The California Lutheran University football team took on the Stags of Claremont-Mudd-Scripps on Oct. 31 at 7 p.m. at William Rolland Stadium. Cal Lutheran wore their black jerseys in their annual ‘blackout’ game. The Kingsmen would unfortunately fall to the Stags 42-21 on their senior night.
Twenty-two seniors were honored before the game for their hard work and dedication to the football program at Cal Lutheran. The seniors included Connor Allen, Josh Bartley, Sean Bellotti, Bo Bergstrom, Michael Butler, Ronny Camacho, Ben Chavez II, Cale Dester, Kody Duffy-Huerta, EJ Edinburgh, Ushali Ellison, Josh Garrett, Josh Heidemann, Bryce Howard, Ricky Johnson, David Lederer, Jack McFarland, Alix Moise Jr., Kevin Olive, Nick Ruiz, CJ Washington and Trever Wood.
“The seniors have represented CLU with character and class. A lot has changed around here during their time, but they’ve remained fiercely committed to playing hard for each other, the CLU community and their families,” Head Coach Ben McEnroe said. “I love and appreciate this group of young men.”
The Stags got off to a quick start with two scoring drives. Running back Andrew Segre gave the Stags an early 7-0 lead by capitalizing on a one-yard touchdown run. Quarterback Trey Reynolds quickly extended that lead to 14-0 with a one-yard touchdown run of his own.
The Kingsmen were held scoreless in the first quarter but saw some success finding senior wide receiver Bellotti for multiple catches. A 29-yard catch put Cal Lutheran in great position to put together a late scoring drive before the end of the half. Sophomore quarterback Adam Friederichsen targeted senior wide receiver Wood for a 15-yard touchdown pass to cut the lead to 14-7. This gave the Kingsmen some much-needed momentum heading into halftime.
“We were throwing it quick to the edges and that seemed to work pretty well,” Bellotti said. “It was great having my parents here on senior night. It’s been an awesome four years here. It’s mixed emotions with the loss but it has still been a lot of fun.”
Cal Lutheran received the second half kickoff with Ellison back to receive. He electrified the crowd and the Kingsmen sideline with an exciting 95-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. This return tied the game at 14 and shifted the momentum toward the Kingsmen.
“I caught the ball and I trusted my guys and their blocks. I did what I do best on that play,” Ellison said. “I love these guys. I put my heart, my soul and my body on the line for these guys. Win, lose or draw, these guys are special and I love each and every one of them.”
The momentum was short-lived however as the Stags responded with a quick drive to give them a 21-14 lead. A roughing the passer penalty on the Kingsmen gave the Stags good field position prior to the score.
The Cal Lutheran offense came back to life by throwing the ball to Bellotti who served as a catalyst to the next scoring drive with a 36-yard catch to lead the Kingsmen to the 26-yard line. Tight end Moise capped off the 84-yard drive with an impressive 16-yard touchdown catch to even the score at 21-21.
The Stags’ offense was very impressive for the rest of the game as they scored on three consecutive possessions to put the game away.
Penalties plagued Cal Lutheran throughout the second half. These penalties prevented the Kingsmen from scoring as they were held scoreless in the fourth quarter.
Segre dominated the running game for the Stags. He carried the ball 41 times for 213 yards, while finding the end zone three times. Reynolds was successful throwing the ball for the Stags, going 19-for-31 passing for 284 yards and two touchdowns.
Friederichsen was 19-for-32 passing for 256 yards while racking up two touchdown as well as two interceptions. Wood led the Kingsmen receiving corps with seven catches for 110 yards and a touchdown to add to his tally. Bellotti put in an impressive performance with five catches for 85 yards.
Cal Lutheran fell to 4-3 overall and 2-3 in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. They will travel to Eagle Rock, California to take on the Occidental Tigers on Nov. 7 at 7 p.m. where they will try to get a much needed road victory.
Published November 4th, 2015