Leopards drop game, 28-13, to CLU

Campus Times
October 10, 2003

photo by Adam Omernik

Defensive back Roger Logan (No. 5) of La Verne makes a defensive play, batting down a pass to wide receiver Peter Gunny (No. 4) of Cal Lutheran from quarterback Casey Preston. Preston passed for 336 yards and four touchdowns. The Leopards lost to CLU Saturday, 28-13, after a short 7-point lead in the first quarter, leaving ULV's record at 0-3 for the season and 0-2 in conference.

by Jonathan Corral
Assistant Editor

Saturday's game might best be described as a tale of two halves. That's exactly what it was as the Leopards looked triumphant in the first half and non-existent in the second, giving up 463 yards of total offense, losing to Cal Lutheran, 28-13 and dropping their third consecutive game of the season in front of an impatient crowd Saturday at Ortmayer Stadium.

The Leopards (0-3, 0-2) started the game looking like a team on a mission. Their opening drive was evidence of that as they used a five-play drive that resulted in a 7-yard Ricky Sullivan touchdown scamper.

The drive, which featured a 36-yard pass from quarterback Jason Winn to receiver Michael Raffee, took all of two minutes as the Leopards quickly drew first blood.

From there, the defense did the rest.

Playing with desperation, the Leopard defense shut down everything the Kingsmen threw at them.

On Cal Lu's opening drive, the Kingsmen drove the ball deep into Leopard territory, but heads-up tackling by freshmen Matt Griffin caused the ball to come loose and the Leopard defense jumped all over it.

With the Leopard offense stalled much of the first half, the defense turned it up a notch, trying to keep La Verne in the game.

Sophomore defensive back Roger Logan had a fantastic game, despite being much smaller than most of the receivers he was up against.

Logan, who had one interception in the game, broke up numerous plays that looked like they were guaranteed receptions.

Early in the second quarter, Logan broke up a pass during a key third-and-2 play, which ignited the crowd and gave the momentum back to the Leopards.

The Leopard offense could not get anything started as the defensive line of the Kingsmen was constantly pressuring Winn. Winn finished the game 13 for 27 with 109 yards and two interceptions.

After Winn's first interception, Cal Lu quickly responded with a 53-yard bomb from quarterback Casey Preston to receiver Michael Storelli to even the score at 7 heading into halftime.

Preston threw for an impressive 336 yards and four touchdowns.

"We just need to keep working and working and working," said head coach Don Morel.

The second half was all Kingsmen as they jumped out of the gates in a hurry to take control of the game. Five minutes in, Cal Lu was taking advantage of the huge holes in the Leopard defense.

"We need to step up the level of our play," said sophomore center Michael Myers. "As a team, our intensity needs to be up the entire game."

Preston connected with receiver Gabe Solberg for the 5-yard score that put the Kingsmen up for good with 11:07 left in the third quarter.

The Kingsmen scores just kept on coming as Cal Lu kept the pressure on with their deadly passing game. Late in the third quarter, Preston hooked up with Alex Gonzales for a 10-yard score, Preston's third touchdown pass of the game, to make the score 21-7.

The nail was put in the coffin early in the fourth when Preston zipped a 46-yard touchdown pass to Jimmy Fox.

Fox led all receivers with seven catches for 118 yards.

With 3:06 left in the game, Sullivan added to the Leopards' score with his 71-yard punt return that brought the crowd to its feet.

Sullivan received the punt around the Leopards' 30-yard line, made some nifty moves and, off he was to the promised land with the roar of the crowd behind him.

"We also have to keep the momentum on our side for most of the game," Myers said.

The Leopards were led in rushing by their workhorse, Justin Wolfchief, who rushed for 32 yards on 11 carries.

As a team, the Leopards only managed 207 yards of total offense compared to Cal Lutheran's 463.

"Nobody quits, and the kids are going to be out here tomorrow practicing again a hundred miles an hour," Morel said.

The Leopards will have a chance to pick up their first victory of the season when they square off against Claremont-Mudd-Scripps at 1 p.m. tomorrow at Ortmayer Stadium.