Stags edge Leopards on Homecoming

Stags edge Leopards on Homecoming

LA VERNE, Calif. — The Leopards' defense played well, but University of La Verne football team couldn't find the end zone after the first quarter, falling to the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Stags 17-7 at home Saturday night.

Season Impact: La Verne moves to 2-4 overall and 1-3 in SCIAC play. The Stags improve to 4-3 overall and 2-2 in the conference.

The big difference in the game came in the time of possession. The Stags maintained long drives, holding the ball for over 41 minutes in the game, keeping the La Verne offense off the field and severely limiting their opportunities to score.

The Stags caught a break early in the game forcing a fumble on the opening kickoff and recovering the ball on the Leopards' 27 yard line. Claremont-Mudd-Scripps converted a fourth down and scored two plays later on a two-yard rush by Garrett Cheadle. The Stags missed the extra point.

It took La Verne just one play to respond. Matthew Simko connected with Jelahny Garnett for a 57 yard catch and run to even the game 6-6. Eric Rembecky's extra point put the Leopards up by one.

La Verne had a chance to extend its lead after Jose Aguero picked off a pass from Jake Norville and returned it 55 yards to the CMS 30 yard line. The Leopards drove to the Stags' 11 yard line but were stuffed on a fourth and two, turning the ball over on downs.

Claremont-Mudd-Scripps retook the lead midway through the second quarter when Martaveous Holliday was tackled for a loss in the end zone for a safety.

La Verne had a chance to retake the lead on their next possession, but Rembecky's 44 yard field goal attempt sailed just wide right.

A Claremont-Mudd-Scripps field goal in the third quarter and a touchdown by Spencer Sheff to open the fourth quarter put the final at 17-7.

Simko finished the game with eight completions for 131 yards and a touchdown. Michael Medina finished with 41 yards on the ground.

Conner Johnson led La Verne's defense with 12 tackles including 1.5 tackles for losses and half a sack. 

Connor Truhitte added 11 tackles with half a sack and 2.5 tackles for losses.

Next Game: The Leopards take the short trip to Pomona-Pitzer next Saturday to face the Sagehens at Merritt Field. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.