPI 41, Merchant Marine 7
Box Score Recap
Final
at Centre 42, Rhodes 35
Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
Hanover 49, at Earlham 14
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at Chicago 55, Beloit 12
Box Score Photos
Final
UW-Oshkosh 42, at UW-La Crosse 28
Video Box Score Recap
Final - OT
at Dubuque 28, Simpson 27
Video Box Score Live stats Audio
Final
at North Central (Ill.) 54, Augustana 2
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at East Texas Baptist 68, Louisiana College 35
Box Score Recap
Final
at Brockport 45, Hartwick 0
Video Box Score Recap Recap
Final
Western Connecticut 27, at Bridgewater State 20
Box Score Recap
Final
Chapman 38, at La Verne 21
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Pacific 17, at Lewis and Clark 7
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Pacific Lutheran 27, at Willamette 14
Video Box Score
Final
at Whitworth 38, Puget Sound 23
Video Box Score Photos
Final
Redlands 42, at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 25
Video Box Score
Final
at Linfield 12, George Fox 6
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Final
Sul Ross State 52, at Howard Payne 15
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Final
at Castleton 17, Dean 14
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Final
N.C. Wesleyan 21, at Averett 15
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Final
at Otterbein 37, Baldwin Wallace 29
Box Score
Final
Case Western Reserve 45, at Geneva 7
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Final
Carnegie Mellon 42, at Thiel 10
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Final
at Illinois College 23, Knox 13
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Final
at Cal Lutheran 60, Whittier 34
Video Box Score
Cancelled
Occidental at Pomona-Pitzer
Oct. 20: All times Eastern
Final
at Johns Hopkins 52, Gettysburg 0
Video Video Box Score Recap
Oct. 21: All times Eastern
Final
at Wesley 34, Rowan 3
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Frostburg State 62, Montclair State 3
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Wittenberg 52, at DePauw 6
Video Video Box Score
Final
at Springfield 68, Catholic 20
Video Video Box Score Recap
Final
Wartburg 41, at Luther 16
Video Box Score
Final
Mount Union 66, at Wilmington 7
Video Box Score
Final
at Marietta 44, Heidelberg 21
Video Box Score Recap
Final - OT
at Washington and Jefferson 34, Westminster (Pa.) 33
Video Box Score Live stats Audio Audio
Final
Hardin-Simmons 33, at Texas Lutheran 30
Box Score Photos
Final
at Mary Hardin-Baylor 45, Belhaven 7
Video Box Score Recap
Final
St. Thomas 84, at Hamline 0
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at St. John's 41, Gustavus Adolphus 17
Video Box Score
Final
at Illinois Wesleyan 13, Carthage 10
Video Box Score
Final
at Concordia-Moorhead 42, Augsburg 20
Video Box Score Photos
Final
Berry 37, at Millsaps 22
Video Box Score Recap
Final
UW-Platteville 34, at UW-Eau Claire 14
Video Box Score Photos
Final
UW-Oshkosh 42, at UW-La Crosse 28
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at North Central (Ill.) 54, Augustana 2
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Brockport 45, Hartwick 0
Video Box Score Recap Recap
Final
at Linfield 12, George Fox 6
Video Box Score
Final
Case Western Reserve 45, at Geneva 7
Video Box Score