ORANGE, Calif. - Cal Lutheran scored on offense, defense and special teams during a 61-31 road win over Chapman on Saturday night at Ernie Chapman Stadium. A string of 45 unanswered points turned a 17-10 deficit into a blowout victory.
Box Score: CLU 61, CU 31 - F
On a night that featured several big plays it was Cal Lutheran who trailed at the end of one quarter. Cal Lutheran pulled ahead 27-17 by halftime and ended any hopes of a Chapman upset after scoring touchdowns on four consecutive possessions to begin the second half.
Cal Lutheran took its initial lead of the game without the offense stepping foot on the field. After the Kingsmen defense yielded three points on the Panthers opening drive, CLU senior Justin Haulcy-Bateman took the team's opening kickoff return 95 yards for a score.
The senior defensive back and return specialist had a big night that also included a 20-yard interception return and four punt returns totaling 42 yards.
Reminiscent of its game with Redlands, the Cal Lutheran defense allowed Chapman to run wild in the opening quarter. The Panthers first play was a 47-yard run that led to a field goal. Later in the frame Michael Lahey scored on a 61-yard scamper to take a 10-7 lead.
Lahey finished with 126 yards rushing and two touchdowns on only three carries. All five of his pass attempts were caught; four by Chapman receivers and one snatched away by Haulcy-Bateman for his fifth interception of the season.
Chapman capped off its third scoring drive of the opening quarter with a 14-yard touchdown pass from Bret Visciglia to Kali'I Kunitomo to surge ahead 17-10. Visciglia finished Saturday completing 13-of-28 passes for 164 yards including the score to Kunitomo.
In total the Panthers racked up 122 rushing yards, seven first downs and did not turn the ball over in the first quarter. Over the final three quarters Chapman moved the chains only nine more times, gained 97 yards rushing and committed four turnovers. The Cal Lutheran defense aided the team's streak of 50-plus points for the fifth consecutive game.
The Kingsmen scored its opening points of the game on special teams, the next 48 courtesy of its offense, and the final touchdown courtesy of Noah Lyche recovering a fumble in the Chapman end zone. The CLU offense took advantage of Chapman's misfortunate putting 17 points on the board off four Panther turnovers.
Quarterback Jake Laudenslayer achieved the first 100-yard rushing performance of his CLU career doing so on 13 carries. He completed 16-of-21 passes for 256 yards and three touchdowns including a pair to his favorite target Eric Rogers.
Rogers hauled in four receptions for 121 yards including a 63-yard touchdown. Deme'Trek Chambers scored two third quarter touchdowns with a 51-yard reception and a 13-yard run.
Daniel Mosier added another 86 yards and two touchdowns on only 10 carries against the Panthers. His season total of 873 yards on the ground ranks ninth best in program history, and 15 rushing TD's are the third most by any CLU running back.
Tanner Hix led the Cal Lutheran defense with nine total tackles (eight solo) and forced one of three Chapman fumbles. Chris Carr made the most of his lone solo tackle recording a sack fumble and pouncing on the loose ball ending a potential scoring drive for the Panthers when CLU led 24-17.
Cal Lutheran (7-1, 5-0 SCIAC) needs to score only four points in its regular season finale at Occidental (5-3, 3-2 SCIAC) to break the program's single-season scoring record of 358 set in 1975. This year's squad would accomplish the feat in two fewer games than the 1975 team.
The Kingsmen have already clinched a spot into the NCAA playoffs regardless of their result with the Tigers.