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Football written off by Poets, 20-17

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by Heather Baxter
Assistant Sports Editor

The fumble came on the Whittier 38-yard line. The University of La Verne football team had had a difficult time all night holding on to the ball. On the most pivotal play in the game, it set the Poets up for the 60-yard pass that gave them the lead and the win, 20-17, in the season-closing game the Leopards led from the beginning.

La Verne took a 7-0 lead five minutes into the second quarter. A Whittier interception led to a fumble, giving La Verne possession. The Leopards fought to the goal line, allowing Flynn Turner to complete a 26-yard field goal for a 10-0 La Verne lead.

The Poets, plagued with faulty ball control in the first half, fumbled on the kickoff and set up ULV for its next score.

After an offsides foul from the Poets, Becker hit tight end Cam Styles from the 1-yard line for the score. ULV led 17-0 with 10:00 left in the second.

This was the last time the Leopards put points on the board, as incomplete passes, fumbles, penalties and interceptions plagued them for the remainder of the game. The Poets jumped on the costly mistakes early and often.

The Poets put their first points on the board in the second quarter. Whittier quarterback Mark Mejia’s ability to take advantage of the open field allowed the Poets to score their first touchdown.

The first half of play ended with the Leopards leading, 17-7.

The second half began with a La Verne fumble, recovered by Whittier on the La Verne 43. A personal foul against the Leopards allowed the Poets to gain more ground. But, an interception by Leopard defensive back Chris Perry gave possession back to La Verne.

Perry took the ball to Whittier territory, but an illegal block call against La Verne forced La Verne to their own 10-yard line. A bevy of incomplete passes forced the Leopards to punt the ball.

Despite Mejia being sacked, the Poets fought to the 33-yard line, setting themselves up for a 39-yard field goal.

Another field goal later in the quarter, this one from 23 yards, closed the gap. The score was 17-13 and the Leopards had not been able to get close enough to the goal line to score any points in over nine minutes.

A fumble on the next La Verne possession led to the final touchdown of the night. Mejia completed a 60-yard pass to wide receiver Kenny Bohman to put the Poets on top, 20-17.

Although La Verne tried to regain control of the game, their mishandling of the ball allowed for no more points.

A La Verne interception seemed to be all the momentum the Leopards needed to get back into the game, as La Verne was able to close in on the end zone. But Whittier took the ball back with an interception. A final play, where the Leopards failed to convert a fourth down on the Whittier 5-yard line, left La Verne out of luck.

“I think we played to the best of our ability,” said junior defensive back DeAndre O’Neal. “Our team is young. We’re going to come back next year strong.”

“I wish that we had played a little bit better,” said junior punter Randy McGillivry. “It seemed like we were plagued by bad luck. But, that’s the way it goes.”


2000 All-SCIAC Football

Offensive Player of the Year: Brandon Ford, Redlands, RB, SR
Defensive Player of the Year: D.J. Kolb, La Verne, DL, SR

FIRST TEAM

OFFENSE
OL — R.C. Harlan, CMS, SR
OL — Clint Treadway, UR, SR
OL — Sean Whipkey, UR, SR
OL — Pete Salazar, WC, SR
OL — Jesus Hernandez, WC, JR
WR — Brian Woodworth, CLU, JR
WR — Chad Hustead, UR, SR
WR — Kenny Bohman, WC, JR
QB — Chris Czernek, CLU, JR
QB — Mark Mejia, WC, SO
RB — Dorian Stitt, CLU, SR
RB — Ryan Gocong, CMS, SO
K — Sean Lipscomb, UR, SO
P — Sean Lipscomb, UR, SO

DEFENSE
DL — John Filson, CMS, SR
DL — Kevin Watson, OXY, SO
DL — David Seale, UR, SR
DL — Richard Sosa, WC, JR
LB — Chris Oliver, ULV, JR
LB — Josh Jansen, OXY, SR
LB — Javier Garcia, UR, JR
LB — Andres Navarro, WC, JR
DB — Jonathon Johnson, ULV, SR
DB — Ben Ballard, UR, JR
DB — Wade Smith, UR, JR
DB — Ollie Lynch, WC, JR

 

SECOND TEAM

OFFENSE
OL — Mike McHorney, CMS, JR
OL — Chad Karthauser, OXY, SR
OL — Chris Dunn, UR, SR
OL — Jake Resch, UR, SR
OL — Jure Gavran WC JR
WR — Eugene Sullivan, CLU, JR
WR — Mario Thompson, OXY, SR
TE — Sean Kelly, UR, JR
QB — Jesus Zuniga, OXY, SR
RB — Josh Kogler, CMS, JR
RB — Kamron Jones, OXY, JR
K — Ryan Geisler, CLU, SR
P — Randy McGillivry, ULV, JR

DEFENSE
DL — Travis Nagunst, CMS, JR
DL — Pat Ferrell, OXY, JR
DL — Chris Jower, UR, SR
DL — Harold Herndon, WC, JR
LB — David Oviedo, CLU, SO
LB — Ben Baumer, CMS, JR
LB — Ryan Valentine, UR, SR
LB — Pat Newland, WC, JR
DB — Sean McGaughey, CLU, SR
DB — Doug Kidney, CMS, JR
DB — Mario Franklin, ULV, SR
DB — Chuck Ortega, OXY, JR
DB — Tahir Allen, WC, JR

John Zinda Award: R.C. Harlan, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps

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