Eric Rogers wanted to do something to boost his grandmother's spirits.
Grandma Doris was recently diagnosed with cancer for the third time, and began chemotherapy treatments last week.
Rogers wrote her name on his pink bandana before Cal Lutheran's game on Saturday, and then solidified his status as the best wide receiver in program history.
The senior All-American became CLU's all-time career receptions leader to help the No. 8 Kingsmen defeat Occidental 56-7 in front of a homecoming crowd of 3,124 at William Rolland Stadium.
The receptions mark gives Rogers every career receiving record at CLU. He broke the records for all-time receiving touchdowns and yardage earlier this season.
"I get a lot of my courage, bravery and strength from my grandma," Rogers said. "To go through cancer twice and have it come back again is asking a lot. I invited her to come today, but she was too weak. I am going to give her a call and tell her about it though."
Rogers needed only four catches to break the record, and already had six by halftime. He finished with eight catches for 120 yards and three touchdowns.
He has 181 catches to top the 176 caught by Jimmy Fox from 2000 to 2003.
"It's kind of surreal, but I've had a lot of help from all my quarterbacks and offensive linemen over the years," Rogers said. "Without them, those records wouldn't happen. And if the coaches didn't have faith in me, they wouldn't happen. I take that as a responsibility for me to go out and make plays."
Rogers was one of a few CLU players to record milestones as the Kingsmen (5-1, 4-0) extended their Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference winning streak to 24 straight games.
Occidental head coach Bill Redell was on the other side of lopsided outcomes many times when he was coaching at Oaks Christian School.
"That was what you call a good old-fashioned butt kicking," Redell said. "I thought the first quarter and a half we played very well on both sides of the ball, but then the wheels came off and they took it to us. They are a very good team and are very well coached. I appreciate them easing up on us at the end and running the ball."
The competitive portion of the game lasted through the first quarter before CLU scored the final 49 points.
Rogers opened the scoring with a 20-yard touchdown run on a double reverse. Occidental (1-5, 1-3) answered with its only touchdown on a 5-yard reception by Matthew Tuckness.
CLU took the lead for good when freshman running back Romello Goodman caught a short pass and danced his way through Occidental defenders for a 26-yard touchdown.
CLU senior quarterback Zach Shultis added touchdown passes to Rogers, Donald Senegal and Frankie Jones to give CLU a 35-7 lead at halftime.
Two of those touchdowns resulted from long punt returns by Vince Minor. The junior sprinted 60 and 50 yards to give CLU prime field position.
"I am proud of how our defensive responded after those first two drives. They were lethargic and left some opportunities out there. Fortunately, we got out with only one touchdown by Oxy," CLU head coach Ben McEnroe said. "Offensively, we had a pretty good plan of how to attack them. Zach Shultis did a great job managing the game and finding plays for our playmakers and making plays for himself."
CLU substituted liberally in the second half, and was able to continue its homecoming tradition of getting a senior offensive lineman his first career touchdown.
Jordan Austin was this year's recipient as the 320-pounder rumbled in from the 1-yard line to stretch CLU's lead to 49-7 with 9:09 still remaining in the third quarter.
In only his second career start, Shultis finished 21 of 25 for 368 yards and five touchdowns.
Daniel Azhocar rushed 17 times for a career-high 104 yards and a touchdown for CLU. Goodman finished with 156 all-purpose yards
But McEnroe was not pleased with every number posted by the Kingsmen.
CLU finished with 12 penalties, including a few flags for unsportsmanlike conduct.
"It was embarrassing the way some of the guys celebrated today," McEnroe said. "That is a poor reflection on our program. We addressed it at halftime and we will definitely address it when we show up at practice on Tuesday."
Occidental 7 0 0 0 — 7
Cal Lutheran 7 28 14 7 — 56
CLU — Rogers 20 run (Zach Shultis kick), 8:45.
OXY — Tuckness 5 pass from Edwards (Kuzbari kick), 2:00.
CLU — Goodman 26 yard pass from Shultis (Shultis kick), 9:30.
CLU — Rogers 29 pass from Shultis (Shultis kick), 5:49.
CLU — Senegal 6 pass from Shultis (Shultis kick), 2:24.
CLU — F. Jones 5 pass from Shultis (Shultis kick), 0:17.
CLU — Rogers 6 pass from Shultis (Shultis kick), 13:03.
CLU — Austin 1 run (Shultis kick), 9:09.
CLU — Azhocar 1 run (Shultis kick), 6:46.
First downs 18 31
Rushes-Yards 23-55 43-296
Passing Yards 268 368
Comp-Att-Int 25-44-2 21-26-0
Punts-avg. 5-40.0 2-37.0
Fumbles-Lost 0-0 0-0
Penalties-Yards 3-26 12-129
RUSHING: Occidental — Do 6-31, Dudley 9-22, Cheadle 2-4, Edwards 6-(—2). Cal Lutheran — Azhocar 17-104, Goodman 11-96, Rogers 1-20, Anderson 2-18, Zirbel 3-18, Shultis 3-17, Butler 1-8,Crichton 1-7, Rico 2-5, Jandoc 1-2, Austin 1-1.
PASSING: Occidental — Edwads 22-44-2-268. Cal Lutheran — Shultis 21-25-0-368, Livingston 0-1-0-0.
RECEIVING: Occidental — Tuckness 9-70, Rodriguez 6-72, Stekol 4-82, Dudley 3-13, Do 1-13, Stanton 1-9, Nagy 1-9. Cal Lutheran — Rogers 8-120, Jones 4-78, Moise 3-53, Goodman 2-60, Worthley 2-29, Zirbel 1-22, Senegal 1-6.
--- Published in the Ventura County Star on Oct. 21, 2012