Lack of offense proved to be the downfall for the men’s football team as it fell to the Linfield Wildcats, 30-3.
This season’s home opener was one that the offense would like to forget, seeing how it only produced 78 total yards.
The Wildcats defense came up big with four sacks and forced three Leopard turnovers.
“We came out very flat and had no type of energy,” said Oscar Bauman, sophomore wide receiver. “We needed some type of spark.”
The Wildcats seemed to start the game with all of the energy in the world, coming out with a quick bomb down the field.
They were able to finish a 60-yard drive with a 1-yard touchdown run to give them a 7-0 advantage with 13:02 left in the first quarter. Giving them a lead that they would not lose.
However, after the first Wildcat drive, the Leopards defense clamped down and held Linfield scoreless for the remainder of the quarter.
“The offense put the D in some tight places, and even though the score doesn’t reflect it, they played phenomenal,” Bauman said.
At the start of the second quarter the Wildcats increased their lead when quarterback Aaron Boehme hit Deidre Wiersma on a 15-yard strike to take a 14-0 lead.
Leopards quarterback Josh Ross was picked off on the very next possession which would lead to another Linfield touchdown, pushing the score to 21-0 in the second quarter.
After yet another stalled La Verne drive, the Wildcats would push the ball down to the Leopards four-yard line.
The defense came up big again making a goal line stop which was led by sophomore linebacker Wardell Campbell. The Wildcats were forced to settle with a field goal and ended the half with a 24-0 lead.
Heading into the third quarter Leopards still had hope that they could gain some momentum for the second half.
“Coach A (head coach Anthony Ankeney) was saying that he’s been in this position before and other players have made it out of situations worst than this,” Samuel Rhone said.
The Leopards got the ball to start the half but did not hold on to it for very long.
After catching a pass, senior wide out Pui Lok Choi was stripped by the Wildcat defense.
Once again, the Leopards’ defense stood strong and only allowed a Linfield field goal pushing the score to 27-0.
After yet another stalled La Verne drive, the Leopards defense was up against the wall and responded again.
Donald Mull was able to pick off a Boehme’s pass and returned it 13 yards to the Linfield 17 yard line.
The turnover was converted into the first Leopard points of the game when freshman kicker Alex Miller booted a 35-yard field goal. This gave the Leopards their first and only score of the game.
Linfield would get the ball back and try to add to the score late in the fourth quarter, but the Leopards defense would not allow much.
The Wildcats were held to yet another field goal which gave the game a final score of 30-3.
“We are going to try to perfect what we do well and fix what we are doing wrong,” said Dakota Bates, sophomore tight end.
La Verne (0-2) will try and get its first win since 2008 as the team begins Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play with a road game at 7 p.m. tomorrow against undefeated Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (2-0).
Justin Davis-Battle can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.