Kingsmen Rout Sagehens in SCIAC Opener
CLU earns first win of 2013
CLAREMONT, Calif. – For the first time this year the Cal Lutheran football team suited up for a Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) game. At Merritt Field today, following a bye week, the Kingsmen downed the Pomona-Pitzer Sagehens, 42-7, to earn their first victory of the fall after falling to two ranked opponents in the preseason.
“It is just good to be back in the win column,” head coach Ben McEnroe said after the game. “It never gets old and our conference is everything to us and every win is important; it means a lot, it is the first win for the 2013 edition of the Kingsmen and hopefully it is the first of many.”
CLU got the scoring started early and never let up as 74 different players stepped onto the field today. Both the offense and defense came up with scoring plays in the first half and the assault continued in the second.
Wayne Chapman paced the running game with 91 yards on 17 carries that included a pair of rushing touchdowns, adding three catches for a game-high 113 all-purpose yards. Daniel Azhocar also contributed by foot with six fourth-quarter carries for 43 yards, including a 14-yard touchdown. Through the air Cameron Deen was 17-for-23 without an interception and a pair of touchdowns, to Alix Moise and Brent Stevens.
Defensively, Matt Arve had a game to remember with two interceptions, one that he returned for a touchdown, and nearly came up with a third as he was a nuisance to the PP offense all day, breaking up a pair of plays as well. Bryce Henderson led the team with 11 total tackles, including six unassisted. Elliot Reyes had a solid defensive game for CLU with five solo stops and six total tackles, including a sack. Christian Bradley also brought pressure on the Pomona-Pitzer quarterback all game and recorded a pair of sacks in the process.
Despite being forced to punt on their first possession of the game, Jack McFarland pinned PP at their own three-yard line for favorable field position, setting the tone early. When CLU regained control of the ball they capitalized with a three-yard touchdown pass from Deento Moise for the first crooked number of the game. On the drive the duo connected for a 32-yard completion to set up the scoring play.
The ensuing possession turned into a pick-six for Arve, who nabbed an Alex Bresler attempt for a 36-yard TD, for the first interception and touchdown of his CLU career. It also marked the ultimate game-winning play.
Adding to the tally in the second quarter was a one-yard rushing touchdown from Chapman.
After the break, Pomona-Pitzer came back fired up and looked to steal some momentum early as the first play of the third quarter, after PP kicked off, was a fumble that the Hens recovered. The nine-play, 40 yard drive by the home squad ended with the only Sagehens scoring play of the day on a five-yard touchdown pass from Bressler to Brett Harper, which was finished off with a kick from Michael Weil.
CLU quickly recovered and regained the seven points on their next drive that spanned 70 yards and was capped off by a nine-yard completion from Deen to Stevens.
With 3:32 to play in the third, Bradley got a seven-yard sack to set the tone for a short-lived PP possession. When CLU got the ball back they used three plays to run out the clock on the quarter and turn the page to the final frame. Chapman would rush for a 24-yard TD two minutes later to push the Cal Lutheran lead to 35-7.
The final scoring play came on the ensuing Kingsmen possession when Azhocar added to the tally, leaving the scoreboard reading 42-7 with just over nine minutes remaining in regulation.
For Cal Lutheran sophomore Sean Bellotti pulled triple-duty, going 5-for-5 in PAT chances while kicking off six times and hauling in two catches for 15 yards as a wide receiver. Diego Marquez made his collegiate debut today, accounting for a PAT and a kickoff in the fourth quarter.
Pomona-Pitzer was led by 112 all-purpose yards from Harper as Bressler went 9-for-28 and was picked twice. He was also sacked four times by the CLU defense. Peter Ianelli also lined up under center for the Sagehens, going 3-for-6, but was intercepted by Ed Davis. The PP defensive unit got 11 tackles from Kyle Roskamp and Matt O’Connor had the only Hens sack of the game.
Today marked the first game in the Kingsmen quest for a fifth consecutive SCIAC title, a feat that has never been achieved in the 98-year history of the league. CLU added to their consecutive SCIAC win-streak, a mark that now sits at 28-0, which dates back to the 2008 season.
Cal Lutheran (1-2, 1-0 SCIAC) returns to Rolland Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 12 to host Redlands in the Second Annual battle of the Smudge Pot. Kickoff is slated for 7:00 p.m.
Box Score: CLU 42, PP 7
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