CLAREMONT, Calif. – After allowing Claremont-Mudd-Scripps to kick a field goal on their opening drive, No. 8 Cal Lutheran roared back with 28 unanswered points, including 21 in the first quarter to run past the Stags 45-10 Saturday night.
"Good effort from the guys tonight," head coach Ben McEnroe said. "We ran the ball very well and didn't have to use a lot of the playbook."
The Kingsmen rolled up 516 yards of total offense including 294 yards rushing. CLU averaged 6.4 yards a carry and racked up 27 first downs. The Kingsmen also passed for 222 yards.
Claremont-Mudd-Scripps took the opening kickoff and drove it down to the CLU 11-yard line before the Cal Lutheran defense was able to hold CMSthe Stags to a 28-yard field goal.
CMS tried to catch Cal Lutheran by surprise attempting an onside kick following the field goal but CLU wasn't fooled and recovered the ball at the CMS side of the field. The Kingsmen responded on the very next play with 41-yard touchdown pass from Zach Shultis to Andrew Worthley to put CLU up 7-3.
After CLU held the Stags to a three and out, Vince Minor flipped the field with a 50-yard punt return. Three plays later, freshman running back Romello Goodman punched in a 10-yard touchdown.
Goodman wasn't done. On CLU's next possession, Goodman broke up the middle before cutting to the outside and racing down the sideline finally being brought down at the CMS 19-yard line, good for a 52-yard pick-up.
Donald Senegal caught an out-route two plays later and outran a Stags defender to find the end zone and put CLU up 21-3 with 4:30 left in the first quarter.
Shultis would connect with Eric Rogers on a perfect fade pattern into the end-zone for a 26-yard touchdown pass two minutes into the second quarter and pushing CLU's lead to 28-3.
CMS would cut into Cal Lutheran's lead when Peter Kimmey double-play faked and found Corey Bickler on a wheel route down the sideline for a 35-yard touchdown pass, making the score 28-10.
CMS would try the trickery again, attempting the same onside kick. Officials initially ruled the Stags recovered before reversing their decision saying that the ball did not travel 10 yards.
With five minutes left in the second quarter, Goodman converted a fourth and six with a 13-yard run down to the Stag six-yard line. Three plays later, Shutlis found tight end Alix Moise Jr. on a crossing pattern in the end zone for a three-yard touchdown pass and increased Cal Lutheran's lead to 35-10.
CMS would respond with our drive of their own, completing three straight passes and getting down to the CLU seven-yard line. Defensive lineman James Emma would step up, however, picking off the next Kimmey pass and returning it out to CLU 13-yard line.
CLU would be unable to convert the turnover into points as Shultis would be sacked and the Kingsmen were forced to punt and CMS ran out the rest of the first half clock.
Cal Lutheran started fast on their first drive of the second half, covering 62 yards in five plays, capped by a Ryan Zirbel 29-yard touchdown scamper.
Shultis would kick a 22-yard field goal on the Kingsmen's next possession to conclude the game's scoring.
For much of the fourth quarter, Cal Lutheran substituted often, giving young players a chance to gain experience. In all, nine different players ran with the ball and seven receivers caught at least one pass.
Cal Lutheran was led by Goodman, who had 155 yards on just 14 carries, good for 11 yards per carry average. Zirbel chipped in 87 yards.
Shultis was 16-23 passing and threw for four scores in his first-career start. Playing in place of injured quarterback Kevin Ramay, the senior from Thousand Oaks completed his first four passes 61 yards including two touchdown passes.
By the end of the third quarter, Shultis was relieved by freshmen Billy Livingston, David Rico and Michael Butler.
Rogers led the receiving corps with five catches for 83 yards and a score. Frankie Jones finished with 43 yards, Worthley had 46 and Senegal ended with 29 yards.
The CLU defense kept the CMS passing game in check but continued to struggle with penalties, this time being flagged 12 times for 121 yards.
"I thought we tackled much better tonight but we really need to take a look at the penalties and figure out why we continue to be penalized disproportionately to our opposition," McEnroe said.
Safety Derrick Romo led the Kingsmen in tackles with seven, including five solo stops. Chris Cabrera had six and a tackle for loss. Tim Cozine had six tackles as well and Rian Younker finished with five and half tackles including a sack.
In all, over 60 Kingsmen saw significant action in the game.
Claremont-Mudd-Scripps was led offensively by Corey Bickler, who finished with 84 yards rushing.
Kimmey finished 15-24 for 118 yards passing with a touchdown and interception while also rushing for 62 yards.
James Ingram lead the Stags with seven and half tackles while A.J. Herrera had seven. Jackie Coburn and Will Shannon each record a sack for CMS.
With the win, Cal Lutheran improves to 4-1 overall and 3-0 in the SCIAC. Claremont-Mudd-Scripps drops to 0-5 and 0-3 in the conference.
The Kingsmen return to Thousand Oaks next Saturday, Oct 20. for homecoming as they welcome Occidental. Kickoff is set for 1:00 p.m. at Rolland Stadium.
Box Score: CLU 45 CMS 10