Rice breaks records, Stags, 37-28

Campus Times
November 8, 1996

Above: Junior wide receiver Liron Wilson fully extends to grab a 47-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter.

Photos by Starr Carroll

Above: Junior Robert Northrop (#17) sends a Stag head over heels on a second quarter kickoff.

by Scott Harvey
Staff Writer

The Leopard football team continues to eat up and control opponents as it again prevailed over a tough Claremont-Mudd-Scripps team at Zinda Field last Saturday, 37-28.

The spotlight belonged to senior running back Anthony Rice as he sprinted past the Stags' defense for 141 yards and four touchdowns, breaking the ULV record for career touchdowns with 34.

Rice also needs only 257 more yards to break the long standing record of most career rushing yards (2,661) held by Curtis Frick (1972-75) and 245 yards to break former teammate Anthony Jones' record for most rushing yards in a season. Rice is also the current SCIAC leader in rushing and improved on his standing Saturday.

The Stags did, however, come out very strong and ready to play as they received the opening kick off and eventually scored on a 45-yard drive and 1-yard touchdown run from Stags quarterback Bryan Banta.
The point after was no good and Claremont had the lead, 6-0, after a
good opening drive.

The Leopards had trouble on their first possession of the game as they only managed to gain 12 yards on runs for 2 yards on two carries by Rice and a pass from junior quarterback Ryan Hawkins to junior Fred Coffee for a first down. La Verne eventually had to punt after a good defensive series by the Stags and again relied on the defense to stop Claremont's momentum.

The big first quarter play for the Leopards came on the next La Verne possession as the ball was handed to Rice on second down who broke away from the Stags defense on a 46-yard sprint to the end zone tying the game at 6-6. The point after by kicker Armando Hernandez was good and the Leopards had the edge by one point, 7-6.

On the next drive, CMS looked tough as it completed two passes for 11 yards and appeared to be threatening. On first down, however, the Leopard defense found a huge seam in the Stags' offensive line and pummeled running back Mario Duarte causing a fumble which was immediately recovered by senior Brian Zavala giving La Verne the ball on the CMS 10-yard line.

On the next play of the game it was not a surprise when the ball was given to Rice on first down who again beat defenders on a 10-yard touchdown run giving La Verne breathing room at 14-7, after the PAT from Hernandez.

After a Stags fumble in the early moments of the second quarter, La Verne again controlled possession in the Stags zone and on second down Hawkins fired a 53-yard bomb to junior Liron Wilson for a touchdown, a dramatic play bringing a roar of cheers over the visiting stands and boosting the ULV lead to 21-6. The Leopards were fired up and the long touchdown pass epitomized the great game by Hawkins, as he completed 12 out of 19 passes for 255 yards and ran for 11 yards.

"It was the best game that Hawkins had played all year," said head coach Don Morel.

CMS, slighted by the Leopards' lead, came back strong after the score and drove the ball downfield to the La Verne 8-yard line. The defense proved to be too much for the Stags and they had to settle for a field goal on fourth and goal cutting the La Verne lead to 12 points heading into the second half, 21-9.

Although the Leopards controlled the score in the second half, the Stags held up strong and scored three times, but it did not prove to be enough as the Leopards scored three more times as well, on two touchdown runs by Rice and a field goal by Hernandez, to outscore the Stags, 37-28.

"Give them plenty of credit for stopping the rush most of the time. I felt we were struggling most of the game," said Morel.

The win on Saturday was the sixth straight for the Leopards and they are sizzling going into the last part of the season. La Verne is currently in first place in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) with a record of 4-0 in league and 6-1 overall.

ULV will take on Menlo tomorrow at home and hope to up their winning streak to seven games as they head into tomorrow's season-ending match-up against Redlands, currently undefeated in league play and second in SCIAC.