THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – After racing out to score four
unanswered touchdowns the Cal Lutheran football team turned on
cruise control en route to a 49-21 victory over La Verne at home on
Saturday. The Kingsmen passing attack netted a season-high 283
yards all from junior quarterback Jake Laudenslayer, who also threw
four touchdown passes.
Laudenslayer finished 17-for-24 to set a season-high in completions as well as yards and touchdown passes. He came out of the game with more than five minutes remaining in the third quarter and CLU leading by 42.
CLU led 21-0 before the game would see three touchdowns scored in 1:16 seconds elapsed time late in the second quarter.
Facing a fourth-and-eight Laudenslayer hooked up with sophomore Eric Rogers for a 30-yard strike with 1:46 remaining in the first half. La Verne took the ensuing kickoff and drove 63 yards on six plays with Thomas Arguello finding Matt Griffin for a 15-yard touchdown with 44 seconds left. The Leopards followed with an onside kick that was recovered by CLU with still 42 ticks remaining. Laudenslayer would eventually hit freshman Max Eller for an 18-yard touchdown and gave the Kingsmen a 35-7 advantage at the half.
Rogers hauled in a team-high five receptions for 77 yards and a score. Sophomore Matt O'Brien led CLU with 83 receiving yards, coming on four catches. Along with Rogers and Eller, junior Deme'Trek Chambers and senior Carlton Richard pulled in the other two receiving touchdowns.
Chambers added two touchdowns on the ground, giving him three on the day. He finished with 89 all-purpose yards, gaining 41 rushing, 22 receiving and 26 on his only kick return. The transfer from Cerritos College extended his team lead to eight touchdowns, all coming in the last three games.
After La Verne fumbled the ball on its opening possession, the Kingsmen took over in Leopard territory at the 12 yard line and Chambers would put CLU up 7-0 on a two-yard rush.
The Kingsmen forced a three-and-out on the ensuing La Verne drive and despite having a 20-yard touchdown pass to Rogers called back for an ineligible man downfield the Kingsmen still found the end zone as Laudenslayer hit Chambers for an 8-yard touchdown.
Laudenslayer entered the game with three touchdown passes through four games and doubled that amount with the four against the Leopards.
Midway through the second quarter the CLU quarterback found Richard slanting over the middle and the senior wide out made the grab and exploded up the middle of the field for a 47-yard touchdown.
Chambers picked up his third score on the team's first drive on the third quarter, a three-yard touchdown run.
Sophomore running back Matt Hamlett took his turn on CLU's next drive as he eluded a couple La Verne tackles and scampered up the middle for a 29-yard touchdown run, the first of his collegiate career.
At that point the Kingsmen had gone ahead 49-7 with five minutes still left to play in the third.
The Leopards really turned on their aerial attack as Arguello would finish with 300 yards passing and three touchdowns on the day. All three of the scoring passes had the junior Griffin on the other end. The La Verne junior caught nine passes for 98 yards. Fellow junior wide receiver Allen Daniels led all players with 131 receiving yards as he was on the receiving end of eight Arguello passes.
CLU junior linebacker Michael Azhocar finished with a team-high six tackles. The Kingsmen defense notched two sacks on the day with one from junior James Krausse and another by junior Sean Post.
It was the first game this season that CLU has not intercepted the opposing quarterback. They entered play on Saturday with nine picks over four games.
However it did get its takeaways as sophomore Patrick Knox made a big hit to force a fumble that was recovered by freshman Steven Keezer and junior Loren Powers picked up the fumble on La Verne's opening drive.
La Verne senior defensive end Jorge Villagomez made three sacks to lead all players.
The Kingsmen have now won their last 10 matchups with La Verne with the last victory for the Leopards in the series coming on Oct. 21, 2000.
Cal Lutheran (4-1, 3-0 SCIAC) will now prepare for its Homecoming game on Oct. 23 at 1 p.m. as it hosts Pomona-Pitzer Colleges. It will mark the final Homecoming at Mt. Clef Stadium with William Rolland Stadium being built for the 2011 season.