CMS Football Opens with Big 24-15 Road Win over Chicago
CHICAGO, Ill. - Justin Edwards ran for two touchdowns, Anderson Cynkar had a 73-yard touchdown reception, and Thanio Bright had two interceptions as the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps football team earned a 24-15 road win over Chicago to open up the 2023 season.
The non-conference battle featured a pair of teams coming off seven-win seasons a year ago, with the Maroons ending at 7-3 and the Stags finishing the 2022 season at 7-2. CMS jumped out to a 10-0 lead early, fell behind 15-10, and then finished out the game with the final two scores on a one-yard Edwards run and the 73-yard touchdown from Walter Kuhlenkamp to Cynkar.
The CMS defense set the tone early by holding Chicago to two yards on its first three plays, with Connor Cryan breaking up a third-down pass to give CMS the ball just 54 seconds into the game. Edwards then had his first of two one-yard rushes to give the Stags the early 7-0 lead with 8:31 left in the first quarter.
After another three-and-out, CMS used a pair of long Edwards runs to get into the red zone, and Richard Brutto connected on a 20-yard field goal to make it a 10-0 game with 3:33 left in the first.
Chicago responded with two straight touchdown drives, although the Maroons missed both extra points, to keep it a 12-10 lead. CMS came up with a big defensive stop on the next Chicago possession to swing momentum, stopping the Maroons at the two-yard line to force a field goal which extended the lead to 15-10 with 6:15 left in the half.
Edwards then broke loose for a 32-yard run to take the ball from midfield to the Chicago 18-yard line. A penalty pushed CMS back five yards, but Kuhlenkamp found Daniel Rosenberg for nine yards and Mason Cotton for 11 yards down to the 2, and Edwards had back-to-back one-yard rushes to give CMS back the lead at 17-15 with 1:27 left in the half. Chicago drove to the CMS 30, but Bright had the first of his interceptions to prevent the Maroons from trying a go-ahead field goal.
Both defenses dominated the start of the second half, with five straight three-and-outs combined, but CMS got the big play that turned the game, as Kuhlenkamp found Cynkar up the left sideline on 3rd-and-11, and Cynkar was able to fight off one would-be tackler to take it to the end zone and put CMS ahead 24-15.
Caleb Chang and Jacob O'Connell combined on a tackle for no gain on 4th-and-1 on the next Chicago possession at the Maroon 35. Chicago tried to swing momentum with a blocked field goal, and then a forced fumble to take over on the CMS 40 with 7:42 to go, but Bright earned his second interception to kill that drive and keep CMS in front 24-15. A missed 48-yard field goal with 2:37 to go then sealed the win for the Stags.
Elijah Costa led the CMS defense with six tackles, including 3.5 for losses, while Kirby Baynes, O'Connell and Addison Reddinger each had five.
CMS will be back in action in two weeks when it hosts its home opener against George Fox on Sept. 16 at 12:30 p.m.