MOORPARK, Calif. - No. 19 Cal Lutheran used three third quarter touchdowns to take control and hold on for a 28-17 victory over Pacific Lutheran at Griffin Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Box Score: CLU 28, PLU 17 - F
Leading 7-3 at halftime, CLU found the end zone on its first three second half possessions to take a 28-3 lead with just under five minutes left in the third quarter. The Lutes defense had trouble stopping the big play offense of the Kingsmen and barring turnovers they were able to capitalize.
Despite completing only 13-of-23 passes CLU quarterback Jake Laudenslayer threw for 271 yards, more than 20 yards per completion. Each of Eric Rogers' three receptions went for more than 20 yards, but none was bigger than withstanding the big hit when hauling in a first down grab at the PLU two-yard line on third-and-19.
That play set up the first of three successive touchdown drives, but another receiver had a career day in leading the CLU offense.
Kingsmen newcomer Frankie Jones was the primary target of the aerial assault securing eight receptions for 170 yards. A 70-yard touchdown catch was the final CLU score of the game putting the home side up by at least four scores with just under 20 minutes left in regulation.
The running game totaled 281 yards in all led by senior tailback Daniel Mosier who racked up 166 yards on the ground. He played only three quarters and gained 85 yards on just five third quarter carries including a two-yard score.
Deme'Trek Chambers carried the ball 14 times for 60 yards in the second half and matched Mosier with a two-yard scoring run of his own on the ensuing Kingsmen possession.
While the offense racked up 552 total yards, the defense held Pacific Lutheran to only 302 yards and just 62 on the ground.
To begin the second half the PLU offense went three plays and punted before scoring a pair of fourth quarter TDs. The Lutes held the ball for nearly 20 minutes in the first half but were unable to sustain any substantial drives coming out of the halftime break.
After the CLU defense was on the field for 11 minutes and 17 seconds in the second quarter alone, that unit was on the Griffin Stadium turf only 11 minutes, 15 seconds the entire second half.
Following the second of two first quarter CLU turnovers the Kingsmen defense was faced with the Lutes starting a drive at the 20-yard line. Trailing 7-0 the Lutes failed on a fourth-and-one conversion attempt rather than possibly kicking a short field goal.
PLU running back Brandon James covered 83 yards on his 20 carries but the Lutes were forced to abandon the running game facing a sizeable deficit.
Quarterback Zack Halverson put together a pair of lengthy fourth quarter scoring drives and finished the day completing 23-of-38 passes for 240 yards and two scores.
The PLU defense snagged two interceptions and used a late third quarter pick by Sean McFadden to spark a comeback. The Lutes scored touchdowns on their next two possessions but failed to recover an onside kick in the final two minutes of regulation.
Cal Lutheran (1-1) has two weeks to prepare for its SCIAC opener against Redlands on Saturday, Oct. 1. Location and time will be announced the week of the game.