LA VERNE- The University of La Verne football team encountered a 45-7 setback versus Chapman University Saturday.
The Leopards dug themselves in a hole early, going down 24-0 before a late score in the second quarter. Senior quarterback Justin Gomez connected with senior wide receiver Chad Lucas for a 38-yard pass and catch to cap a six-play, 74-yard drive to put the Leos on the board before halftime.
That was the only score of the contest, however, as La Verne allowed three more Panther touchdowns in the second half.
The Leopards were hampered by turnovers, including two picks and one lost fumble. The Leo rushing attack produced 247 yards of offense while the passing game accounted for 191. La Verne controlled possession for 29 minutes, 30 seconds.
Gomez was 11-19 in pass attempts with one touchdown. Senior signal-caller Brian Duboski also added 66 yards on three-for-seven passing. Senior tailback Matthew Biggers had a productive day on the ground, rushing for 159 yards on 19 attempts, including a 46-yard gallop in the opening drive of the third quarter. Sophomore halfback Travis Sparks-Jackson gained 58 yards on 16 attempts. Lucas caught fives receptions for 81 yards while senior wideout John Lilly hauled in four passes for 77 yards.
La Verne will return to the field next Saturday for a league matchup with Cal Lutheran University. Game time is 7 p.m. at Ortmayer Stadium.