Sunday, October 30, 2011

Cal Lutheran Football and a Don McLean Concert

Saturday was a very busy day for us. First up was a short road trip to nearby California Lutheran University with Brian FitzGerald and Ryan Bolland for another great afternoon of NCAA Division III football.

Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Stags
2-1, SCIAC, 3-3 Overall
Cal Lutheran Kingsmen
4-0 SCIAC, 5-1 Overall

CLU's brand new
William Rolland Stadium

The Kingsmen entered ranked #10 in the latest NCAA Division III national poll and riding the crest of an 18 game SCIAC winning streak that dates back to the final two contests of the 2008 campaign.

CLU has outscored their last three opponents 118-3 in the first half while averaging 56 points per game during this same stretch, looking every bit the part of a nationally ranked squad!

I think that they play
American football here

"What a BEAUTIFUL day
to play American football!!!"

This was my first visit to CLU's new, state of the art stadium. It is magnificent!!!

The home stands were packed

It was Homecoming, a warm, cloudless day and a very good team was playing.

What more could you ask for?

Hard to find a seat on the visiting side too

It was "Standing Room Only" for us!

CLU Defense Swarming as usual

#6 CMS QB Peter Kimmey breaking away

CLU Defense "Rip and Strip"

CMS would recover their own fumble.

The Kingsmen defense would hold the Stags to a long field goal attempt . . .

. . . Too long an attempt

The attempt fell about five yards short in the end zone.

Nice new CLU Scoreboard

#10 CLU QB Jake Laudenslayer

He is enjoying a great season having thrown for 1,391 yards and 12 TDs in the first six games. He is a Senior and graduates at the end of this semester.

Are you listening EuroBall coaches?

#4 CLU WR Eric Rogers

He leads the Kingsmen with 580 receiving yards and has hauled in 6 TD passes this season.

Suddenly these two big fellas
just started Square Dancing

Goal Line Trench Warfare

Kingsman Gio Lapp for SIX!!!

He is somewhere under that mass of humanity. CLU lineman Jordan Austin, 6-4, 320 lbs. may be a little high in his Goal Line charge.

#40 CMU Stags Kick Returner Nick Nasse

Nasse finds a Wave of Blockers
on his Kickoff Return

CMS runs the Option

CLU attacking the QB on the Option

Imagine that! Thus forcing a very quick pitch which is a good thing.

#34 CLU RB Daniel Mosier

He leads the team through six games in rushing with 691 yards and 11 TDs.

Rogers is loose again in the secondary!!!

Mosier and a Ref about to go 1 on 1!!!

Will he run the ref over?

Nope, Mosier went with a juke move!

Mosier would rush for another 96 yards today and score 3 TDs.

A 16 yard TD Pass to #8 Frankie Jones

Laudenslayer would go 15 for 23 passing for 273 yards with 2 TD strikes.


The CMS QB had a long, hard, uphill fight on his hands all day against the aggressive CLU defense. The Stags could only muster 197 total offensive yards on 56 plays.

Big Boys Tussling

#10 CLU Return Man Justin Haulcy-Bateman

Don't ask,
you just HAD to be there!!!

Finishing touch of a CLU Facial

The Kingsmen played every bit the part of the highly ranked team in downing the Stags by a final score of 54-6.

With the win, CLU clinched no worse than a tie for first place in the SCIAC and has earned the conference's automatic bid into the 2011 NCAA Division III playoffs.

Up next for the Kingsmen is a non-conference road game at Chapman University (4-3) next Saturday. CLU will then close out the regular season with another road trip to play conference rival Occidental College (2-1 SCIAC, 4-3 overall).

Occidental beat Chapman on Saturday 27-17.

Saturday Night Concert

I had a dinner/concert date with my bride Laurie in Santa Barbara last night.

The dinner was at a very nice State Street restaurant called Palazzio, Italian cuisine and oh so good!!! Their motto is "People Don't Leave Here Hungry!"

I didn't.

Laurie picked the concert which was held in Santa Barbara's gorgeous Granada Theatre.

The concert's star was . . .

Don McLean then

Frankly, I questioned her choice as I remembered him as pretty much a fabulous one hit wonder for his huge hit "American Pie" from the early 1970's. Laurie would remind me that he also wrote and sang "Vincent," a.k.a., Starry, Starry Night.

The crowd was mostly made up of 60+ year old geezers. What were two hip young people like us doing there?

