THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — The Cal Lutheran football team came out on top in their home opener against Pacific Lutheran, taking down the Lutes for the third time in four years, with a final score of 24-8 Saturday inside William Rolland Stadium.
It's the second year in a row that CLU has defeated PLU. The Kingsmen move to 1-0 as the Lutes drop to 0-1.
The year's matchup was all about defense. The Kingsmen defense came out on top, holding the Lutes to only 52 rushing yards. Five different Kingsmen recorded a tackle for loss. Ethan Pulley, Anthony Rios-Carlsen, JW Windsor, Emmanuel Amaugo and Caleb Casimere led the strong Cal Lutheran defense, putting a stop to the Lutes offense early on.
Rios-Carlsen, Windsor, Amaugo and Casimere also recorded a sack for the Kingsmen.
Ty Lozano and Rios-Carlsen both found themselves in the right place at the right time and each recovered a fumble for the Kingsmen. Lozano also recorded three tackles along with freshman defensive back JD Lang, who added three tackles of his own.
The Kingsmen defense came out dominant in the first quarter, answering the Lutes' run game with a fumble recovery returned for a 60-yard touchdown by Casimere. That put the Kingsmen up 7-0 at the end of the first.
Cal Lutheran's defense was also led by freshman defensive back Zion Brown who recorded 8.0 total tackles on the afternoon. Pulley and Rios-Carlsen also made 7.5 and 6.5 tackles, respectively.
The Kingsmen came back again in the second quarter as Anderson rushed for five yards for a key first down early in the quarter. A 22-yard field goal was completed by Christian Antezana, raising Cal Lutheran's lead to 10-0 with six minutes left in the half.
On the offensive end, the Kingsmen run game shined in the third quarter. Byrd was a beast as he rushed for 11 yards, breaking tackles, to score the first offensive touchdown of the game with 5:20 remaining in the third quarter.
The Lutes tried to answer back, but were unlucky when Nolan Hoover's pass was intercepted by Pulley. He returned the pick 65-yards for a Kingsmen touchdown. The score put Cal Lutheran ahead 24-0 with 2:18 remaining in the third.
Other key defensive players for the Kingsmen included junior defensive back Obasi Dees who recorded two pass break ups and sophomore defensive back Cameron James who tallied another pass break up in addition to rushing for 16 yards in punt returns.
The Lutes managed to get on the board at the end of the fourth quarter with a 19-yard touchdown pass from Nolan Hoover to Anthony Louthan with 4:08 remaining. Pacific Lutheran then converted on the two-point conversion, putting the score at 24-8 Cal Lutheran.
The Kingsmen then ran out the clock to win the home opener, defeating the Lutes 24-8.
Cal Lutheran is on the road for week two as they take on Pacific (Ore.) Saturday at 1 p.m.
Box Score: CLU 24, PLU 8
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Release by Alexa Barnes, Sports Information Assistant; Ryan Jorgenson, Sports Information Director