by Heather Baxter
Assistant Sports Editor
After three disappointing losses over the past three weeks, the University of La Verne’s football team traveled to Cal Lutheran University for the Kingsmen’s Homecoming looking to redeem itself. With a 47-18 victory, the Leopards did just that, jumping on the Kingsmen early and often.
La Verne scored 24 points in the first quarter alone, the second highest first quarter for an opponent at Cal Lu.
After winning the toss, Cal Lutheran deferred to the second half and kicked off to senior Jonathan Johnson. Quarterback Aaron Becker, after driving 45 yards, passed to Tremaine Mayeaux, who scored the first of La Verne’s six touchdowns.
The Leopards’ second touchdown came after Cal Lu’s punt was blocked and then recovered by ULV defensive back DeAndre O’Neal at the Kingsmen 2-yard line. Becker then rushed for 2 yards to complete the second score for La Verne. After Flynn Turner completed his second kick attempt, the score was 14-0.
La Verne finished the first quarter leading 24-0 after a Turner field goal and a 44-yard interception return by Chris Oliver.
The Leopards held the ball for over nine minutes in that first quarter, holding Cal Lu to a dismal 5:33 possession time. The Kingsmen also failed to complete any of their four third-down conversions.
The second quarter would be the first time that the Kingsmen would score, which would come from Ryan Geisler’s 25-yard field goal at the end of the quarter. By that time, La Verne had tallied 14 more points, leaving the score 38-3.
Leopard Josh Long figured highly in the scoring in the second quarter, recovering a fumble at the start of the quarter and completing a 1-yard run for the first of two La Verne touchdowns in the quarter.
The La Verne offense seemed to expend the majority of its energy in the first half. La Verne scored nine points in the second half, two from a safety in the third quarter and seven in the fourth on a 1-yard run from Travis Lerma.
Although the Kingsmen offense appeared to get a much needed boost, scoring two touchdowns in the second half, the deficit that they had to overcome was too great, leaving La Verne the victor.
The Leopards dominated throughout the entire game, keeping possession of the ball for 40:27 in the game compared to Cal Lu’s 19:33. The Kingsmen completed one-of-12 third-down conversions, and completed only one-of-three fourth downs.
As the Leopards held the ball for a majority of the game time, they dominated the hosts, outrushing the Kingsmen 158 to 72, as well as outpassing them with 236 to 222 yards.
“Our offense is slowly getting better. Our offensive line is stepping up,” said quarterback Jeremy Mears, who entered the game after starter Becker left the game after a hard hit.
“There are still areas we need a lot of improvement,” said Mears. “But, that is the case anywhere you go.”