Second half breakdown leads to loss

Running back Aaron Karmann makes the first touchdown attempt in the second quarter against Redlands. Karmann was tackled by Redlands' defensive back Marcus Tromp. Later, Karmann scored a touchdown for the Leopards. / photo by Liz Lucsko
Running back Aaron Karmann makes the first touchdown attempt in the second quarter against Redlands. Karmann was tackled by Redlands’ defensive back Marcus Tromp. Later, Karmann scored a touchdown for the Leopards. / photo by Liz Lucsko

by Chad Harp
Staff Writer

Coming off a convincing victory over Occidental, the Leopards headed down the Interstate 10 to the University of Redlands.

There the Leopards showed how good, and bad, they could be.

The players set off the Bulldogs homecoming parties early by throwing the game away in the second half, losing 21-40.

Sitting in the Redlands stands, feeling confident and cheering on the Leopards as they marched off the field with a halftime lead, the fans were supportive of their team’s lead.

The finale of fireworks symbolized La Verne’s climax.

But the Leopards forgot to show up in the second half as they gave up 26 points and scored none.

The start of the second half showed great competition on both sides of the ball.

The La Verne offense could not do much against Redlands and vice-versa.

Coming off another Leopard specialty, a turnover, the Bulldogs tied the game at 21 with an eight play, 80-yard drive.

That score did not last for long, though, as only 1:44 ran off the game clock.

The Leopards’ special teams completely shifted the momentum of the game.

With a high snap over punter Randy McGillivry, the Leopards chased down and recovered the ball and then ran it through the back of the end zone for a safety.

With Redlands maintaining a 23-21 lead and the ball heading into the fourth quarter, the Bulldogs quickly tacked on another score.

John Dixon caught a nine-yard touchdown pass.

This brought the score to 30-21, after the Sean Lipscomb extra point.

Reuniting the troops, the Leopards’ offense started driving the ball to eat away at the clock.

Working the ball into Redlands’ territory, the Leopards found themselves inside the Bulldog 40-yard line.

That was a far as they would venture, though, as Redlands Brian Ballard intercepted a La Verne pass and scampered 70 yards.

Ballard then flipped into the end zone causing a wild frenzied excitement among players and fans alike.

After this, the game became out of reach for the Leopards.

With penalty yards against Lipscomb trying to kick the P.A.T., he made the score 21-37.

With less than two minutes remaining in the game, Lipscomb kicked a 38-yard field goal to add insult to injury as the Bulldogs sent the Leopards home with a upsetting 21-40.

The game started off about as bad as it ended.

Receiving the kickoff, the Leopards wasted no time getting their defense on the field as the offense fumble on their first play of the game. The Bulldogs took the hand out and scored three plays after to jump to a quick 7-0 lead. Allowing another score in the first, the Leopards went into the second quarter down 14-0.

La Verne played the second quarter in a way it has not played since the 1999 season. The Leopards scored three times in the second quarter, but that was the only quarter they scored in.

Travis Lerma punched in two of the touchdowns and Aaron Karman ran in the last one with a little more than two minutes before half time.

“The second quarter, we played like we can,” said linebacker Brandon Pollard.

The Leopard game play makes many wonder exactly what is going on this season.

The bakery that was shut down against Occidental was definitely back in business last weekend.

The Leopards were able to pop out five turnovers in the game. But La Verne also showed how well they could play by dominating one of the best teams in the conference during the second quarter.

Many look to see exactly what team is going to show up this Saturday as the Leopards host Azusa Pacific University at 1 p.m.

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