THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – On Homecoming weekend the Cal
Lutheran football team treated its fan base to a 38-7 win over
Pomona-Pitzer Colleges on Saturday. For the third consecutive week
the Kingsmen led by 30 points or more and cruised to victory.
It did not take long for CLU to grab the lead as the Kingsmen received the opening kickoff and went 74 yards on 11 plays capped by a Deme'Trek Chambers' one-yard touchdown run. CLU established its running game on the game's opening drive rushing 10 times, including nine carries for Chambers. The one pass play of the drive went for 18 yards as quarterback Jake Laudenslayer found wide out Jake Speckhard.
Chambers finished the game with 131 yards rushing on 25 carries and two touchdowns. He increased his SCIAC-leading touchdown total to 10 on the year, all coming in the last four games.
The Sagehens started their number two quarterback Luke Ferguson in order to give rest to the usual starter Jacob Caron and Ferguson was intercepted on Pomona-Pitzer's third play of the game with Jacob Norlock coming up with the pick for CLU.
After the turnover it was more CLU running on display with nine runs plays on the drive and two pass plays, both going to wide receiver Eric Rogers and his second catch was a three-yard touchdown to put CLU up 14-0. Facing third and three, Laudenslayer lobbed a fade pass to the back right corner of the end zone and Rogers made the catch.
CLU's defense forced two turnovers on the day and held the Sagehens to just 183 total yards for the game, yielding 60 yards on the ground and 123 through the air.
The Kingsmen would take advantage of a fumble recovery by Rian Younker late in the first half and Jackson Damron converted on a 42-yard field goal in the final seconds of the second quarter. Damron had a pass attempt on the previous drive as CLU attempted a fake field goal, but the kicker's throw was batted down and it was turned over on downs.
On its first drive of the third quarter CLU padded its lead with an eight-play, 64-yard drive that ended with a six-yard touchdown pass from Laudenslayer to Carlton Richard. Richard was lined up out wide on the right side and was left completely uncovered, allowing for an easy touchdown.
The touchdown was Richard's only catch of the game. Rogers led all receivers with seven catches for 91 yards and a score.
Laudenslayer totaled 140 passing yards with 12 completions on 25 attempts and two touchdowns. He went over the 1,000-yard mark for the season bringing his passing yardage total to 1,081 to go along with nine touchdowns.
Later in the third, Chambers scampered in from 24 yards out, giving the Kingsmen a 31-0 lead. After Robert McNitt caught a six-yard touchdown from Ferguson to account for the lone Pomona-Pitzer score, CLU answered with a 17-yard scoring strike from quarterback Lee Mondol to wide out Matt O'Brien.
O'Brien caught three passes for 41 yards on the day.
Linebackers Loren Powers and Norlock led CLU in tackles with six apiece. Two of Norlock's went for a loss and he recorded the only interception of the game.
Jordan Barta came into the game ranked second in the nation with 1.6 sacks per game and he picked up his ninth of the season, sacking Ferguson in the third quarter.
Sean Post led all players with two sacks. Younker recorded five tackles to go along with his fumble recovery.
The Kingsmen totaled 367 yards on offense with 157 passing and 210 rushing.
CLU kept the NCAA Division III leader in receptions relatively quiet. Pomona-Pitzer wide out Robert Maki entered play averaging a nation-best 12 receptions per game and on Saturday the Kingsmen limited him to six catches for 60 yards.
Luke Sweeney rushed 20 times for 74 yards to lead the Sagehens and he added two catches for 18 yards.
Cal Lutheran is ranked 23rd in the latest D3football.com top-25 and are 22nd in the AFCA poll.
With Redlands (5-1, 3-1 SCIAC) knocking off Occidental (4-2, 3-1 SCIAC) 51-7 in Redlands on Saturday, the Kingsmen take sole possession of first place in the conference.
Cal Lutheran (5-1, 4-0 SCIAC) will be on the road next week at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (5-1, 2-1 SCIAC) with the game set to kickoff at 1 p.m. on Oct. 30.