The season's final game produced a victorious result for the University of La Verne football team in recording its first win in nearly two years.
La Verne went on a decisive 28-6 third quarter spurt against Whittier College en route to a 49-23 triumph over the Poets in the season finale Saturday at Memorial Stadium in Whittier.
Ironically, Memorial Stadium was the site for the Leopards' last victory nearly two years ago, when La Verne topped Whittier 24-21 on Nov. 1, 2008.
"This group of payers have endured a lot of adversity, but Im so proud of the fact that they never ran from it," said head coach Andy Ankeny. "Regardless of the outcome on Saturdays, they were always ready to go on Monday. I'm very proud of their work ethic and dedication."
The third quarter uprising was highlighted by a pair of 88-yard scoring runs. Allen Daniels ran for an 88-yard TD for the go-ahead score to give the Leopards a 21-17 lead with 14:21 remaining in the period.
After the Poets regained the lead 23-21, La Verne responded with a 4-play, 73-yard drive to take the lead for good as Erek Brown scored on a 39-yard scamper to give the Leopards the go-ahead score and a 28-23 lead. His second score matched Daniels by also covering 88 yards with 4:43 remaining in the third to push the La Verne advantage to 35-23.
The Leopards' third quarter explosion concluded on a Thomas Arguello scoring pass to Matt Griffin from 31 yards out with 26 seconds remaining in the frame for a comfortable 42-23 La Verne lead. Arguello would find Griffin early in the fourth quarter on an 11-yard scoring pass with 13:05 remaining to complete the scoring.
La Verne erupted for 411 yards on offense after intermission.
The Leos rushed for 380 yards on the day, led by a game-high 188 yards from Brown. The Poets were held to just 129 yards on the ground. The Leopards totaled 586 yards.
Arguello was 15-of-22 for 193 yards a pair of scores. Griffin finished with 5 receptions for 89 yards and a pair of touchdowns, while Daniels caught 8 passes for 70 yards.
Daniel Brown led La Verne in tackles with 8, followed by Jorge Villagomez with 7 on the day. Villagomez, the team's lone four-year senior, got in on offense in the fourth quarter and rushed for a 6-yard gain on the first and only carry of his career.
Whittier's Josh Ollison finished with 154 receiving yards and two touchdowns.