Leos outreached by Bulldogs, 24-19
|Posted Nov. 3, 2006|
On a beautiful Saturday afternoon, the La Verne football team almost pulled off a remarkable come from behind win against the Redlands Bulldogs.
Down 24-6 in the fourth quarter, the Leopards mounted a comeback only to come up short 24-19 in the team’s final home game of the season.
It was senior day for the Leopards on Saturday making it a very emotional game.
After each senior was recognized on the field for their commitment to the team, the game began.
“It was definitely emotional,” senior wide receiver Matt Griffin said, “but it was an exciting environment to play in.”
In a great start for the Leopards, Griffin took the opening kick off 43-yards to put the Leopards in prime field position at the La Verne 49-yard line.
The Leopards would move the ball down the field to the Redlands 34-yard line only to have a pass from junior quarterback Troy Doolittle intercepted by a Bulldog defender.
The first quarter would end with neither team putting up any points.
While the first quarter was a defensive battle, the second quarter however would be quite different.
Redlands got on the board first when sophomore running back Zach Schafer scored from 18-yards out.
With Redlands up 7-0, the Leopards would respond with a touchdown of their own.
Doolittle would connect with senior wide receiver Michael Moreno for a 32-yard touchdown but Redlands would block the extra point attempt to keep the 7-6 lead.
Redlands would take a 14-6 lead on their next possession on a Shawn Dearing touchdown reception.
One of the plays of the game would come on Redlands’ next offensive possession.
Quarterback Chris Saras would complete a 57-yard pass to wide receiver Kyle Godfrey to give Redlands the 21-6 lead and that’s where it would remain at the half.
During halftime, the ULV volleyball team was recognized in a ceremony for their great season.
Even though there are still games to be played, the Leopards won their seventh consecutive Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championship.
Redlands would add a field goal in the third quarter to go ahead 24-6 heading into the fourth quarter.
The Leopards would start their comeback when Doolittle would connect with Moreno for another touchdown.
The two-point conversion would fail but the Redlands lead was cut to 24-12.
The Leopard defense would come up big on the ensuing Redlands drive when senior linebacker Justin Fields would recover a fumble to give the ball back to La Verne.
On the resulting drive, Doolittle would throw another touchdown, this time to senior fullback Joe Camacho from three yards out.
The score put the Leopards back in the game at 24-19 with 2:44 still remaining.
After an on-side kick attempt was downed by Redlands, the Leopards defense held strong again.
Forcing the Bulldogs to punt, the Leopards got the ball on their own 12-yard line with 1:12 remaining.
After a number of completions along the sidelines and timeouts, La Verne had the ball on the Redlands 40-yard line.
Unfortunately for the Leopards, Redlands would recover a fumble on the 33-yard line to seal the victory with a final score of 24-19.
“It was an exciting game” LVTV announcer Hector Casas said. “Even though they didn’t win, it was a good game for the seniors to go out on.”
While emotions were running high during the game, they really came out afterwards.
With 13 seniors on the team this year, many players took the time after the game to take pictures with family, friends and teammates.
They took time to reflect on all the hard work but also the great times they had at Ortmayer Stadium.
While many athletes may go to different schools on scholarships, the players at Division III schools play because it is what they love to do.
It is at this level that the student-athlete really shines.
Redlands improves to 3-4 overall and 3-1 in SCIAC play. The win puts the Bulldogs in second place in the conference standings behind undefeated Occidental.
The Leopards fall to 2-5 overall.
La Verne has a chance to break even in SCIAC with their current record of 2-3 in SCIAC play.
With two games remaining, La Verne will travel to Claremont-Mudd-Scripps at 1 p.m. Saturday afternoon for its final SCIAC game of the season.
The Leopards will then travel to Chapman the following week for its only night game with a 7 p.m. start time for the season finale.
Jason Jarvis can be reached at email@example.com.