Photo by Chris Mora
THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — The La Verne football team's high-flying offense was contained at least for one night as Cal Lutheran beat the Leopards, 45-13, on Saturday night at Rolland Stadium.
La Verne falls to 0-3 and opens the SCIAC season with a loss. Cal Lutheran goes to 1-2 and 1-0 in the SCIAC.
It was a matchup between one of the nation's best offenses and one of its best defenses and the defense prevailed.
La Verne was ranked seventh in NCAA Division III in total offense going into the game and the Kingsmen had the 48th-ranked defense. But La Verne quarterback Josh Evans, who went into the game averaging almost 350 yards of total offense, was bottled up for 182 tonight and the Leopards were held to 162 yard rushing which, while still excellent, was more than 200 yards fewer than the season average.
Cal Lutheran's defense forced three turnovers in the first half and its offense struck early. On the game's opening drive, Cal Lutheran quarterback Adam Friederichsen connected with Aaron Lacombe for a 62-yard touchdown and the Kingsmen never looked back.
Friedrichsen tossed another touchdown to Diego Hernandez and Foorever Campbell punched in a 1-yard run to give the Kingsmen a 21-0 lead going into the break.
Dallas Parent rushed for a 67-yard touchdown on the second play of the second half and the Leopards looked poised to get back into the game as they had done on many occasions last season.
But the Kingsmen marched down the field for a touchdown on the ensuing drive and converted a field goal to increase their lead to 31-7. Evans completed 5-of-6 passes on La Verne's drive after the field goal and Parent punctuated it with his second touchdown run of the game to trim the lead back to 31-13.
However, the Kingsmen once again had an immediate response as Fridriechsen found Lacombe for a 51-yard touchdown on the first play of the next drive. Friedrichsen added a 48-yard rushing score in the fourth quarter to seal the game for Cal Lutheran.
Parent finished the game with 124 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 17 attempts.
Robert Fernandez gained 58 yards and 13 carries as a change-of-pace back.
Friederichsen completed 20-of-32 passes for 293 yards and four touchdowns and added 126 yards on the ground. Lacombe finished with 143 receiving yards and two touchdowns.
The Leopards return to action next week at home against Redlands.