CMS Football Takes SCIAC Opener From La Verne 37-24

CMS Football Takes SCIAC Opener From La Verne 37-24

CLAREMONT, Calif. - Sophomore quarterback Jake Norville came back after missing most of the last two games with an injury and threw four touchdown passes to four different receivers to lead the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps football team to a 37-24 win over La Verne in the SCIAC opener for both teams on Saturday.

With the win, CMS improves to 2-2 on the season and 1-0 in the SCIAC, while La Verne falls to 0-3 overall and 0-1 in league play. 

Norville threw first-half touchdown passes to sophomore wire receiver Ethan Takeyama, sophomore running back Jordan Leonard, and freshman tight end William Smith to stake the Stags to a 21-10 lead at the break. He then added a fourth touchdown pass to sophomore tight end Theo Chamberlain to make the score 34-17 with 14:17 left to play, and the Stags were able to chew up clock the rest of the way with their ground game.

Garrett Cheadle had 155 yards on 28 carries as CMS dominated the time of possession battle, holding the ball for 39:19 to 20:41 for La Verne. The Stags killed off 4:51 with a nine-play, 90-yard drive, and then killed off another 4:44 with a nine-play drive, all on the ground, to close out the scoring on an Alessandro Maiullo 23-yard field goal. 

"Any time you get a long drive, it's a lot of fun," said senior offensive lineman Jackson Tate, part of a unit that helped control the clock (over 20 minutes time of possession) in the second half. "You feel like you are really dominating when you can extend a drive for almost a whole quarter. It's kind of what we've been doing this year, having long drives and just grinding, grinding, grinding. That's what we're about this year."

The Stags used their defense to get off to a quick start as senior defensive back Mackenzie Cooney forced a fumble on the first La Verne play from scrimmage, and younger brother Benjamin Cooney recovered. Three plays later, Norville found Takeyama for an eight-yard touchdown pass with 11:12 left in the third. 

La Verne got three points back on a field goal, but Norville led the Stags on a seven-play, 68-yard drive that ended with a 14-yard touchdown to Leonard to make the score 14-3 at the end of the first. 

A 53-yard touchdown pass to Amir Bishop got La Verne back within 14-10, but the Stags picked up a key touchdown with 17 seconds left in the half. After a penalty kept the drive going following a missed field goal, CMS had fourth and goal at the one, and Norville found Smith in the left side of the end zone, who tipped the ball up in the air and pulled it in before falling out of bounds to give the Stags a 21-10 lead at the break. 

An 80-yard run from James Gonzalves stunned CMS on the second play of the third quarter, but they responded right back with a 76-yard drive, culminating in a one-yard run from Cheadle, to move back ahead 27-17 with 10:15 left in the third, and the nine-play, 90-yard drive overlapping both quarters helped seal it. 

Matthew Stuppiello III led the defense with eight tackles, while Mackenzie Cooney and senior linebacker Mitchell Allen each had six. Norville had a career high in touchdown passes with his four on the day. 

CMS will be back in action next Saturday when it takes on Cal Lutheran for a 1 p.m. contest at Zinda Field.