Tiger Honors Cap Off Cinderella Season
The Occidental Tigers capped a championship season on Dec. 6 by capturing conference offensive and defensive Player of the Year honors, as well as the John Zinda Award for performance, sportsmanship, and academics.
Quarterback Andy Collins ’06 of Zillah, Wash., who led the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference with a regular season total of 1,448 yards gained, won top offensive honors. Linebacker Mike Bryant ’06 of Alamogordo, NM, who led the conference’s stingiest defense, won top defensive honors.
Linebacker Colin MacNeil ’05 of Canyon Country is the first Occidental football player to win the Zinda Award. Another 12 Tigers received All-Conference honors.Having gone undefeated in SCIAC play to win their second conference title in four years, the Tigers surprised many by reaching the NCAA Division III West Region final on Dec. 4, where they fell 56-27 to No.2-ranked Linfield College of Oregon.
The Tigers actually led heavily favored Linfield 17-7 in the first quarter, but were unable to hold on to their lead. Linfield pulled ahead in the second quarter and never looked back.
The Tigers ended the season with a 10-2 record, having defeated Willamette of Oregon and Concordia of Minnesota before meeting Linfield. The Tigers set a new school record for playoff success and went further than any other football team in SCIAC history.