WHITTIER, Calif. - A suffocating defense, steady dose of the
running game and an accurate aerial assault were the main reasons
Cal Lutheran enjoyed a comfortable 30-3 victory under the lights at
Memorial Stadium at Whittier on Saturday night. The Kingsmen have
won back-to-back road night games coming off a 24-22 victory over
Redlands last week.
Box Score: CLU 30, WC 3 - F
The offensive game plan for both squads was to run the ball effectively, not turn the ball over and hold strong on third down defense.
Cal Lutheran had a 100-yard rusher, one turnover and held Whittier to just 2-of-12 on third down conversions.
Whittier rushed for just 94 yards as a team, with a majority coming on a 49-yard scamper by Tyquion Ballard in the final minute of the game setting up a frantic time-expiring field goal finish to put the host Poets on the scoreboard.
The Poets turned the ball over four times and a bad snap on a fourth quarter punt inside their own red zone provided an easy scoring drive for the Kingsmen.
Despite holding tough on third down allowing Cal Lutheran to only convert 3-of-12 chances, the Kingsmen moved the chains when facing fourth down 3-of-4 times.
Most of the big plays were made by the visiting Kingsmen with the defense shining under the bright lights forcing four turnovers and collecting nine sacks. The Kingsmen defense made big plays throughout all four quarters with the defensive line recording all nine sacks, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovered.
Leading this group was defensive end Jordan Barta who wrapped up five sacks including a forced fumble. Jeff Miller snatched a first quarter interception and one sack, Sean Post had a fourth quarter sack fumble recovered by teammate Rian Younker, and James Krausse blasted through the Poets offensive line for a sack of his own.
Linebacker Jacob Norlock led the squad with 12 tackles (seven solo) and teammate Brett Lewis contributed eight tackles (seven solo) and forced a fumble.
The Kingsmen offense sputtered early on as Poets linebacker Travis Driskell single-handedly stopped a first quarter drive after sacking CLU quarterback Jake Laudenslayer, forcing the fumble and scrambled to fall on the loose ball. Whittier held the ball for over 11 minutes of the opening quarter keeping the Cal Lutheran offense on the sidelines.
After the Poets recorded two of their team's three sacks on the first two CLU possessions the Kingsmen offense regrouped and scored 30 unanswered points.
The offense provided several key plays of its own with two coming on the team's first scoring drive of the game. After Jake Laudenslayer completed a 25-yard throw to Eric Rogers, CLU running back Deme'trek Chambers went the final 25 yards on his own finding space and sprinting through the left side of the WC defense for his first of two scoring runs.
Chambers finished off the final scoring drive of the first half with a one-yard sprint to the left sideline with just over two minutes remaining until halftime. The game's leading rusher finished with 102 yards on 24 carries in leading the CLU ground attack.
The CLU passing attack adjusted after the first half in which it went 3-for-3 on attempts but also gave up three sacks and a turnover. Laudenslayer continued his accurate throwing going 11-for-14 for 116 yards and two TDs in the second half.
Max Eller was the primary target on the opening second half drive catching three balls for 24 yards including a seven-yard touchdown reception. The biggest toss of the night was a 44-yard scoring play to Carlton Richard coming immediately after CLU defensive back J.D. Austin hauled in an interception.
After Barta's fifth and final sack of the game on third down forced a fourth-and-goal from the 23-yard line, amidst the chaos the Poets field goal unit ran onto the field in the dying second of the game.
The ball was snapped with six seconds remaining as WC kicker Eric Cejudo booted the end-over-end kick through the uprights denying CLU its first shutout since 2005.
Under current Head Coach Ben McEnroe the Cal Lutheran football team has gone undefeated in conference road contests posting an 11-0 mark since 2007. This year's squad has one more SCIAC road matchup this season on Oct. 30 against Claremont-Mudd-Scripps.
No. 22 Cal Lutheran (3-1, 2-0 SCIAC) will return home after being away for over a month from Mt. Clef Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 16 against La Verne.