Don McLean today

What a delightful surprise!!! He sang a mixture of romantic ballads and Delta blues songs plus his two landmark tunes.

I must admit that I joined the McLean and all of the geezers when it was time for singing "American Pie." Most definitely we all enjoyed the long version.

He and his excellent four man back-up group played exceptionally well and McLean's voice is still very strong and clear at the age of 66!

He performed for an hour and 40 minutes without a break. He did warn us at the start to hitch up our diapers because there would be no intermission!

If you get a chance to hear Don McLean live, JUST DO IT!

Don't be afraid of all of the old people that will share the evening with you, most won't bite and are toothless anyway.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Jordan Nunnery Show, a.k.a., the Huneme at Rio Mesa Game

Hueneme Vikings (0-2 PVL, 2-5)
Rio Mesa Spartans (1-1 PVL, 5-2)

Friday night was Homecoming and Senior Night as the Spartans, still reeling from last weeks overtime loss to Oxnard, played their last regular season home game. The coaching staff was very concerned due to what amounted to our worst week of practice in a long, long time.

QB Sack!!!

We did a very good job applying pressure to the Vikings QB all night long.

Jordan Nunnery's First TD Scamper

Jordan had only 10 carries but they accounted for 279 yards rushing and 3 TDs!!!

On the night, the Spartans ran the ball 30 times for 422 yards and 5 TDs. We totaled 445 yards of offense on 41 plays against the Vikings.

LB Tanner Wrout Blitzing

I like seeing two other Spartans coming off of their blockers to add presure to the Hueneme QB as well.

Flying Around the Ball

Punt Block Team Get-off


Jordan Nunnery on the loose . . .

His 3 TDs covered 37, 84 and 84 yards.

Davonte Nunnery's TD Run

Davonte scored from 12 yards out and, thankfully, was only in on 8 tackles this week from his Free Safety spot as our defense played much better.

#91 Sean Bainbridge, Pass Rusher

Starting late in the 3rd quarter, we were able to clear our bench and get all of our players into the game. Sean, whose Mother takes all of these game night pictures every week, did a good job rushing the passer. Thank you, Susan.

#56 Kelly McKaig-Marquez

Another player who contributes so much each day in practice with his hard play on our scout Tiger teams.


We overcame our poor week of practice and won the contest 42-13.

Up next is a crucial contest at Channel Islands H.S. against a much improved Raider squad (2-1 PVL, 6-2). After the Raiders 27-14 victory over Oxnard Friday night, we are tied for second place at 2-1 in Pacific View League play with Channel Islands and Oxnard. Camarillo, who we play away in our season finale, sits atop the PVL at 3-0.

We have two very tough games to end our regular season to say the least.

To read the Ventura County Star's account of the game, click on:

Week #8 Results: BOLD = RM Opponents
Pacific View League Games:
Rio Mesa 42 - Hueneme 13
Channel Islands 27 - Oxnard 14
Camarillo 63 - Pacifica 22

Channel League Games:
Ventura 34 - Santa Barbara 14
Dos Pueblos 9 - Buena 6
BYE: San Marcos

Week #9 Games: BOLD = RM Opponents
Pacific View League Games:
Rio Mesa (2-1 PVL, 6-2 overall) at Channel Islands (2-1, 6-2)
Camarillo (3-0, 5-3) at Oxnard (2-1, 4-4)
Hueneme (0-3, 2-6) at Pacifica (0-3, 2-6)

Channel League Games:
Ventura (3-0 CL, 9-0 overall) at San Marcos (0-2, 1-7)
Dos Pueblos (1-1, 1-7) at Santa Barbara (1-1, 4-4)
BYE: Buena (1-2, 2-7)

2011 C.I.F.-Southern Section
Western Division Playoffs

There are only two weeks left in the regular season and the C.I.F.-S.S. Playoffs are set to start on November 18th.

The Pacific View League, as well as the Channel League, will send teams to the C.I.F.-S.S. Western Division Playoffs.

The Western Division is made up of six leagues with a total of 36 schools.

The top two teams in each league get automatic bids into the playoffs. After these 12 teams earn their playoff bids, the C.I.F.-S.S. will then select four Wild Card teams to round out the 16 team bracket. The playoff is a single elimination, four week affair.

"People Remember
the Games in November!"

Let's take a look at how the six Western Division leagues are shaping up down the stretch.

