Stage set for showdown with Stags
Game 4 for CLU: Saturday, Oct. 13 the No. 8 Cal Lutheran Kingsmen continue SCIAC play as they travel down the 210 Freeway to face Claremont-Mudd-Scripps. Kickoff is set for 7:00 p.m. at Fritz B. Burns Stadium in Claremont, Calif.
Series History: Saturday’s meeting will be the 42nd time the teams have met with Cal Lutheran holding a 33-7-1 advantage in the series. When the teams kickoff this Saturday, it will be 50 years to day the squads first met on Oct. 13, 1962 with the then Claremont Men’s College defeating California Lutheran College 32-14.
Cal Lutheran has owned the series since 2007, going 5-0 and outscoring the Stags a combined 186-60. Claremont-Mudd-Scripps last beat CLU in 2006 in a double overtime thriller as the Stags kicker Zach Mallove hit a 42-yard field goal to give CMS their first win over Cal Lutheran since 2002.
Last Meeting: Cal Lutheran hosted Claremont-Mudd-Scripps for its 2011 homecoming game and came away with a 54-6 victory. With the win, Cal Lutheran also clinched its third-straight SCIAC championship.
Cal Lutheran held a 21-6 halftime lead before reeling off 33 unanswered points including 26 in the third quarter alone. The Kingsmen offense rushed for 246 yards and five touchdowns with Daniel Mosier and Deme'Trek Chambers contributing two scores apiece. Offensive lineman turned fullback Gio Lapp scored the game’s final touchdown.
Last fall, a week after shutting down Pomona-Pitzer’s Luke Sweeny, the Division III’s leading rusher, the CLU defense faced another high-powered rushing attack as CMS came in averaging over 207 yards per game. However, the Kingsmen defense answered the call again, bottling up the Stags for only 80 yards rushing on 36 carries and forced three fumbles.
About Cal Lutheran: Cal Lutheran enters Saturday’s game with a 3-1 record including a 2-0 mark in the SCIAC. The Kingsmen took a giant step towards repeating for a SCIAC-record fourth consecutive time as conference champs with its 45-35 victory over Redlands last Saturday. CLU’s national ranking of No. 8 is tied for the highest in program history since joining the NCAA in 1991.
Cal Lutheran employed a smash-mouth rushing attack against the Bulldogs as they piled up 239 yards of rushing, averaging over five yards per carry. Leading the way was freshman Romello Goodman who finished with 182 yards on 35 carries.
In addition to the power game, Cal Lutheran stretched their halftime lead to 28-14 thanks to some trickery and special-teams play. Senior wide receiver Frankie Jones lined up in the slot and took the handoff from Kevin Ramay on a reverse to the left, only to pull up and throw downfield to the right where he found running back Ryan Zirbel for a 54-yard touchdown pass.
After a 10 yard touchdown run by wide receiver Eric Rogers made it 21-7, the Cal Lutheran defense got a three-out and forced Redlands to punt from deep in their own end-zone. Junior cornerback Vince Minor received the punt just shy of midfield and cut up the left side of the field. Minor eluded four Bulldogs tacklers at the 15-yard line and reversed, cutting across the entire width of the field and into end-zone for a 43 yard touchdown on a punt return. It was the second punt return over 40 yards in as many weeks for Minor who is now fifth in Division III averaging 19.5 yards per punt return.
Kicker/Quarterback Zach Shultis pulled double-duty last weekend as Ramay was knocked out in the first half with an injury and Shultis was forced into action. The senior from Thousand Oaks, Calif. stepped up and performed well, completing 12-for-19 passes including two touchdowns.
Rogers continues to make a strong push for All-America accolades as he finished with eight catches for 107 yards and two touchdowns against UR. With the 107 yards receiving last Saturday night, Rogers has upped his career total to 2,724 yards and needs just 68 more yards to become the CLU all-time leader.
Defensively, Cal Lutheran continues to be led by linebackers Dontaie Ferguson and Chris Cabrera. Cabrera excelled last Saturday, finishing with a game-high 14 total tackles. Ferguson leads the team in tackles for the season with 37.
Defensive lineman Rian Yonker racked up 10 tackles against Redlands and increased his season total to 26, including six and half tackles for loss.
