THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. - In the first Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) game of the year, the Cal Lutheran football team went up against defending SCIAC champion La Verne and blew past the Leopards 45-13 on Saturday night at Rolland Stadium.
Entering the game, La Verne had not lost in conference play since the Kingsmen defeated the Leopards 50-21 in the final game of the 2014 season. Additionally, the Leopards boasted the seventh best offense in NCAA Division III averaging close to 600 yards per game.
From the kickoff, however, it was all Kingsmen as they flexed their defensive muscle, limiting the high-octane La Verne offense to just 359 yards, while producing 544 total yards of their own.
Leading the offensive unit for the Violet and Gold was quarterback Adam Friederichsen, who had a career night with 293 passing yards and four touchdowns while rushing for 126 and a score.
In the blink of an eye, the Kingsmen took a 14-0 lead after scoring on its first two possessions of the game. On the fourth play from scrimmage, Friederichsen connected with wide receiver Aaron Lacombe on a 62-yard heave for a touchdown and later found Diego Hernandez in the end zone on an eight-yard pass play.
Right before the half, running back Foorever Campbell punched one past the goal line for his first career touchdown to send CLU into the break up 21-0.
Dallas Parent put the Leopards on the board after a 67-yard scamper to start the third quarter, but the Kingsmen kept their composure and extended their lead on the next drive with a nine-yard touchdown pass from Friederichsen to Wendell O'Brien.
Nick Covey got in on the action midway through the third quarter with a 22-yard field goal to put CLU ahead 31-7.
After Parent added another rushing touchdown for La Verne, Friederichsen put the game in the refrigerator with a 51-yard touchdown pass to Lacombe followed by a 48-yard touchdown run of his own to start the fourth, giving the Kingsmen a comfortable 45-13 lead.
In addition to Friederichsen's big day, Lacombe racked up 143 yards receiving with two touchdowns and Richard Caceres finished with four receptions for 57 yards. On the ground, Chris Beeson ran for 73 yards on 14 carries while backup quarterback Eli Peters had 30 yards on four carries, including a long of 18 yards.
Defensively, the Kingsmen swarmed the Leopards all night combining for six sacks for a loss of 37 yards, forcing three fumbles and coming away with an interception. Acquarey Eddington tallied 12 tackles for the second straight game to lead CLU while Lucas Quinn added nine and Trevor Roe and Nick Gordon had eight apiece. Jerome Hull had a strong night as well with six tackles and an interception. Xavier Fuery led the way with 1.5 sacks on the night and joined Nathaniel Thompson with two tackles to force a loss.
La Verne quarterback Josh Evans finished just 17-of-38 for 197 yards and Parent led the Leopards with 124 rushing yards and two touchdowns.
Cal Lutheran (1-2, 1-0 SCIAC) continues conference action against Pomona-Pitzer next Saturday, Oct. 8 at 7:00 p.m. inside Rolland Stadium.