Pacific View League Standings:
Camarillo 3-0 PVL, 5-3
Channel Islands 2-1, 6-2
Oxnard 2-1, 4-4
Rio Mesa 2-1, 6-2
Hueneme 0-3, 2-6
Pacifica 0-3, 2-6

Channel League Standings:
Ventura 3-0 CL, 9-0 overall
Dos Pueblos 1-1, 1-7
Santa Barbara 1-1, 4-4
Buena 1-2, 2-7
San Marcos 0-2, 1-7

Mission League Standings:
Chaminade 3-0 ML, 7-1 overall
Serra 3-0, 6-2
St. Paul 1-2, 6-2
St. Francis 1-2, 6-2
Harvard-Westlake 1-2, 5-3
Cathedral 0-3, 3-5

Ocean League Standings:
Santa Monica 3-0 OL, 7-1 overall
Culver City 2-1, 6-2
Inglewood 2-1, 3-5
Hawthorne 1-2, 5-3
Beverly Hills 1-2, 2-6
Morningside 0-3, 3-5

PAC-7 League Standings:
Arroyo Grande 5-0 PL, 8-1 overall
San Luis Obispo 3-1, 6-2
Pioneer Valley 2-2, 5-3
Righetti 2-2, 5-3
Atascadero 2-2, 5-3
Paso Robles 1-3, 2-5
St. Joseph 0-5, 2-6

San Gabriel Valley League Standings:
Dominguez 3-0 SGVL, 6-2 overall
Paramount 3-0, 4-4
Downey 2-1, 3-5
Warren 1-2, 1-6-1
Gahr 0-3, 5-3
Lynwood 0-3, 2-6

Reading can be FUNdamentally . . .

Danish Crime Fiction

As the title implies, our heroine, Smilla, has an incredible knowledge about both snow and ice. By the end of this 453 page tome I had learned more about these two subjects than anyone ever has the right to know.

Besides Smilla's knowledge, we also got to know a lot more about her native Greenland which now ranks at the bottom of my Bucket List of places to visit.

Near the end, this book which starts off in one of my favorite European capitols Copenhagen, the constant talk about the sheer boredom of life growing up in the stark landscape of Greenland almost drove me to get out a large Phillips head screwdriver and poke my eyes out.

No, you should not rush out to read this one.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Our son Mike and his bride Vanessa went to the doctor today and found out, first and foremost, that their baby is healthy with all parts still under factory warranty!!!

They were also told that they are going to be the parents of a Free Safety, a.k.a.,

A BOY!!!

Tank's new cousin
Due date: March 15, 2012

No name has been picked as of this time but I must report that the names Zelmo, Fidel and Thor were all eliminated from further consideration at dinner with them tonight.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Matt Epperson, Peregrino

Today, young Matt Epperson, our outstanding WR during the 2008 season for our Sicilian team in the Italian Football League, the Catania Elephants, marched into Santiago de Compostela, Spain.

He started his Camino de Santiago experience 27 days ago in St. Jean Pied-de-Port, France and shared his experiences on the 500 mile long Camino via Facebook. It brought back a lot of great memories for me as he covered the Camino at an uptempo pace of a little over 18 miles a day.

Matt in front of the Cathedral in
Santiago de Compostela

He is sporting a good looking beard if you ask me.

Way to go Matt!!!

I hope that your Camino was truly the life affirming experience that it was for me.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Redlands at Occidental Game

University of Redlands Bulldogs
3-0 SCIAC, 4-1 Overall
Occidental College Tigers
2-1 SCIAC, 3-2 Overall

Redlands, in white, on offense

On Saturday evening, I was joined by our son Michael for the one hour drive to the Eagle Rock area of Los Angeles to watch a 7:00 p.m. Southern Califorinia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC), NCAA Division III football game.

After a long day of looking at our Oxnard game video plus videos of our next opponent, the Hueneme Vikings, it was time for a break.

Truthfully I was still very depressed by our effort Friday night but also was starting to realize that the Oxnard players just wanted that game a bit more than we did.

Disappointing, I really like this group of kids but our continued bouts with focus issues is really starting wear on all of our coaches.

Pre-Game Meal

Sort of.

Any trip to to the Occidental campus brings with it a mandatory trip to the The Bucket, seating capacity about 40 people.

We arrived there about one hour before kickoff and ordered two Cardiac Burgers, an order of onion rings and two beverages.

Fifty minutes later we still had not been served any part of our order. We cancelled our order before leaving for the game.

