Kingsmen Football Defeats Defending SCIAC Champions Claremont-Mudd-Scripps


Isaiah Volk

The Kingsmen defensive line get ready to rush the CMS offense during the homecoming game on Saturday, Oct. 12.

Isaiah Volk, Reporter

It was homecoming night for the California Lutheran University Kingsmen football team at William Rolland Stadium on Friday, Oct. 12. The Kingsmen took on one of the defending Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference champions Claremont-Mudd-Scripps.

The Kingsmen took down CMS by a score of 37-7 in a highly anticipated battle following their SCIAC win over Occidental College last Saturday, Oct. 5, adding to their perfect conference record of 2-0.

“It was pretty simple. You don’t lose a homecoming game. You know, we came in here expecting a challenge because [CMS] is the reigning champions of SCIAC and we were focusing in practice. It’s a big thing,” sophomore defensive linemen Thomas Bambrick said.

The Kingsmen got off to an early lead in the first quarter with  a 25-yard field goal completed by senior kicker Cristian Antezana, creating a 3-0 lead.

As the second quarter began, the Kingsmen extended the lead to 9-0 following a 41-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Cesar De Leon to junior wide receiver Jajuan Thomas.

The Kingsmen played shutdown defense throughout, as they did not allow a single point through most of the game. Sophomore linebacker Connor McDermott made 15 total tackles, which helped solidify the win for the Kingsmen.

“I really just have to give all the credit to my teammates. Like my linebacker coach always says, ‘If everyone does the job, your buddy will make the play,’ and I guess I was the buddy of this game,” McDermott said.

As the third quarter concluded, the Kingsmen were able to score two more touchdowns, making the score 23-0. In the fourth quarter, De Leon completed a 70-yard touchdown pass to Thomas, creating a score of 30-0.

Thomas’ performance on Friday, tallying a total of 214 receiving yards, put him only two yards shy of breaking the Cal Lutheran all-time record for receiving yards in a single game.

“He is such a special talent. You know, he’s a big, physical, strong kid that can run. He is everything you look for in a big-time wide receiver,” Head Coach Ben McEnroe said. “Jajuan [Thomas] is just such a talented young man. It’s fun to watch him get better every week.”

Within the final three minutes of the game, CMS got on the board with a 2-yard run, cutting the lead to 30-7. The Kingsmen responded quickly with a 13-yard touchdown run completed by senior quarterback Stetson Stallworth at the final minute mark, to end the game with the final score of 37-7.

“I felt great about our game plan this week. We knew they were dealing with some injury issues, but philosophically they are the champs until they are knocked out, and that was our mission this week was to knock out the defending champs,” McEnroe said. “The kids went out, executed and took care of business.”

The Kingsmen are on the road for their next two games, but return home to play in the Smudge Pot Game against the University of Redlands on Saturday, Nov. 2.