Free safety Broc Galbreth picked off his second pass of the year and finished with seven tackles on the night.
About Claremont-Mudd-Scripps: The Stags are still searching for their first win of the 2012 season. CMS had a 14-6 halftime lead against Occidental last weekend but could not hold it, falling 34-21.
The Stags have gone away from their familiar triple-option offense and moved to more of a one back set. Leading the way for the Stags is running back Corey Bickler who has rushed 59 times for 315 yards and two touchdowns.
Quarterback Peter Kimmey was able to recover from an injury earlier in the season and has been efficient through the air completing 50-for-89 passes and three touchdowns.
Claremont-Mudd-Scripps has also used Sean McKaveney as their signal-caller with McKaveney throwing for 248 yards and one touchdown.
Wide receiver Kris Otterholt had a breakout game against Occidental, catching 10 balls for 101 yards and a touchdown.
Defensively, CMS is led Jackie Coburn and Max Winsberg who are tied for the team lead in tackles with 36. Coburn, a senior linebacker from Beaverton, Ore., had his best game of the season so far against Occidental, registering 12 total tackles including three sacks. Winsberg, a sophomore from Westlake Village, Calif., had 14 total tackles including a sack during CMS’s road-trip to Memphis, Tenn. earlier this season where they took on Rhodes College.
About the Coaches: Cal Lutheran Head Coach Ben McEnroe is in his sixth year at the helm of the Kingsmen football program, where he has compiled a 39-11 overall record. A former All-SCIAC center for the Kingsmen, McEnroe joined his alma-mater 1993 as the offensive line coach. In 1998, he joined Division II Humboldt State, and in 2003, was named the head coach of Chaminade High School. After leading Chaminade to four straight CIF playoff appearances, McEnroe was named head coach of Cal Lutheran in 2006.
Since then, McEnroe has led Cal Lutheran to four conference titles in the five previous seasons, including consecutive Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championships in 2009, 2010 and 2011. They are the only three campaigns in CLU football history in which the team has posted undefeated SCIAC records. Heading into the 2012 season, CLU has won 20 SCIAC football games in a row under McEnroe's direction.
Coach McEnroe and his coaching staff recruited both 2011 SCIAC Players of the Year, Jake Laudenslayer (Offense), and Justin Haulcy-Bateman (Defense).
Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Coach Kyle Sweeney returns for his second year at the helm of Stag Football. In his first season, CMS finished third in the SCIAC and two of their three losses were by six points or less. Sweeney came to CMS after two years as the defensive coordinator at the University of Chicago.
Prior to the University of Chicago, Sweeney was the head coach at MacMurray College in Jacksonville, Ill. for the 2007 and 2008 seasons.
As an undergraduate, Coach Sweeney was a four-year starter at strong safety for Occidental College. He was also a four-year starter on the baseball team.
Coach McEnroe on Claremont-Mudd-Scripps: “This week's opponent is young and aggressive. There are only a half dozen seniors on the squad, which is mostly freshmen and sophomores and we are facing a first year offensive coordinator and a one-back zone team,” Coach McEnroe continued, “They will also get into the I-Formation at times, so it will be a good test defensively as they will try to run the ball at us and I am sure they will want to find out early if we have fixed our issues from the previous weeks.”
Regarding CMS’s defense, “They have run a pressure 3-4 scheme the last two weeks after opening the season with a variety of looks. They put a lot of stress on their Cornerbacks by running so much man coverage, so if we are getting blitz with man, look for our wide receivers to have a big day if we can protect our QB.”
On starting a new quarterback this week, “Zach Shultis is making his first career start this week, but he has played a lot of college football and had a performance for the ages in the Smudge Pot game. Don’t look for us to change our approach, but we are developing our game plan based on his strengths as a quarterback.”
Coach McEnroe’s final thoughts on the game, “CMS will be a great test of the maturity of this year's team. I question whether or not we will be able to put a big rivalry-game win behind us and be able to grow and improve.”
He concluded, “Too often you win and you are happy to get by. As coaches, I know that there are some areas from last week's game that need to be addressed immediately, but that will come down to our players being open to growth and focusing on individual improvement.”
Watch Live: Here