The University of La Verne opens the 2012 football campaign Saturday evening when it takes on Whitworth University in the Grand Re-opening of Ortmayer Stadium.
The Pirates: Whitworth is making its third straight road trip to begin the season and second straight appearance in Southern California. The Pirates are off to a 2-0 start after defeating Whittier 47-42 last Saturday after taking a 27-0 lead with five minutes left in the first half.
Whitworth rolled up 546 yards of total offense. Quarterback Bryan Peterson left last week's game against the Poets due to injury but is expected to play against the Leopards.
Peterson completed 7 of 10 passes for 136 yards with two touchdowns and an interception in just over a quarter of work.
One of the top receiving targets is senior wide receiver Jake DeGooyer, who caught 12 passes for 232 yards and three touchdowns against Whittier. Running back Ronnie Thomas rushed for 109 yards rushing with two more touchdowns.
The Leopards: La Verne enjoyed a strong finish to the 2011 winning three of its last four contest under Chris Krich to place third in the SCIAC standings. The Leopards return 11 starters, four on offense, six on defense and one on special teams.
At quarterback, La Verne freshman Drew Podrebarac from North Carolina will make his first collegiate start. Two returning weapons include senior tight end Christian Winnewisser and junior RB Matthew Biggers. Winnewisser caught 21 passes for 314 yards and two touchdowns last season, while Biggers ran for 617 yards and four scores. Both players received Second Team All-SCIAC.
The La Verne defense returns six starters. Senior DL Alex Barrios earned First Team All-SCIAC last season, while sophomore DL Nick Gutierrez earned Second Team All-SCIAC as a frosh freshman. Both had four sacks in 2011.
The game will be broadcast on LVTV-3 and will be streamed live online. Prior to the contest, a special ceremony will take place commemorating the Grand Re-opening of Ortmayer Stadium.
Kickoff is scheduled for 6:05 pm.