Lakers lose big to No. 1 California


No. 5 running back Richie Sanders scored one touchdown against California University. The game ended 55-14, Vulcans.

On Oct. 29, the ‘Hurst Football team fell in a PSAC West divisional game by the No. 1 ranked California University Vulcans.

The loss was the Lakers’ fourth straight, and was the second worst as far as margin of defeat.

The Vulcans got up on the Lakers early in the game, scoring 17 unanswered points in the first quarter on three consecutive drives.

In the second quarter, the Vulcans pulled far away from the Lakers, scoring 31 points after Mercyhurst scored their lone touchdown of the half off a 2-yard run by running back Richie Sanders.

The half ended with the Lakers down 48-7.

California never ceded its lead to the Lakers, adding another touchdown in the third quarter. The Lakers managed to score again at the 1:59 mark in the fourth with an 8-yard punt return by defensive back Kyle Briggs off of a fumble. The final score was 55-14, Vulcans.

The Lakers struggled throughout the day on both sides of the ball.

On defense, the Lakers were beaten on the pass by vulcans quarterback Michael Keir, who threw for 343 yards, three touchdowns and an interception.

Keir was also sacked once. Vulcan wide receiver Garry Brown had 12 receptions for 265 yards and scored three touchdowns.

Keir also rushed for 82 yards, adding to the Vulcans’ 265 rushing yards. Mercyhurst linebacker Kazimer Struna had 11 total tackles, followed by defensive back Rocky Owens with nine, and seven for defensive backs Ben Young and Akeel Marsh.

On offense, the Lakers failed to cultivate a significant ground game, and had a net yardage of -9.

Quarterback Doug Altavilla was 15 of 33 for 149 yards, and was sacked six times throughout the game for a loss of 43 yards.

Wide receiver Brad Novak had two receptions for 48 yards, and tight end Brad Mostoller also had two receptions for 42 yards.

“It was a lopsided game,” said Marsh. “We did not play to the best of our ability.”

The Lakers struggled to stop Brown from making important catches. “In the secondary, we didn’t slow him down. He had a big game.”

The Vulcans improve to 8-0, while the Lakers fall to 2-7 and 1-5 in the PSAC West conference.

The Lakers are currently in last place for the division.

“Our character has been tested all season. We continuously battle through adversity,” said Marsh. “Last in the PSAC West isn’t where we want to be. We have two games left, two more opportunities to change that.”

The Lakers will travel to Indiana, Pa, to play IUP on Saturday.