A combination of big plays by the University of Redlands along with crucial miscues for the University of La Verne proved too much to overcome for the Leopards in a 40-21 home defeat to the Bulldogs in SCIAC action Saturday evening at Ortmayer Stadium.
La Verne (2-3, 2-1 SCIAC) was hampered by five interceptions along with 112 yards in penalties as its two-game win streak was halted by the Bulldogs. Redlands outgained the Leos 445-384 and was bolstered by the big play. Three of the Bulldogs' touchdowns covered 40 yards or more on the evening.
The tone of the contest was set on the third play from scrimmage as Brad Crisanty took a handoff and raced 44 yards for the opening score to give the visitors a quick 7-0 advantage in a little more than a minute of action. The Bulldogs struck again less than four minutes later when a Leopard pass was picked off by Brandon Morris deep in La Verne territory to set up a 1 yard TD rush from Crisanty for a 14-0 lead at the 10:04 mark of the first quarter.
The Leopards got on the scoreboard when they drove 75 yards on 12 plays in 5:03. A 19 yard run by Travis Carter followed by a 15 yard pass from Carter to Gustavo Viramontes set up a 9 yard scoring pass from Carter to Jonathan Lilly to close the deficit to 14-7.
Redlands (2-3, 2-1) later marched 27 yards on 10 plays to the La Verne 28, setting up a 45 yard field goal from Kevin Grady early in the second quarter to extend the advantage to 17-7.
La Verne had an opportunity to cut into the Bulldogs' lead when Alex Barrios forced and recovered a fumble inside the Redlands 20 yard line. The Leopards failed to convert, however, as an interception by the Bulldogs' Michael Polvere thwarted the drive resulting in no points.
Early in the third quarter, Grady concluded another drive with a 22 yard field goal to extend the Bulldog advantage to 20-7.
The Leopards would counter with a seven-play, 70 yard scoring drive, culminating in a 3 yard run from Carter to trim the deficit to six points at 20-14 with 14:37 left to play.
La Verne's momentum was short-lived as Redlands reached the end zone on its next possessions. Two personal fouls on the Leopard defense along with a 22 yard pass play set up a 3 yard scoring run from Crisantly.
The Leos were then marred by a fourth interception by the Bulldogs which would lead to a 21-yard scoring pass from Chad Hurst to Darryl Andersen two minutes later put the visitors up 33-14. Hurst and Andersen later put the game out of reach with 88 yard scoring connection with 4:36 left to play.
Late in the contest, La Verne produced the final points of the game when Brian Okereke hauled in a 30 yard pass from Carter with 3:06 remaining.
For Redlands, Crisanty tallied 116 on 24 carries while Hurst threw for 278 yards along with two touchdown tosses. Andersen totaled 157 yards on 6 receptions.
Biggers concluded with 78 on 22 carries for the Leopards while Carter threw for 245 with a pair of scores. Viramontes caught 4 passes for a team-high 50 yards.
The Leopards look to rebound next Saturday as it plays host to Pomona-Pitzer during La Verne's Homecoming in a 1:00 pm start at Ortmayer Stadium.