Kingsmen Stunned by Occidental

CLU falls 44-34 to Tigers

Ryan Zirbel (left) rushed for 106 yards and two touchdowns while Ty Olson helped CLU gain 500 yards of offense against Occidental.

Photo: Tracy Maple

LOS ANGELES, Calif. -- Cal Lutheran was stunned Saturday night as Occidental’s running back Kwame Do rushed for 258 yards and four touchdowns while leading the Tigers to a 44-34 upset victory over the Kingsmen. It was the first time Cal Lutheran has fallen to Occidental since 2008. The Kingsmen got 106 yards rushing from Ryan Zirbel, his second game with at least 100 yards or more, and actually outgained Occidental in yardage 500-481 but had no answer for Do and the Tiger rushing attack.

Cal Lutheran opened the game’s scoring eight minutes into the first quarter when Zirbel ran it in from two yards out to complete an 11-play 65-yard drive.

Just two minutes later, Occidental tied the score when Do ripped off a 61-yard touchdown scamper.

The Kingsmen immediately responded with quarterback Billy Livingston finding Sean Bellotti for a 33-yard touchdown pass, putting CLU up 14-7 just before the end of the first quarter.

Unfortunately for Cal Lutheran, that would be the last lead it would have of the game as Occidental scored 24 straight points including a 70-yard touchdown from Do.

Trailing 31-14 midway through the third quarter, Zirbel scored his second touchdown of the game when he burst through the line and found the end zone after a 25-yard run, pulling CLU to within 10 points.

The Tigers would go back up by 17 when Occidental quarterback Bryan Scott threaded a pass through the CLU secondary and connected with Samuel Stekol for a 40-yard touchdown.

The Cal Lutheran offense would be revived by back-up quarterback David Rico, who came on late in the third quarter. After the CLU defense forced a turnover on downs from its own 29-yard line, Rico directed a five-play 71-yard scoring drive that took just over a minute and got CLU back in the game. On first down, Andrew Worthley snared a Rico pass for a 19-yard gain and on the very next play Kiyle Playter caught a pass after an 18-yard gain and got CLU down to the Occidental 34. After an incompletion, Rico broke loose for a 13-yard gain and a play later got CLU to within 10 again at 37-27 after a 21-yard touchdown run.

With 9:05 remaining and needing a stop, Occidental was able to convert on a fourth and two from the CLU 31-yard line and then scored three plays later when Do tallied his fourth touchdown the game. Occidental’s drive 14-play drive was a back-breaker for CLU as it took over six minutes.

CLU was able to get one more score in the final two minutes when Rico found Worthley for an eight-yard touchdown pass but the Kingsmen were unable to come up with on-side kick, securing the win for the Tigers.

In addition to Zirbel’s yardage, Wayne Chapman chipped in 95 yards on 19 carries. Rico had five rushes for 56 yards and threw for 101 more. Livingston was 12-of-19 for 112 yards in his second collegiate start.

Thomas Asaije led the CLU receivers with five catches for 55 yards. Bellotti had three receptions for 76 yards while Worthley finished with 39. Alix Moise, Jacob Scott and Brent Stevens also each had a catch against the Tigers.

Randall Shumpert was the top defender for CLU, registering seven solo tackles. John Perkins tied Shumpert with seven total tackles and Chris Cabrera was third with 6.5.

Scott was 12-of-23 for 174 yards and touchdown for the Tigers. Stekol led all receivers with seven catches for 133 yards.

With the win, Occidental improves to 3-3 overall and 2-2 in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC).

Following the loss, Cal Lutheran (2-4, 2-2 SCIAC) will need to win the rest of its games on the schedule to continue its streak of 10 consecutive winning seasons. The Kingsmen will be back in action next Saturday, Nov. 2, when it hosts its final home game of the year against La Verne. Kickoff is set for 7:00pm.

Box Score: OXY 44 CLU 34
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