Photo by Chris Mora
CLAREMONT, Calif. — With a 26-yard reception on a 4th-and-24 play straight out of a backyard, La Verne wideout Alex Arellano became the program's all-time receptions leader with 124, passing Rick Romeo whohauled in 123 passes from 1980-83.
But the La Verne football team's offense stalled in the second half in a 34-23 loss to Claremont-Mudd-Scripps on Saturday afternoon at Burns Stadium. La Verne falls to 1-6 overall and 1-4 in SCIAC play. CMS improves to 5-2 and 3-2.
Trailing 31-16 and at the Stags' 32-yard line early in the fourth quarter, the Leopards went for it and Zachary Tomlinson was chased all over the offensive backfield before finding Arellano. Tomlinson hooked up with DaeJohn Logan for a six-yard score on the next play to bring the Leopards within one possession, 31-23.
The Leopards then forced the Stags into a three-and-out but couldn't move the chains on the ensuing offensive possession.
CMS started its next drive with 9:58 remiaining in the game but used up over eight minutes to gain 44 yards and capped off the drive with a 26-yard field goal to make it a two-possession game with just a 1:47 left.
The Stags forced La Verne to turn the ball over on downs on its final possession to seal the win.
La Verne got a fortunate break to start the game as the Stags were forced to a safety on a muffed snap on their second drive. Tomlinson then ran for a seven-yard touchdown to give the Leopards a 9-7 lead.
CMS took the lead back on a three-yard touchdown pass from Trey Reynolds to Enzo Tallerico and the Leopards answered as Dallas Parent found Ezra Broadus for a 29-yard touchdown on a trick pass play to get the Leopards back up, 16-14. But that was all the offense would manage.
Tomlinson was 14-for-28 passing and finished with 173 yards and a touchdown. He also rushed nine times for 29 yards.
Tomlinson spread the wealth, completing at least one pass to eight different receivers. Christopher Gura caught two for 53 yards and DaeJohn Logan hauled in two for 43. Arellano finished with 26 yards.
Parent finished 70 yards rushing.
Reynolds, who was slumping coming into the game, completed 23-of-34 passes for 255 yards and four touchdowns.
The Leopards are back in action next Saturday against Pomona-Pitzer at Ortmayer Stadium.