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Cal Lutheran Defeated in a Decision : Strategy: Occidental causes nothing but trouble for Kingsmen offensive line.


THOUSAND OAKS — The Cal Lutheran football team was beaten by one man on Saturday.

But it was a different one on each play.

"We would get all the blocks, but then one guy would slip through," Cal Lutheran offensive guard Tony Papa said. "We were always one guy short."

Occidental seemed to slip one unblocked lineman or linebacker through whenever Cal Lutheran faced a key play.

The deciding score in Occidental's 19-17 victory over the Kingsmen on Saturday at Mt. Clef Stadium came on just such a play.

Cal Lutheran quarterback Ryan Huisenga was sacked by a linebacker and he fumbled into his end zone, where Occidental's Andre Coleman fell on the ball.

"They were giving us a lot of pressure which we weren't picking up," Coach Joe Harper said. "We thought our (blocking) schemes at the beginning of the game would work, but they didn't."

Tailback Terrence Thomas was also a victim of the Tigers' aggressive defense. He gained only 29 yards in 17 carries through three quarters, but finished with 80 yards after the Cal Lutheran passing game started to open some room for him.

"They had seven men on (the line) most of the time," Thomas said. "There were just extra men and we didn't do our jobs."

When Cal Lutheran faced third and three at the Occidental 14 midway through the fourth quarter, Thomas was stopped short of the first down on two consecutive carries.

"We knew that if we could get through to their linebackers, Terrence could go off like he did at San Diego (when he gained a school-record 224 yards)," Papa said. "But we couldn't."

Another problem for Cal Lutheran's offensive line was the loss of starting center Tim Johnson, who sprained his ankle in practice Wednesday. He was replaced by Kevin Kress.

Occidental linebacker Darrin Mangnall, who had 16 tackles and forced Huisenga's fumble into the end zone, said the Tiger defense is designed to create matchup problems on the line of scrimmage.

"Their offensive line did a real good job," Mangnall said, "but we have a solid defense, and if we play it right, it works."

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