WHITTIER, Calif. – The University of La Verne stunned the Poets with a 28-point third quarter as it earned its first win of the season, 49-23, over Whittier on Saturday afternoon at Memorial Stadium.
The Poets (2-7, 1-5 SCIAC) led 17-14 at halftime but surrendered 411 second half yards to the previously winless Leopards.
The third quarter started with an 88-yard touchdown run by Allen Daniels. The Leopards opened the half with a 21-yard rush that was called back for holding. The next snap gave La Verne a 21-17 lead at the 14:21 mark.
Whittier answered and reclaimed the lead on its next possession but 21 points to close out the third frame gave the Leopards a comfortable 42-23 lead.
Despite facing a 3rd and 25 from its own 17 the Poets managed to move the chains. Alesana Sausau found Josh Ollison for 45 yards down the sideline and on the next play, the two hooked-up for seven points on a 38-yard scoring strike.
Ollison finished with 154 yards receiving and two touchdowns.
Whittier's 23-21 lead was short lived as a 4-play, 73-yard, drive gave ULV a 28-23 advantage. The eventual game winner drive was capped by a 39-yard Erek Brown scoring run.
An interception ended Whittier's next drive and La Verne capitalized with its second 88-yard scoring run of the quarter. Brown found the endzone for the second straight series to push the Leopard lead to 35-23.
Another turnover ended Whittier's next possession and for the second time in as many chances La Verne took advantage. This time it was Thomas Arguello who found Matt Griffin from 31 yards out, making the score 42-23 with 26 seconds left in the third frame.
Brown ran for 188 yards and two touchdowns and Arguello was 15-of-22 for 193 yards a pair of scores.
Arguello and Griffin found the endzone for the second time for the only score of the fourth quarter.
The Poets turned the ball over three times in the third quarter and were outscored 28-6.
As a team, La Verne ran for 380 yards. The Poets were held to just 129 yards on the ground. The Leopards totaled 586 yards.
Tyson Schilling and Aaron Alonzo combined for 6.5 tackles for loss. Schilling had two sacks for 15 yards while Alonzo totaled 11 yards on his three tackles for loss. Alonzo also forced two fumbles.
Eric Cejudo started the scoring for Whittier with a 22-yard field goal at 4:04 of the first quarter. Ollison and Sausau made the score 10-0 at the 14:53 mark of the second on a 37-yard touchdown pass.
Rodrigo Muratalla pounded the ball into the endzone from nine yards out at 8:50 of the second.