For the first time since Oct. 5, 2013, the Pioneers have won a football game. The win against Pomona-Pitzer snaps the 33-game losing streak for the Pioneers, one of the longest in NCAA history. After jumping out to an early 17 point lead at halftime, the Pioneers held on to win 40-29. The win was led by freshman quarterback Sawyer May ’21 who finished with 160 passing yards and three touchdowns, including a 65-yard opening drive capped off by a one-yard touchdown catch by Dejour Williams ’19.
Defensive back Pete Lahti ’19 was named Northwest Conference (NWC) Defensive Student-Athlete of the Week for recovering a fumble in the first quarter that put his team up 17 points and an interception late in the fourth quarter. Bryce Johnson ’19 was chosen for the d3football.com Team of the Week after recording a fumble recovery on a kickoff in the third quarter. Johnson is averaging 26.2 yards per kick-return, second in the NWC this year.
Not one current LC student has ever seen the football team win a game. For many students, including Zander Nicholson ’18, the win felt like a surge in school spirit that they had never felt before.
“I felt proud of our team for all the work they’ve put in so far and it’s made me even more excited for the rest of the season,” Nicholson said.
For fans of the football team like Davida Johnson ’19, the win provided a much needed lift to her friends on the football team.
“The football season is my favorite part of the year,” Davida Johnson said. “They’re all my friends and football is my life.”
Defensive linebacker Matt Odell ’19 touched upon the Pio’s numerous losses over the past few years.
“(The losses) are just learning experiences,” Odell said. “I hate losing, and so does everyone else on the team. But at the same time we’re only getting better, the team has only gotten stronger … You put in as much as you contribute from the team.” Odell added, “I really trust our starters. They’re doing a lot better than last year which is a great improvement.”
Many football players gave credit to their new coach, Jay Locey, for the win.
“(Locey) always has a plan and he always comes out with a lot of great motivation for the team and helps us get in the right mindset,” Odell said.
Before becoming head football coach for LC, Coach Locey had previous experience at Oregon State University and Linfield College.
“(Locey) had a great record at Linfield,” Odell said. “That really makes me feel confident about his game plan here.”
While this win has captured the attention of Oregon media as well as LC students who don’t attend LC for the sports scene, this win draws attention to a possibly overlooked development.
In the past three years, LC has poured too much money into a losing team. Now that the administration is seeing a return on investment, who knows how much more money they might be willing to put toward the team now.