LV Life Editor
The football team earned a 41-27 victory in front of a packed homecoming crowd Saturday at Ortmayer Stadium.
The Leopards defense forced six turnovers, including two interceptions returned for touchdowns which proved to be the difference in the game.
“We struggled at first, but we made big plays,” head coach Chris Krich said. “It was a huge win for us.”
Whittier scored 10 points to start the game, but the Leopards blocked a Poet field goal attempt which led to a 33-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Brian Duboski to junior wide receiver Andres Fernandez for La Verne’s first score.
On the next Leopard defensive sequence junior safety David Kain picked off Poet junior quarterback T.J. Jordan and returned it for a 22-yard touchdown giving the Leopards a 14-10 halftime lead.
“We watch a lot of film and that’s what helped us this week,” Kain said.
La Verne’s opening drive in the second half was capped off by Duboski’s 18-yard touchdown run.
“We played a four game quarter and that was huge,” Duboski said.
Whittier scored on the following possession, but another pick-six by the Leopards’ defense via sophomore linebacker Matt Canlas gave La Verne breathing room. After a Poet field goal the Leopards led 28-20 heading into the fourth.
“We were hot and cold defensively,” Krich said. “We lost some plays defensively, but we made up for those plays too.”
La Verne outscored Whittier in the final quarter 13-7 with the big play being a 96-yard kickoff return by freshman running back Dallas Parent.
Senior running back Gustavo Viramontes had a three-yard touchdown run in the final quarter for the Leopards’ winning effort as well.
La Verne had 131 total rushing yards for the game.
“It gets us closer to our goal and that is to win a conference championship,” Krich said.
With the win, the Leopards improve to a 3-1 overall record and a 2-1 record in Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play.
La Verne will face a true test as it takes on Redlands at 7 p.m. Saturday for its first SCIAC road game of the season.
Redlands is in a three way tie with La Verne and Chapman for the top spot in the SCIAC standings.
“It is always tough,” Krich said. “We just can’t look over any game.”
Julian Mininsohn can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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