The 2,000 or so folks on hand for the SCIAC showdown between Pomona-Pitzer and the University of Redlands at Ted Runner Stadium on Saturday were disappointed that junior tailback Luke Sweeney of the Sagehens remained on the sideline instead of seeing game action.
Sweeney came into that game leading the nation in rushing, averaging 182 yards per game despite being on a team that was 0-3. He ran for a lot of yardage against average opponents so this was going to be the first time he was to be challenged by a tough defense.
But it didn’t happen.
Sagehens coach Roger Caron said his player was “banged up” and not able to go. Sweeney is just 5-foot-7 and 165 pounds and had carried the ball 116 times in those three games. Caron said he made the decision to hold Sweeney out after the pregame warmup, although Sweeney wanted to go. But he had also missed practice all week.
Not only was Sweeney out, Caron said a total of eight starters missed the game. He expects two, possible three back for this week’s game against Occidental.
“For any team that’s tough to overcome but especially for us because we only have 35 to start with,” Caron said on Monday.
Not surprisingly, Redlands won the game 61-20.
Caron added that Sweeney will probably play this week but who knows if that is even a real teest since Occidental lost to La Verne. After Occidental, the Sagehens get Cal Lutheran.