Football wraps up 2017 with loss to La Verne

Football wraps up 2017 with loss to La Verne

Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com

LA VERNE, Calif. – The Whittier College Football team wrapped up their 2017 season Saturday but faced a tough match-up on the road with the University of La Verne as they fell 82-17.

The 82 points is the most given up in a single game in program history as the Purple & Gold have been outscored 218-58 over their last three games.

Whittier ends their season winless at 0-8, 0-6 SCIAC and have now stretched their losing skid to 30 games, with their last win coming back on October 18, 2014, which was a 36-17 victory over La Verne on Homecoming.

The Poet offense turned the ball over four times and the defensive unit gave up 690 yards of total offense, which proved costly in the loss at Ortmayer Stadium.

La Verne got into the endzone midway through the first quarter capitalizing on a Chance Trammell (Chico, Calif.) fumble.  They then went 35 yards for the go ahead score with James Gonsalves rushing it in from 21 yards out.  After a big kickoff return of 28 yards by Jovan Bea (Santee, Calif.) that set-up the Purple & Gold in ULV territory, they managed only 17 yards in the drive before turning the ball over on downs on the ULV 30.  

Four plays later, ULV extended their lead as Josh Evans found Jelahny Garnett for a 55-yard hook-up moving the score to 14-0.  On the ensuing kickoff, Bea again gave WC great field position with a 21-yard return.  This time the Poets would tack on points going 71-yards in 8-plays capped off with a Miguel Avina (Indio, Calif.) completion to Hakim Williams Jr. (Riverside, Calif.) for 14 yards that cut the deficit in half.  During the drive, Avina found Williams Jr. for another big hook-up going 33 yards.

ULV struck quickly in the second quarter as Gonsalves would take the first snap out of the break 60-yards to the house giving the Leopards a two score lead and it got worse from there as the Leos tacked on another 27 points in the quarter moving the score to 48-7 at the half.

Out of intermission, the Poets managed to get some offense going as they strung together an 81-yard drive, which covered 3:49, thanks to a big fourth down conversion where Avina found Brian Phelan (Chino Hills, Calif.) for 41-yards that set-up a Trammell rushing score from 25-yards out.

On their next possession, Whittier's' Eric Voss (Temecula, Calif.) got his first attempt at a field goal and he would connect from 26 yards out but those would be the last points gained as WC would get shutout 20-0 over the final 15:00 minutes that gave the win to ULV.

Whittier totaled 291 yards of total offense, throwing for 166 and rushing for 125.  Avina was 11-27 for 166 yards and a touchdown, but threw two costly picks and lost a fumble.  Trammell rushed for 50 yards on 21 carries with a score and Phelan and Williams Jr. added 84 and 61 yards receiving each respectively. 

Bea was the bright spot for the Purple & Gold as he totaled 175 yards on returns averaging 21.9 yards per return. Defensively, Nicholas Markarian (Chino Hills, Calif.) finished with 10 tackles (9 solo/1 assist) with a forced fumble.  Oscar Aliaga (Las Vegas, NV) added eight tackles (7 solo/1 assist) with a break-up and Cooper Allen (Visalia, CA) added five tackles (3 solo/2 assist) with two break-ups.