CLAREMONT, Calif. — The University of La Verne football team kept Claremont-Mudd-Scripps' aerial game in check but could not solve the Stags' ground attack as it lost, 40-24, on Saturday night at Zinda Field.
La Verne had given up an average of 357 passing yards and 11 total passing touchdowns through its first three games and looked to contain damage through the air against CMS.
The Leopards plugged one hole but opened another. La Verne limited CMS to 235 yards passing but the Stags' ground attack exploded with 312 yards and five touchdowns.
To exacerbate the matters, La Verne's own running game—which had averaged 221.3 yards per game going into the game—was held to just 75 yards without a touchdown on the night.
La Verne's passing game, which has been one of the nation's best so far in the season, stayed hot despite the Stags keying on it with constant seven- and eight-man coverage. Quarterback William Livingston went 25 of 37 with 355 yards and three touchdowns while Jonathan Lilly hauled in 11 of those passes for 227 yards and two touchdowns.
Livingston connected with Lilly for a 74-yard touchdown to tie the game at 7-7 and the Leopards briefly took a 14-13 lead when Livingston found Travis Sparks for a 14-yard score midway through the second quarter
But the Stags responded immediately on the next drive by running the ball nine times for 48 yards and capping it off with a nine-yard pass from Trey Reynolds to Chris Cziesla.
CMS switched things up to open the second half. Reynolds completed four passes for 75 yards on the first drive of the third quarter to get the Stags to the La Verne 10-yard line and Gott finished it off with at 10 yard scamper to give CMS a 26-14 lead.
August Buoncoure converted a 37-yard field goal on the next drive to keep the Leopards within striking distance, but the Stags scored touchdowns on their next to drives to extend the lead to 40-17.
Gott led the game with 173 rushing yards to go along with two touchdowns for CMS. Anrew Segre scored three touchdowns on 61 yards and Reynolds gained 53 yards.
Michael Frias was disruptive on defense for La Verne. The junior recorded eight total tackles (five for loss) including a sack and a forced fumble.
The Leopards travel to Whittier next Saturday week to face the Poets at 5:00 p.m.Follow La Verne Athletics on Twitter @ULV_Athletics Like La Verne Athletics on Facebook Follow La Verne Athletics on Instagram @ULV_Athletics Sign up for our newsletter