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Panthers survive Leopard scare, 17-14

The football team finishes a winless 2009 season.

Freshman running back Eric Brown weaves around Chapman defensive lineman Willie Tobbins during the first half of Saturday’s game. Although Brown’s evasion may have succeeded, the team as a whole did not, losing the game, 17-14. / photo by Rafael Anguiano

Freshman running back Eric Brown weaves around Chapman defensive lineman Willie Tobbins during the first half of Saturday’s game. Although Brown’s evasion may have succeeded, the team as a whole did not, losing the game, 17-14. / photo by Rafael Anguiano

Charlie Neff, Staff Writer
Dan Sayles, Sports Editor

The football team tried its hardest to win the last game of the season against the Chapman Panthers, only to lose, 17-14.

Many fans, friends and students filled Ortmayer Stadium on Saturday in hopes of supporting the football team on its first win, only to see the Leopards finish the season with a disappointing 0-8 record.

The first quarter was scoreless, but the Panthers came out hot in the beginning of the second quarter taking a 7-0 lead.

With a little more than five minutes remaining in the second quarter, the Panthers threw a pass, resulting in touchdown and bringing the score to 14-0.

But the Leopards’ defense challenged the Panthers offense when Wardell Campbell recovered a Panther fumble and was went the distance for the first

Leopard touchdown of the game with only three seconds remaining of the second quarter.

“I got the easy part,” Campbell, freshman linebacker, said. “Everyone else was blocking for me and we really worked together as a team to get that first touchdown.”

The halftime score was 14-7, causing the ULV fans to cheer, stomp and holler in an effort to pump up the team.

In the third quarter, the Leopards struggled completing passes. With seconds ticking away until the fourth quarter and no additional touchdowns, quarterback Anthony Andre struggled with his timing to get a completion.

“Some things hurt us,” Anthony Andre, senior quarterback, said. “We had good efforts with no regrets. We fought our hardest.”

Halfway through the fourth quarter, the Panthers turned around a Leopard fumble and made a successful field goal bringing the score to 17-7.

But the Leopards responded with a successful pass from Andre to junior wide receiver Cedric Ho, providing the second touchdown.

“We had good man to man coverage,” Ho said. “I looked at our quarterback and thought ‘I am going to make this play.’”

The fourth quarter drove the fans crazy with many time-outs called and even, which some believe, a second was taken away before the game even ended.

Nevertheless, the game ended in Chapman’s favor in a win over La Verne with the score of 17-14.

By winning the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference with a 6-0 record, Cal Lutheran will face Linfield on Saturday at noon in the first round of the NCAA playoffs.

Occidental was second in SCIAC at 5-1, followed by Redlands with a record of 4-2.

La Verne accumulated a total of 98 points throughout the seasons, averaging 12.2 points a game, while opponents scored 272 points, an average of 34 a game.

La Verne also had 13 touchdowns throughout the season, and their opponents had more than three times that, at 39 touchdowns.

ULV opponents also had a staggering amount of rushing yardage, averaging 198.6 yards a game, and 21 rushing touchdowns, compared to La Verne’s one.

Eric Brown led the team in punting, kicking an average of 38.2 yards a game for a total of 1,221 yards in the season.

“We as a team fought hard,” head coach Andrew Ankeny said. “Next season we have things to build on, but we look forward to that. For this season, we finished strong.”

Charlie Neff can be reached at charlie.neff@laverne.edu.
Dan Sayles can be reached at dan.sayles@laverne.edu
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