California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

    Late field goal downs Kingsmen

    Tough loss: Above, Cal Lutheran’s freshman running back Romello Goodman tries to escape a tackle from Linfield’s Chad Coburn.
    Photos by David Lopez – Staff Photographer

    For the third time in 12 months, the Linfield Wildcats and the CLU Kingsmen squared off. For the second time in as many games, it was a hotly contested battle that came down to a heartbreaking last second kick.

    The Kingsmen’s last three seasons have been ended by the Wildcats, including a 30-27 loss in the NCAA Division III First Round Playoffs in 2011. In that game the Kingsmen had a last-second game-tying 38-yard field goal attempt blocked.

    This time, Josh Kay’s 39-yard field goal downed the Kingsmen with five seconds left in the game.

    This was a wild game that included 32 penalty flags, an interception return and even a nine-yard punt.

    “If we truly want to compete at the national level, we have to compete with Linfield and have to beat Linfield,” said Kingsmen head coach Ben McEnroe. He called the Wildcats a benchmark for this team.

    California Lutheran University started hot as Kevin Ramay hit Donald Senegal on a 29-yard touchdown pass. When the defense backed this up with a three and out hold of Linfield’s offense, it felt as though the Kingsmen may start to run away with the momentum.

    However, the offense quickly cooled and the first of many momentum shifts came as the Wildcats proceeded to score the next 10 points. CLU ended the half on a long drive capped off by a 37-yard field goal by David Sandler, to tie the game at 10.

    “We were hitting on all cylinders early,” said McEnroe at halftime.

    Former San Diego Chargers special teams ace and CLU’s third all-time leading rusher Hank Bauer was at the game.

    “This is going to come down to three or four big plays in a close game like this,” said Bauer. “Usually the big plays are on defense or special teams.”

    Over the last two quarters the game was an even battle until special teams and defense made themselves heard in the form of an interception return for a touchdown, a missed extra point, and a nine-yard punt by CLU’s Sandler on the Kingsmen’s last drive. Those three plays hurt, but penalties and protection for CLU quarterback Ramay haunted the Kingsmen all afternoon.

    The Kingsmen were flagged 17 times for 143 yard’s while Ramay was sacked five times by the Wildcats. With two minutes left and the ball, the Wildcats’ senior wide receiver Lucas Jepson took over the game, making two huge catches and getting his team into field goal range.

    Josh Kay completed the win with his fourth field goal of the day from 39 yards out, leaving only five seconds on the clock for the Kingsmen. A failed Hail Mary attempt ended the game.

    The Kingsmen were nipped by the Wildcats at the end of an extremely close battle for the second game in a row.

    CLU needed to “prove itself as a national competitor without the benefit [of] Jake Laudenslayer taking snaps,” said D3fooball.com’s Ryan Tipps.

    Ramay and the Kingsmen did just that by playing a top five team even until the final second.

    CLU’s Eric Rogers and freshman standout running back Romello Goodman both had strong days. Rogers snatched 10 catches for 142 yards and Goodman had 23 carries for 95 yards, including an explosive 68-yard touchdown run.

    On the defensive side, D3football.com’s preseason All-American defensive end Rian Younker had another impressive game for the Kingsmen. Starting at defensive tackle instead of end, the 280 pound Younker, recorded nine tackles, three for loss, including two sacks.

    Will Reeve
    Staff Writer
    Published Sept. 19, 2012

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