Second half proves to be Kingsmen’s home

inding their groove: Jacob Scott (1) celebrates with Wayne Chapman (above) after Chapman scored his fifth touchdown of the season putting the game out of reach.  Photos by Melina Esparza - Photo Editor
Finding their groove: Jacob Scott (1) celebrates with Wayne Chapman (above) after Chapman scored his fifth touchdown of the season putting the game out of reach.
Photos by Melina Esparza – Photo Editor

The California Lutheran University football team provided its fans and alumni with plenty to cheer about during Oct. 14’s Homecoming game with a 20-6 victory over Claremont-Mudd-Scripps.

The victory, which marked the Kingsmen’s seventh consecutive Homecoming win under head coach Ben McEnroe, was a defensive battle with CLU not allowing the Stags a single touchdown.

“This probably wasn’t the best game to watch from the stands, but overall, I was happy with how we turned things around in the second half,” McEnroe said.

After coming off of a tough loss last week against Redlands the Kingsmen worked hard in practice to prepare for the homecoming game.

“We tried to practice with more of a chip on our shoulder and play with a tougher mentality,” said senior defensive back Derrick Romo.

CLU got things going on their first drive of the game when sophomore quarterback Billy Livingston threw a 26-yard touchdown to sophomore wide receiver Andrew Worthley.

From then on, the first half was slowly paced with both teams making multiple stops on defense. Both teams had only six first downs for the rest of the half.

With 5:17 left in the second quarter, the Kingsmen got a defensive stop, forcing the Stags to kick a 50–yard field goal.  Matthew Aven of CMS got the Stags on the board connecting on the kick, cutting the Kingsmen lead in half, 6-3.

With 1:05 left in the first half, the Stags connected on another field goal. This time the kick was from 62 yards out, tying the game 6-6 heading into halftime.  The kick tied a NCAA Division III record and set a new SCIAC record, as well.

In the second half, CLU made big changes to get the offense going.

“Our biggest emphasis was blocking,” said sophomore wide receiver Justin Bloom. “We came out in the first half feeling sluggish.  But, once we hit the field in the second half, we knew what our assignments were and we executed them.”

CMS got the ball to begin the second half, but the CLU defense stopped the Stags on a three-and-out. The Kingsmen also went three-and-out on their next drive, but a roughing the kicker penalty gave the Kingsmen a second chance and a new set of downs.

The Kingsmen drove the ball down to the 3-yard line looking for a touchdown, but was forced to attempt a field goal.  CLU lined up for the field goal and caught the Stags off guard when sophomore quarterback David Rico ran to the outside for a 3-yard touchdown on a fake field goal attempt, making the score 12-6.

The Kingsmen defense forced a stop on the Stags next drive highlighted by a sack by senior linebacker Nick Grodotzke.

With 4:48 left to play in the third quarter, the Kingsmen had an 11-play, 75-yard scoring drive.  The drive ended when senior running back Wayne Chapman broke two tackles and sprinted into the end zone for a 25-yard touchdown run.

CLU then went for a two-point conversion with Livingston handing the ball off to senior running back Ryan Zirbel making the score 20-6.

CMS was limited to one last opportunity.  The Stags failed to produce any points when sophomore defensive back Josh Bartley came up with an interception late in the fourth quarter, sealing the win for the Kingsmen 20-6.

CLU now has an overall record of 2-3 and will face Occidental on Oct. 26 at Occidental College.  Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.

 

Zachary Kaija
Staff Writer
Published Oct. 23, 2013