ULV loses to No. 25 Willamette
Posted Oct. 3, 2008
Rafael Anguiano
La Verne wide receiver John Ausman takes a pass from quarterback Anthony Andre while defensive end Corey Lowe and defensive end Kyle Appleford enter the fray. Although the pass was completed, Ausman was immediately tackled to the ground.

In front of nearly 1,000 fans at Ortmayer Stadium, La Verne lost for the second time this season in its home opener against No. 25-ranked Willamette on Saturday, 44-0.

The Leopards struggled to make big plays on offense and failed to keep the Bearcats off the scoreboard and out of the end zone, as they piled up a total of 507 yards. La Verne was led on offense by junior quarterback Anthony Andre, who went 16-of-29 for 133 yards.

“There’s a lot of good we can take out of this game,” assistant coach Aaron Cloud said. “Playing against a disciplined ranked team with a lot of seniors shows us where we’re at.”

The game started out looking like the Leopards would be able to use their fast paced offense to their advantage and give Willamette a tough time; however, that was not the case, as the Bearcats jumped in front early and never looked back.

Willamette scored first on a 12 play, 79-yard drive that was capped off with a 1-yard touchdown run from running back Kyle Johnson.

Johnson finished the game with 31 yards rushing on seven attempts.

The Bearcats would score once more on the last play of the first quarter on an eight yard touchdown run from running back Merben Woo.

Woo finished the game with 45 yards on seven carries. Willamette led, 14-0, at the end of the first quarter after marching down the field on the Leopard defense twice.

La Verne’s defense buckled down in the second quarter as it recovered a fumble and forced the Bearcats to punt three consecutive times, keeping them off the scoreboard to end the half.

The spirit of the Leopards did not seem diminished as they went in the half trailing by 14.

“It was a rude awakening,” senior wide receiver Phi Van Le said. “We can’t have bad practices and expect to do well.”

Willamette got the ball to start the second half and kept it most of the third quarter.

The Bearcats’ offense had possession for nearly 10 minutes in the quarter, which kept Andre and the La Verne offense on the sidelines.

When the Leopards did get the ball, they were held in check by Willamette’s defense, which sacked Andre four times and held the Leopards to 216 yards of total offense.

A turning point came in the third quarter when La Verne’s Jason Carpenter had his punt blocked.

The ball was deflected into the back of the end zone and gave the Bearcats two points and the ball.

Things got worse quickly for the Leopards, as Willamette scored on the first play after the kickoff on a 41-yard scamper from running back Deon Horne, who led the Bearcats on offense with 137 yards rushing on 15 carries.

La Verne trailed, 23-0, after three quarters.

The Leopards did not put up much of a fight in the fourth quarter, and the Bearcats’ offense proved to be too much to contain as they blew the game open with 21 unanswered points.

Willamette’s running game was unstoppable throughout the game as it tallied a total of 344 yards on the ground. Four different running backs each scored a touchdown for the Bearcats.

“It was a big learning experience,” sophomore offensive lineman Josh Carrera said. “We’re progressing as a team; we just need to come together.”

The Leopards were led on defense by Taylor Hart, who collected nine total tackles and one interception in the loss.

“During camp, we prepared to battle through adversity and trust each other,” Le said. “We’re still as close as ever and hungry for next week.”

La Verne will look for its first win of the season tomorrow at home against Redlands at 1 p.m.

“We’ve had physical practices all week…our guys have bounced back well,” Cloud said.

Richard Lugo can be reached by email at richard.lugo@laverne.edu.

Rafael Anguiano
La Verne’s defensive back Ryan Baranek makes a vain attempt to tackle tailback Jose Green of Willamette. James Yamashita, wide receiver, and Will Pohl, tight end, brace themselves for the oncoming assault of the La Verne defense.

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