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Posed shot of Jacob O'Connell with the SCIAC logo

Jacob O'Connell Earns SCIAC Defensive Player of the Week Award for CMS Football

CLAREMONT, Calif. - Senior safety Jacob O'Connell of the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps football team earned the SCIAC Defensive Player of the Week for games through Saturday, Sept. 30, the league office announced today.

O'Connell earned the honor after a big interception return for a touchdown in the Stags' 30-20 win over Pomona-Pitzer in the Sixth Street Rivalry game on Saturday. Pomona-Pitzer took the opening kickoff and drove into CMS territory threatening to score, but O'Connell stepped in front of a Sagehen receiver and ran it back 79 yards for a touchdown with 10:41 left in the first quarter. 

It was the first of two "pick six" plays for the Stags after Thanio Bright, who won the SCIAC Defensive Player of the Week after a 24-15 win at Chicago on opening weekend, followed with a 35-yard interception return 15 seconds later. 

O'Connell also had a touchdown last week, sealing a 49-28 win over Cal Lutheran with a 46-yard interception return. In his college debut against Pomona-Pitzer in 2021, he had an 85-yard return in the final minute to finish off a 26-3 win. 

CMS has had an award winner in every week this season on its way to a 4-0 start. In addition to Bright and O'Connell, Rich Brutto earned the Special Teams Player of the Week Award after his game-winning 47-yard field goal with one second left against George Fox, and Walter Kuhlenkamp was the Offensive Player of the Week last week after accounting for 319 yards and three touchdowns in the Cal Lutheran win. 

CMS will be back in action on Saturday when it travels to Chapman, hoping to improve to 3-0 in SCIAC.