THOUSAND OAKS — The University of San Diego's hopes of an unbeaten season took a dive Saturday--at about the same time Adam Hacker took his.
Hacker, Cal Lutheran's freshman quarterback, plunged into the end zone from one yard with 13 seconds remaining, and Tom Montague kicked the extra point to give the Kingsmen a 21-20 victory against USD.
The decision, which snapped a five-game USD winning streak over two seasons, was the Toreros' 10th consecutive loss at Cal Lutheran. It came after USD (2-1) built a 17-0 third-quarter lead against the previously winless Kingsmen.
Hacker's deciding touchdown came on fourth and goal, but it was anything but a certainty.
The Toreros disputed whether he made it into the end zone. "I was on top of the pile at the end, and the ball was on the other side of the goal line," said USD cornerback Greg Frinell, who, with Dave Paladino, hit Hacker as he tried to traverse the pile. "But it goes down as a touchdown."
The score capped a 73-yard drive that included a 23-yard pass from Hacker to Patrick Henry High product Len Bradley at the USD three-yard line. Hacker, playing his first full game, completed 24 of 39 attempts for 216 yards, with two interceptions.
"I just needed to get in the rhythm of playing," Hacker said. "Once you get a full game under your belt, it feels like you have a lot more experience."
Quarterback Michael Bennett scored from 11 yards to give the Toreros a 17-0 lead with 11:42 left in the third quarter. But Cal Lutheran's Cassidy O'Sullivan (29 carries, 100 yards) scored on runs of seven and eight yards to make it 17-14.
USD answered with a 36-yard field goal by Dave Bergmann with 6:44 remaining.
Bergmann had a 23-yard field goal in the first half to set a school record for career field goals. He surpassed Robert Lozzi, who made 27 of 47 from 1981 to 1983. Bergmann has made 29 of 43.
The Toreros grabbed a 7-0 lead on a seven-yard touchdown pass from Bennett to halfback Willie Branch with 56 seconds left in the half.
After taking possession, Cal Lutheran tried an ill-advised pass with 22 seconds remaining. Frinell intercepted Hacker's pass to set up Bergmann's first field goal.
"They made the big plays when they needed to," USD Coach Brian Fogarty said, "and we just didn't when we needed to."
Fullback Scott Sporrer gained 67 yards on 16 attempts for the Toreros, and Branch added 25 yards on six carries.
Lutheran (1-3) outgained USD from scrimmage, 305 yards to 247.