Visiting Cal Lutheran made its case to the University of La Verne as one of the top teams in Division III, dominating the first three quarters of action in cruising to a 52-17 triumph over the Leopards in SCIAC football action Saturday at Ortmayer Stadium.
The Kingsmen, ranked #13 in the latest D3football.com Top 25 Poll, took a 35-3 lead on La Verne into halftime, scoring on five of their first six offensive possessions before the break. CLU added a pair of scores early in the third quarter on its way to improving to 4-1 overall and 3-0 in conference play.
The first three scores for the Kingsmen came on passing plays as quarterback Jake Laudenslayer connected first with Eric Rogers on a 6 yard scoring pass, then later connected with Frankie Jones for a 35 yard score. CLU went up 21-0 in the second quarter when Laudenslayer found Eric Bueno for a 5-yard score.
Cal Lutheran scored by way of its defense when Justin Halcy-Batemen picked off a Leopard pass and returned it 20 yards for a touchdown for a 28-0 lead.
The Leopards, who were coming off their 30-21 win over Occidental a week earlier, finally got on the board on a 32-yard field goal from Alex Miller to cut the deficit to 28-3. But CLU responded by covering 49 yards on two plays, culminating on a 15-yard run from Laudenslayer with 15 seconds remaining before the half.
CLU running back Daniel Mosier, who entered the contest averaging over 100 yards rushing per game, tallied 174 yards on 16 carries, including a 76-yard scoring run in the opening minute of the third quarter to give the Kingsmen a 42-3 lead. On its next drive, two rushes from Mosher of 5 and 29 yards set up a 35-yard scoring pass from Laudenslayer to Jones.
In the fourth quarter, La Verne would earn two scoring drives resulting in touchdowns.
Leopard reserve quarterback Garry Hedlund helped account for a pair of four quarter scores. He connected with Andres Fernandes for a 30-yard touchdown with 13:36 remaining to cap a 4-play, 57-yard drive. Later he led the Leos on an 11-play, 71-yard drive which he completed with a 3-yard scoring run with 4:06 remaining. Hedlund finished 9-of-16 through the air for 109 yards.
Statistically, the Leopards outgained Cal Lutheran 395-391 and held a 23-18 edge in first downs, but suffered three turnovers on the day.
La Verne (1-4, 1-2 SCIAC) continues action next week at home with a visit from Chapman University in the Leopards' annual Homecoming contest, scheduled for a 1:00 pm kickoff at Ortmayer Stadium.