LA VERNE, Calif. — The La Verne football team's offense stayed hot and its defense came up with a huge last-drive stop to beat Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, 32-27, on Saturday afternoon at Ortmayer Stadium.
La Verne quarterback William Livingston was 25-for-45 for 320 yards and a touchdown through the air, but his biggest play came on the ground when he scampered into the end zone for a six-yard touchdown with 1:24 remaining in the game that gave La Verne its final lead.
The scoring drive came immediately after the Stags took a lead for the first time on an Andrew Segre touchdown with five minutes to go. Livingston threw for 34 yards on the drive and Travis Sparks-Jackson added 23 yards on the ground to set up the game-winning touchdown for La Verne.
The Stags marched to the La Verne 19-yard line on the game's final possession but La Verne's defense stood tall when it mattered as it forced four straight incomplete passes. The Stags had its best shot when Tyler Stanek seemed to have gotten open on 3rd-and-10 but Trey Reynolds was off target. Reynolds targeted Staneck going across the middle on the next play but Anthony Penalber batted it away to preserve the win for the Leopards
La Verne improves to 3-1 overall and 2-0 in the SCIAC. Claremont-Mudd-Scripps falls to 2-2 and 1-1.
A week after racking up 414 yards and six touchdowns through the ground in a 47-28 win at Occidental, the Leopards went with pass on 10 of its first 13 plays. Livingston went 6-for-8 for 33 yards on the first drive of the game and broke the scoring cap off as he hooked up with Arellano for a 49-yard score with 8:46 left in the first quarter.
The Leopards extended the lead early in the second quarter when Joshua Hardy picked off a Reynolds pass near the line of scrimmage and returned it all the way for a 70-yard touchdown.
Reynolds kept the Stags in the game with his arm. He put Claremont-Mudd-Scripps on the board wit ha 27-yard strike in the second quarter and opened the second with a 69-yard scoring drive that culminated with a 29-yard touchdown pass to Trey Smith that brought the Stags within 20-14.
But La Verne responded immediately as Livingston drove the offense down the CMS 3-yard line, highlighted by a 42-yard pass to Ezra Broadus, and Sparks-Jackson punched it in to give the Leopards a little breathing room.
Penalber was all over the place on defense for La Verne, racking up 12 total tackles including a sack in addition to the crucial pass breakup as time expired.
Carvonte Hill also notched double-digit tackles with 11.
Arellano provided a safety blanket all day for Livingston as he hauled in 11 catches for 156 yards. Alex Villalobos had seven receptions for 63 yards.
Sparks-Jackson finished with 74 yards on the ground.
La Verne returns to action next Saturday when it hosts Whittier at 1 p.m.