Football loses Homecoming, 17-7

Claremont-Mudd-Scripps freshman quarterback Jake Norville is upended after being tackled by La Verne sophomore defensive back Torii Hilbert, assisted by freshman defensive-back Johnnie Padilla, junior defensive linesman Austin Brown and senior linebacker Connor Truhitte in the third quarter. The Stags came out on top, winning 17-7 on La Verne’s homecoming night. The Leopards will face the Pomona-Pitzer Sagehens at 7 p.m. Saturday at Merritt Field in Claremont. / photo by Taylor Griffith
Claremont-Mudd-Scripps freshman quarterback Jake Norville is upended after being tackled by La Verne sophomore defensive back Torii Hilbert, assisted by freshman defensive-back Johnnie Padilla, junior defensive linesman Austin Brown and senior linebacker Connor Truhitte in the third quarter. The Stags came out on top, winning 17-7 on La Verne’s homecoming night. The Leopards will face the Pomona-Pitzer Sagehens at 7 p.m. Saturday at Merritt Field in Claremont. / photo by Taylor Griffith

Crystian Mendoza
Sports Editor

A festive Homecoming day ended on a low note for the Leopards, with a 17-7 loss to rival Claremont-Mudd-Scripps on Saturday at Ortmayer Stadium.

“It was a hard-fought battle by two teams,” head coach Chris Krich said. “It was hard because we came up on the short side, but our kids fought and fought all day so I was proud of our defense, they were on the field quite a bit.”

Sophomore running back Garrett Cheadle opened the scoreboard for the Stags by finishing up a six play 27-yard drive, forcing a 2-yard run and making it a 6-0 game for CMS.

Scripps junior defensive lineman Mitchell Allan went for the extra point, but was blocked by La Verne sophomore defensive-back Torii Hilbert, and picked up by senior linebacker Jose Aguero who returned it to the 40-yard line before being stopped.

“Blocking the kick, you’re either going to block it or you’re not,” Hilbert said. “I was just doing my job.”

Following the play, sophomore quarterback for La Verne Matthew Simko picked out senior wide receiver Jelahny Garnett with a 57-yard pass tying the game, 6-6. Leopard junior kicker Eric Rembecky added the extra point, making it 7-6, but that was the Leopards’ only lead of the game.

“Coming in I was feeling really good, I felt like our team was juiced up and ready to go,” Aguero said.

“It was a great turning point and I thought we were going to pick it up from there… Our defense and offense are playing hard, there’s just the mental mistakes we really need to capitalize on and get them fixed.”

The second quarter saw sophomore quarterback Sam Taylor come on for La Verne while CMS got an additional two points by getting a safety, making it an 8-7 game for the Stags.

La Verne called for a time out with 1:52 remaining in the second quarter, and after play resumed, they missed their 27-yard field-goal attempt with the ball going wide right.

Before the quarter ended, Stags senior running back Nick Gott picked up a personal foul for roughing senior Leopard kicker Russell Boucher, who had to be assisted off the field.

“I thought we put together a good game plan,” Taylor said. “In the first half we were going neck and neck, some turnovers started to kill us and the defense just can’t get the stop every time… As an offense we have to take it upon ourselves to put more points on the board.”

The Stags added an additional three points in the third quarter thanks to Allan’s 43-yard field-goal following a seven play 20-yard drive, making it an 11-7 game for CMS.

La Verne was unable to stop the Stags in the fourth quarter as CMS added another touchdown, courtesy of sophomore running-back Spencer Sheff’s one-yard run following an eight play, 62-yard drive ending the game at 17-7 for the Stags.

La Verne now has a record of 1-3 in Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play and 2-4 overall.

They will next travel to face Pomona-Pitzer at 7 p.m. Saturday.

“I was happy with our newer and younger players and I’m glad that they’re stepping up,” Krich said.
“We’re going to heal up, that’s what we’re going to do… We’re a little beat up right now, so that’s our main focus.”

Crystian Mendoza can be reached at crystian.mendoza@laverne.edu.

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