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Walter Kuhlenkamp ran for two TDs and threw for a third
Walter Kuhlenkamp ran for two TDs and threw for a third

CMS Football Pulls Away from Cal Lutheran for 49-28 Win in SCIAC Opener

CLAREMONT, Calif. - After winning a defensive battle last weekend 16-7 over George Fox, the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps football team turned around and won an offensive shootout, defeating Cal Lutheran 49-28 on Saturday afternoon at Zinda Field in the conference opener for both teams.

With the win, CMS improves to 3-0 on the season, including 1-0 in the SCIAC, while Cal Lutheran falls to 1-2 with the loss. 

Quarterback Walter Kuhlenkamp ran 17 times for 90 yards and two touchdowns, while completing 18-of-29 passes for 229 yards and another score, a 72-yard strike to Ben Kim in the second half that helped break the game open. Justin Edwards ran for three touchdowns for the Stags, increasing his career total to 34 as only a junior, just four shy of the program set by Chris Dabrow from 1984-87.

Cesar Fernandez led CMS with 11 tackles, and a momentum-changing forced fumble, when he knocked the ball away from behind at the CMS two-yard line, causing it to go out of the end zone and give the Stags the ball on a touchback to preserve a 28-14 lead in the third quarter. 

Just three plays later, Kuhlenkamp threw a long pass up the left seam, finding Kim alone behind the Cal Lutheran defense for a 72-yard touchdown, quickly turning what looked like a 28-21 game into a 35-14 CMS lead. 

Cal Lutheran pulled back within 35-21, but CMS went 75 yards in 14 plays, chewing up 8:26 of clock, to pull ahead 42-21 on a  one-yard touchdown run from Edwards with 4:02 left. Two plays later, Tarius Hamlin had his second pass deflection of the game at the line of scrimmage, and this one bounced up in the air where Jacob O'Connell was able to pull it in and run 46-yards for a touchdown to seal it. The Kingsmen added one more touchdown in the final two minutes to close out the scoring. 

The CMS defense produced another big turnover early, moments after the Stags had taken their first lead at 14-7. Emmett Thomas King III came on a blitz and forced a fumble, which was recovered by Harry Zhou at the Cal Lutheran 12. Two plays later, Kuhlenkamp rushed in from five yards out to make it a 21-7 CMS lead with 6:13 left in the half. 

Thanio Bright and O'Connell each had six tackles for the Stags, while Gabe Gangi-Saroukhanioff had five special teams tackles. Kirby Baynes added an interception for the Stags, while Thomas MacEachron had a sack. Kim finished with 94 yards on six catches for the offensive attack. 

CMS will be back in action when it hosts Pomona-Pitzer on Saturday for a 1 p.m. contest. For the first time in decades, the Stags will not be closing the regular season with the Sixth Street Rivalry game, due to the new format which sees the SCIAC hosting a championship game between the two division winners on the season's final week (which could still be a Sixth Street Rivalry game, since CMS and Pomona-Pitzer are in opposite divisions).