WHITTIER, Calif. – Whittier ran for a season-low 94 yards and turned the ball over four times as No. 22 Cal Lutheran defeated the Poets, 30-3, on Saturday evening at Memorial Stadium in front of a crowd of 2387.
The rushing attack was held to a 4.5 yard per rush attempt while Whittier managed a mere 60 yards through the air. Cal Lutheran outgained the Poets 304 to 154 for the game.
The Kingsmen overcame an early turnover to score the only first quarter touchdown with 56 seconds left. Deme'Trek Chambers finished a 3-play, 57-yard, drive with a 25-yard scoring run.
Whittier (1-3, 0-2 SCIAC) punted on its first possession and had its second drive end on an interception. Following the turnover, the defense gave the ball right back to the offense as Travis Driskell recorded the defensive hat trick.
Driskell brought pressure on CLU quarterback Jake Laudenslayer off the edge, recorded the sack, caused the fumble and recovered the loose ball at the Poets' 47 yard line. Whittier moved in the wrong direction on its ensuing drive going back 17 yards and punting the ball back to the Kingsmen on fourth down.
CLU scored three plays later.
The defense of the purple and gold held the Kingsmen to an 0-for-3 effort on third down in the second quarter but allowed Cal Lu to move the chains on 2-of-3 fourth downs. The Kingsmen capitalized on its fourth down conversions and found the endzone for the second time of the game with 2:24 left before half.
Chambers capped a 7-play, 30-yard, drive with a 1-yard run.
Cal Lutheran opened the second half with an 8-play, 60-yard, drive that ended with a Laudenslayer to Max Eller touchdown reception. The Poets struggled to find room to run against the Kingsmen defense and ran seven plays that resulted in a pair of punts.
A bad snap on Whittier's punt in the fourth quarter gave the ball to Cal Lutheran at the Whittier 20 but the defense held the Kingsmen to three points. The 7-play drive went 17 yards and gave CLU a 23-0 lead at the 9:24 mark of the fourth quarter.
The Kingsmen scored in just one play on its next possession on a 44-yard touchdown pass from Laudenslayer to Carlton Richard.
Whittier prevented the shutout on its final drive on a Eric Cejudo's 40-yard field goal. The kick was set-up by Tyquion Ballard 46-yard run.
Ballard finished as the leading rusher for the Poets with 55 yards on five carries. Rodrigo Muratalla carried eight times for 49 yards while Marcus Langkilde gained 18 yards on five carries.
Alesana Sausau finished 9-of-15 for 41 yards.
Driskell and Aaron Alonzo each had nine tackles for the Poets. Driskell had one sack while Alonzo recorded a half sack.
The Poets will return to action next Saturday afternoon as they host Chapman at 2 pm.