THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — The Cal Lutheran football team battled hard as they fought back from a 13-point fourth-quarter deficit, but the Kingsmen fell to the La Verne Leopards, 26-20, Saturday afternoon on Senior Day in Rolland Stadium.
The Kingsmen honored and celebrated 21 student-athletes before the game as Emmanuel Amaugo, Chris Anderson, Kayden Clements, Mason Evans, Colby Garcia, Jonathan Goldstein, Dominick Grimm, Kanoa Iwasaki, Jesse Jeronimo, Gus Konadu, William Little, Ty Lozano, David Pardini, Aakash Patel, Eli Peters, Tecoy Porter, Andrew Reyes, Anthony Rios-Carlsen, Demetre Smith, Hayden Smith and Matt Younkers were joined by their family.
Leading the Kingsmen in rushing yards was senior quarterback, Peters, who tallied 61 yards on the afternoon. He added 236 passing yards and one passing touchdown. Junior running back Jabar Byrd also tallied 56 rushing yards and a touchdown for Cal Lutheran.
For receiving, sophomore Michael Magana led the team, recording 83 yards with an average of 20.8 yards per catch.
On defense, Cal Lutheran made a total of 67 tackles, with Ethan Pulley, JW Windsor, Zion Brown and Amaugo each making four solo tackles. Evans tallied three solo tackles and assisted on seven more to lead the team with 10 total tackles.
Christian Antezana had a big day kicking for the Kingsmen. He convereted on two field goals, with each one being 50-yards plus. He set his new career high with 53 yards and also added one from 51 yards. He was four yards shy of the school record which is 57 yards.
La Verne got off to a quick start and got a big 78-yard rushing touchdown five minutes into the game. Cal Lutheran blocked the extra point and the score was 6-0 Leopards. Cal Lutheran tried to answer back but were unsuccessful as the first quarter ending with La Verne in the lead.
The Kingsmen came out ready for action in the second quarter, stopping La Verne to get a turnover on downs. Using the change of possession to their advantage, the Cal Lutheran offense worked its way up the field, using a huge drive from Peters to propel themselves towards the red zone.
A short 12-yard pass from Peters found Pierce McLurkin in the back right of the endzone for a Kingsmen touchdown. Antezana then completed the point after kick to put Cal Lutheran ahead 7-6 with 9:42 remaining in the half.
With 2:43 left in the half, ULV took back the lead. The Leopards, went for a two-point conversion, but the pass was intercepted by Caleb Casimere. CLU then marched down the field for an Antezana field goal and the Kingsmen trailed 12-10 at the half.
Coming into the second half, the Kingsmen were ready to regain their lead over the Leopards. Byrd started the drive with a 24-yard punt return. Peters then sent a quick pass Josh Ketcher for 11 yards, into field goal range. After getting stopped, Antezana drilled another ball directly through thecenter of the goalposts for the 13-12 lead.
In the rest of the third quarter, La Vene scored 16 unanswered points and took a 13-point into the fourth quarter.
With only around 6 minutes remaining in the game, Peters was able to complete a pass to byrd for 17 yards. On the next play, Peters sent another pass 24 yards to Magana for another Kingsmen first down, putting the ball at La Verne's one-yard line. On the next play, Byrd was rush up the middle for the Kingsmen touchdown. The score only had Cal Lutheran down 26-20.
With only 5:39 left in the game, La Verne was stopped yet again by the Cal Lutheran defense. Pulleyand Evanscombined on a tackle to force the Leopards to punt, allowing the Kingsmen offense to get one more try at the end zone.
After completing a pass to Ty Riley for 21 yards, Peters then found Byrd as the Kingsmen moved the ball into Leopard territory. At the La Verne 30-yard line with 15 seconds left, the Kingsmen took a chance at the end zone. The Leopards got the last say as Peters' pass was intercepted by La Verne at the one-yard line. La Verne held on and one the game 26-20.
The Kingsmen (3-6) play their final game of the season on the road against the Whittier Poets on Saturday, November 10 at 1 p.m.
Box Score: ULV 26, CLU 20
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Release byRyan Jorgenson, Sports Information Director