LA VERNE, Calif. — The University of La Verne football team recovered a crucial late turnover by George Fox and Kason Kennedy scored four plays later to lift the Leopards to a 27-23 win over the Bruins on Saturday at Ortmayer Stadium.
It was fortuitous recovery for the Leopards. After a Travis Sparks-Jackson touchdown cut La Verne's deficit to just two points with 9:45 to go, George Fox running back Dalton Moe just dropped the ball on a carry on the ensuing possession and Leopard linebacker Anthony Penalber pounced on the loose ball to give the ball back to the Leopards.
Sparks-Jackson then busted a 44-yard run to George Fox's three-yard line and Kennedy, who plays linebacker, punched it in out of a jumbo package to put the Leopards on top.
The defense then forced a three-and-out on the ensuing possession and the Bruins, with just under seven minutes left in the game, elected to punt.
La Verne never gave the ball back. The Leopards put themselves in a hole early with a false start and a negative rush, but quarterback William Livingston and wideout Alex Villalobos connected for a huge 3rd-and-12 and the running backs took care of the rest. Sparks-Jackson and Dallas Parent went on to gain 43 combined yards on carries and the Leopards were able to bleed out the clock.
Sparks-Jackson finished the day with 169 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 26 carries and Parent added 81 yards on 15 attempts.
Livingston was excellent through the air, racking up 287 yards and two touchdowns while going 18-for-29.
Tight end Bryan Okereke led La Verne's receiving corps with five catches for 72 yards. Alex Arellano was right behind at 69 yards, 66 of which came on the game's opening score. Alex Villalobos hauled in four passes for 61 yards.
Matt Canlas led the defense with eight tackles and Penabler notched five tackles including a sack to go along with his fumble recovery.
La Verne will take the next week off before traveling to Whitworth on Sept. 19.