At least our arteries were still intact.


Jack Kemp was a QB at Occidental in the 1950's and was a star QB for the Los Angeles/San Diego Chargers and the Buffalo Bills in the old AFL during the 1960's.

After retiring from pro football, he became a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from the Buffalo, N.Y. area.

In 1996, Kemp was even the Republican Party's and Bob Dole's pick for the Vice-Presidential spot on their ticket.

The Oxy Tiger praying for a win over
Redlands, ranked #15 in the Nation

As noted on this blog before, I love Division III football! Besides this funky mascot, Oxy has a student announcer that was hilarious in his pro-Tiger bias and unbridled enthusiam.

He is definitely from the Tom FitzGerald school of broadcasting.

While the atmosphere and facilities at Occidental were great, the lighting wasn't.

Tiger Hits Bulldog
Film at 11:00

Due to the lighting issues and my being in the stands, it was hard to get clear action shots of the game, but I did get some surrealistic ones.

Bulldogs about to score first

Occidental Kicking Off

The Tigers quickly answered the Bulldog TD to make it 7-7 after one period.

Redlands QB #12 Chad Hurst
6'-2", 210 lbs., Junior

Hurst is a very talented signal caller. While only 9 for 20 passing for 145 yards and a TD, he would also rush 11 times for 137 yards and 2 TDs.

His two untouched TD scampers covered 62 and 28 yards and were both on Zone Read Option Keeps.

Occidental didn't account for the QB on the option either.

It did not make me feel any better about Friday night.

Bulldog Kick Off Unit

Oxy's Spread Attack

Trust me, this was a BIG hit!!!

When the entire crowd groans in unison, it is a good hit.

Trips Left

Tigers QB #3 Luke Collis
6'-3", 230 lbs., Senior

He was a tired man by the end of the evening. Collis was 41 for 71 passing, good for 393 yards and 3 TDs! He also chipped in 2 carries for 15 yards.

If you are looking for a QB in EuroBall, he might be someone to contact.

Action on Special Teams

In the middle of this is #8 a WR for Redlands, David Metcalf on a 45 yard Kick Off return

At halftime, it was a 14-14 tie.

One of Occidental's Signature Buildings

The main Oxy quad has been featured in dozens of Hollywood movies where a college campus environment is needed.

Second Half Warm-up

1 on 1 Match-ups

This is the core essence of American football.

Another one of Oxy's 71 pass attempts

The Pivotal Play of the Game

The Tigers were punting with 5:44 left in the third quarter and the score still tied at 14 all.

The Bulldogs #10, Justin Butler would knife through on the right side of the Tigers' line, block the punt and . . .

. . . SCORE A TD!!!

Speaking of the kicking game, Division III also allows for some creativity in this area.

Oxy's Traditional PAT Alignment

Nothing wrong with it, I like it, it was effective.

On the other hand . . .

One of Redlands Pre-PAT looks

And Another

Every time the Redlands scored, they lined up in a different pre-snap PAT look.

I am sure that it caused Oxy to spend a lot of extra time on their PAT block schemes in practice this week.

The Tigers made solid defensive adjustments to all of these looks so the Bulldogs just shifted back to . . .

. . . A Traditional PAT look

Occidental in the Red Zone again

Oxy WR,#10 Ryan Rodriguez
Pressing the Goal Line

Wedge Blocking for Six Points

At the end of three periods it was 28-21 in Redlands favor.

Because of all of the passing, it was getting late and we still had an hour drive back to Ventura County so we decided to leave having seen some good, hard hitting action.

We should have stayed a little longer.

The fourth quarter was a wild one as a total of 33 points would be tallied.

Unfortunately for the Tigers, they found themselves behind 42-28 after Redlands scored with 6:22 left in the game.

No problem, a 14 play, 68 yard drive led to a 3 yard TD pass from Collis to Mathew Tuckness and a score of 42-34 in favor of the Bulldogs.

Problem, Oxy missed the PAT kick, still 42-34 Redlands.

There was still 3:43 left in the game.

After a 9 play drive that covered another 71 yards, Collis found Tuckness again, this time for a 21 yard TD strike. Redlands led 42-40 with 10 seconds left.

The two point PAT pass attempt fell incomplete and the Bulldogs had won a wild one by the same 42-40 score.

Occidental had 537 yards of Total Offense while Redlands countered with 389 yards of their own.

The blocked punt for a Redlands TD was huge.

For more on the game, click on: