Sept. 15 marked the opening football game for the Leopards with the introduction to the revamped Ortmayer Stadium. The Leopards played the Whitworth Pirates, losing the game 45-20.
Before the game, booths were set up with food and drinks.
There was also a booth for people to receive face paint of paws paw prints and the letters ULV.
Supporters were getting pumped, and excitement was fueling everyone including the players.
“I listen to hip hop and rap music,” said freshman runningback Dakoda Maldonado. “I hydrate, listen to music and envision what I’m going to do on the field.”
The bleachers were full, and courtesy of Bonita high school, the Leopards had a band line to start the game.
The new lights lit up the field and the school spirit flooded the field.
As the University prepared for a new season of sports with the new stadium players also have their own way for preparing for football season.
“I run track and try to better myself for this sport,” said freshman defensive back Blayr Stone.
Junior, wide-receiver/kicker, Alex Miller began the Leopard side of the scoreboard with a 34 yard field goal in the first quarter bringing the score to 7-3.
Junior running back Matthew Biggers, followed up just over four minutes later with a three yard run, putting the Leopards in the lead.
The Leopards gained 143 yards on the ground out rushing their opponents who only gained 98 yards of rushing.
Biggers had 60 yards on 17 carries.
Within ten seconds of the Leopards’ score, Whitworth scored a touchdown taking the lead, and went on to make the first half a very close score, 14-10.
Throughout the game, footballs were given to people in the bleachers with the ULV name and logo on it. Many posters were painted, and people’s faces and body were covered in orange and black.
“I miss the game atmosphere, the whole environment,” freshman running back Kason Kennedy said.
However, along with the supportive chants the crowds voiced there was also an up-roar in regards to limited seating.
The new additions to the field came with a reduction of seating.
Two sets of bleachers were brought down to just one leaving many Pirate and Leopard fans standing on their feet or pulling spare chairs around the fence surrounding the field to get a closer eye of the happenings in the game.
It also didn’t benefit supporters that almost half of the seating was reserved.
To begin the second half Miller scored another field goal, this time from 36 yards out.
The Pirates had the next field goal, and two touchdowns taking the lead with a 31-13 lead.
Freshman wide receiver Jonathon Lilly, fired back with a one-yard pass from sophomore quarterback Travis Carter bringing the score to 31-20.
Carter was 20-36 on passing and threw for 229 yards passing with a touchdown and an interception. He also rushed for 52 yards.
Carter’s favorite target of the night was sophomore wide-receiver Andres Fernandez who caught eight receptions for 82 yards.
La Verne was able to get to Whitworth’s quarterback Bryan Peterson for a total of four sacks, but they could not slow down the Pirates’ offense.
The Pirates went on to score two more touchdowns leading to the 45-20 lead that the game ended with. One of the scores was a 75-yard run from Whitworth’s Ronnie Thomas.
The Leopards have their next game on the road against Menlo at noon Saturday.
Monique Millan can be reached at email@example.com.