Quarterback Mike Owens passed for two touchdowns and ran for a third to lead Whittier College to a 32-8 victory over the University of San Diego at Torero Stadium on Saturday night.
Junior fullback John Castenada ran for 100 yards on 22 carries for Whittier, scoring on a 34-yard run with 8:41 left in the half. Aldin Tatley added a 34-yard field goal for the Poets, who evened their record to 1-1. USD is 0-2.
“They just beat us,” USD Coach Brian Fogarty said. “It’s embarrassing. They didn’t do anything we didn’t expect--maybe we underestimated them. It was an all-around poor game for us.”
USD’s only score came with 4:51 left in the third quarter, with Whittier ahead, 17-0. Pat Dixon threw a six-yard touchdown pass to Mike Sears. Jeff Mansukhani ran in the ensuing two-point conversion.
But the Toreros could get no closer. With 10 seconds left in the third quarter, Owens fired a 19-yard touchdown pass to Ramon Juarez. Owens completed a pass to George Casillas for a two-point conversion, making the score 25-8.
The Poet lead swelled to 32-8 after 6:46 elapsed in the fourth quarter, when Owens connected with tight end Ron Sykes for a 19-yard touchdown pass.
Owens completed 11 of 25 attempts for 113 yards. Dixon was 17 of 34 for 131 yards, and was intercepted twice. Sears had five catches for 70 yards for USD.
The Toreros, who rely heavily on the running game, could never get moving on the ground against the Poets. USD had just 69 yards rushing on 30 carries, compared to Whittier’s total of 188. Mark Covarrubias led USD with 41 yards on 16 carries.
“We felt like we had to throw to win the game,” Fogarty said. “But we also had to run the ball better than we did.”
USD’s next game is next Saturday night at Pomona Pitzer College.