Football Edged by No. 11 Whitworth in Opener

Football Edged by No. 11 Whitworth in Opener

Photo courtesy of Henry Cardoza

LA VERNE, CA — The University of La Verne football team showed some sparks and played tight with No. 11 Whitworth early. But the Leopards couldn't overcome a big second quarter by the Pirates, falling 50-24 Saturday afternoon.

Offensive Standouts

Sam Taylor led La Verne through the air in the Leopards' two-quarterback system, passing for a career-high 138 yards off seven completions with a touchdown.

Jordan Moore finished with 53 yards receiving off three catches, including the Leopards' longest play through the air, a 39-yard dart from Taylor in the third quarter.

Nathaniel Sagastume picked up 45 receiving yards on two catches with a touchdown. Diego Garcia went a perfect 3-3 on PATs.

Defensive Standouts

Preston Carr was all over the field for La Verne. The linebacker led all players with 14 tackles including eight solo.

Safety Andrew Camargo finished with seven tackles, including one for a loss to go with one pass breakup. Robert Franklin notched his first career interception as a Leopard in the second quarter to end a 74-yard Pirate drive.

Robert Bagley III forced a fumble late in the game that Cole Roberts recovered. Arturo Herrera-Caballero averaged 42 yards punting with a long of 69 yards. 

Highlights 

The Leopards converted a big fourth down in the first quarter on a 35-yard pitch and catch from Taylor to Kevin Stark. The conversion led to a six-yard touchdown run by James Gonsalves to tie the game 7-7.

Quarterback Matthew Albright added the biggest play from scrimmage for the Leopards in the third quarter when he rolled to his right and scampered for 55 yards to the Whitworth three-yard line. The Leopards completed the drive three plays later on an eight-yard pass from Albright to Spencer Pool.

Sagastume pulled in a 33-yard touchdown reception late in the third quarter. 

Freshman kicker Mika Makekau added a 26-yard field goal late in the game to place the final at 50-24. 

How it Happened

The Leopards stayed close with one of the top teams in NCAA Division III through the first quarter, ending the period tied 7-7. But the Pirates broke loose in the second quarter, scoring five touchdowns to pull away for good.

La Verne countered in the third quarter, scoring twice but could get no closer.

Next Game

The Leopards continue their homestand next Saturday against the Willamette Bearcats with kickoff set for 1 p.m.

Getting Ink

Makekau was recently featured in the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin and San Gabriel Valley Tribune and her journey to becoming the first female kicker in the history of the University of La Verne. Click here to read the feature.

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