It is a good thing for Cal Lutheran and La Verne that Saturday night afforded each team an extra hour of sleep.
In a grueling seesaw game, Rashard Magee caught a 25-yard touchdown pass on a trick play, giving La Verne a 35-32 double-overtime victory in a Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference game at La Verne.
Cal Lutheran (3-4, 3-1 in SCIAC play), which had a three-game winning streak snapped, had an opportunity to win in the final minute of regulation, but Ryan Geisler missed a 35-yard extra-point attempt after Dorian Stitt scored on a 32-yard pass from Chris Czernek to tie the score, 22-22.
The Kingsmen were penalized 15 yards for excessive celebration.
Czernek converted two third-down passes and benefited from a roughing-the-passer penalty to put Cal Lutheran at La Verne’s 32 with 45 seconds to play. Czernek and Stitt then connected.
“It was a very emotional game, but we can’t afford to have 500 guys running down to the end zone and counting points before they should have,” said Scott Squires, Cal Lutheran coach.
Geisler, who made field goals from 46, 48 and 41 yards, barely hooked the extra-point attempt wide left.
“If it wasn’t for Ryan, we wouldn’t have been in the game at that point,” Czernek said.
After each team scored a touchdown in their first overtime possession, Geisler kicked a 19-yard field goal to put the Kingsmen ahead, 32-29.
La Verne (6-1, 4-1) scored when quarterback Dan Blahy threw a lateral to receiver Richard Hoeft, who threw to Magee in the end zone.
Blahy completed 27 of 42 passes for 369 yards and three touchdowns. La Verne had 394 yards passing.
Stitt had 64 yards rushing and five receptions for 70 yards. His one-yard scoring run gave the Kingsmen a 10-7 lead in the third quarter.
“We are a young team, we played three freshmen on the offensive line and numerous more on defense, and we battled and hung in there,” Squires said. “La Verne’s second in the nation [in Division III] in rushing defense. . . . There is a reason why they are 6-1.”
La Verne was allowing 40 yards rushing per game, but the Kingsmen rushed for 132 yards.