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

    Kingsmen Conquer Stags On Homecoming Weekend

    After roughly three hours of playing under the sweltering midday sun, the California Lutheran University football team defeated the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Stags with a 42-20 win inside William Rolland Stadium on Oct. 14.

    The anticipatory cheers from the sea of Violet and Gold fans echoed through the tightly packed stadium as the Kingsmen took control of the ball at their own 40-yard line early on, just moments after the Stags kicked the ball out of bounds on a kickoff midway through the first quarter.

    Cal Lutheran completed the first pass of the drive, then senior running back Chris Beeson took the ball 18-yards into the end zone on the next play for the first Kingsmen touchdown of the afternoon.

    Beeson said the Stagsโ€™ defense wasnโ€™t strategically surprising in the first half, andย  a week of watching film from previous games helped the Violet and Gold adjust to any moves the opponent was ready to throw at them.

    โ€œTheir defense was playing inside the whole time, so we just thought we could switch the ball out,โ€ Beeson said. โ€œHonestly, I felt the momentum when I scored that last touchdown. It really put the nail in the coffin.โ€

    The Kingsmen would prove their stamina to Claremont-Mudd-Scripps in the second quarter with an impressive 60-yard touchdown reception by Aaron Lacombe, a senior wide receiver, courtesy of a throw from senior quarterback Adam Friederichsen.

    Seniors Chris Beeson scored two touchdowns for the Kingsmen on Saturday. Photo by Jackie Rodriguez- Photo Editor
    Senior Chris Beeson scored two touchdowns for the Kingsmen on Saturday.
    Photo by Jackie Rodriguez- Photo Editor

    โ€œWeโ€™ve been able to really finish our games more this year,โ€ Lacombe said. โ€œLast year a lot of our losses were close. But weโ€™re making the effort to fight through those times when we might be down or itโ€™s a close game.โ€

    Just as the bleachers were winding down from Lacombeโ€™s drive into the end zone, a passing touchdown from Friederichsen to senior tight end Diego Hernandez had William Rolland Stadium roaring with cries of pride. Beeson tallied another touchdown before halftime as well, giving the Kingsmen a 28-13 lead over the Stags.

    Hernandez also said that one of the teamโ€™s goals is to finish each play and see it through, making sure to begin each half with speed and focus. Additionally, Hernandez said the team is โ€œfocusing on playing one game at a time.โ€

    โ€œLast seasonโ€™s outcome didnโ€™t really sit well with us. Everybody sees the end score on Saturdays but no one really sees the work we put in Monday through Friday, and I think thatโ€™s the most important part,โ€ Hernandez said. โ€œWe made it a point this entire offseason to work harder than we did, and not let our emotions get too high or too low.โ€

    Going into the second half, the heat had begun to take a toll on both teams as plays were slow and drawn out. Penalties on Cal Lutheran cut any attempt to drive the ball toward the end zone and the emotions and energy in the stands dwindled quickly. Moments into stopping the Stagโ€™s fourth down attempt, a 57-yard reception by Lacombe raked in the first Kingsmen touchdown of the second half, putting the Violet and Gold at a 35-13 lead.

    The teams changed possession time and time again before the Kingsmen forced the Stags to throw an interception to in the third quarter. Beesonโ€™s first touchdown of the second half came on a 60-yard run after a set of failed plays.

    โ€œItโ€™s always a good feeling to be up by that much, but there are two halves to the game and we wanted to make sure we saw them through,โ€ Beeson said. โ€œYou have to treat every game like itโ€™s the championship game.โ€

    In the final quarter, freshman kicker Morgan Salzwedel rounded out Beesonโ€™s score to 42-13 as she completed her first extra point of the 2017 season. This was the first place kick to be made by a female in Kingsmen football history.

    A final series of plays resulted in a 24-yard push from the Stags during the final moments of the fourth quarter. With the temperature dropping, Kingsmen fans prepared to take the field in congratulatory manner and the game ended with Cal Lutheran out-running the Stags 42-20.

    โ€œI wasnโ€™t expecting much out of this game just because I didnโ€™t know what the score would be, but the fact that our team was able to shut [Claremont-Mudd-Scripps] down so quickly I think that gave us the opportunity to really get in the game,โ€ Salzwedel said. โ€œAlso having the alumni here supporting us in every way has really pushed us, and we want to honor what theyโ€™ve done just out of respect.โ€

    Olivia Schouten