Leopard football team endures loss in home opener

Leopard football team endures loss in home opener

LA VERNE- Fresh off a season-opening victory, the University of La Verne football squad sustained a 56-7 loss against Menlo College at Ortmayer Stadium Saturday afternoon.

The Leopards (1-1) were undone by a series of big plays from the Oaks (2-3) in the early going. A Menlo touchdown on the opening kickoff was quickly followed by a 43-yard passing score. After a failed PAT attempt, Menlo held a 13-0 advantage less than two minutes into the game.

La Verne struck back, however, with quarterback Brian Duboski firing a three-yard pass to wide reciever Jon Lily at 10:01 mark in the first quarter to make it a one-possesion game.

But those were the only points the Leopards would put on the scoreboard as Menlo widened the margin to 36-7 at halftime and 56-7 by the conclusion of the game.

Coach Chris Krich was quick to cite the quality of the opponents.

"We were coming off a close win last week, and in many ways this game showed that we are still trying to figure ourselves out," said Krich. "But give them credit, we played a very good football team today."

Menlo boasted a powerful ground game, posting 390 yards rushing in addition to 255 through the air. The La Verne offense accumulated 216 yards in the passing game and 91 from the run.

The Leopards gave up four turnovers, including three interceptions and one lost fumble. Menlo controlled the time of posseseion by a 36:38 to 23:22 margin.

Duboski played the majority of snaps as the Leopard's signal caller, going 16-34 with 161 passing yards and one touchdown. Tailback Matthew Biggers fought for 69 rushing yards on 17 carries, while Lily hauled in nine receptions for 121 yards and one score.

Safety Conner Truhitte led the Leopard defense with seven tackles. Linebacker Manny Macias made five stops with one pick, accounting for Menlo's only turnover.

Krich noted some positives from the contest.

"I think it was good to get some of our younger players in the game," said Krich. "A few guys did some really good things, but there were also plenty of things that didn't go so well that we'll look at on tape this next week."

Krich and his staff will now turn their attention to league opponents.

"In the big scheme of things, we're still starting our conference schedule with a clean slate next week," said Krich. "This is one of those games that gets you prepared. Sometimes you need a good hit in the mouth to learn from your mistakes. We just need to make sure we stay positive and don't make those mistakes again."

La Verne is slated to open the conference schedule with a home tilt against Claremont-Mudd-Scripps next Saturday. Kick-off is scheduled for 1 p.m. at Ortmayer Stadium.