Cub Football - IT'S ON, SEASON OPENER AT SMITH FIELD FRIDAY NIGHT - Sophs beat Fairfax JVs 63-0

The 2017 Loyola varsity football campaign kicks off the season at 7:00 p.m. against Fairfax of the CIF Los Angeles City Section at Smith Field on the campus at Loyola.  It will mark the first time an outdoor athletic game has been played under permanent lighting in the 152-year history of the school.

The Cubs are hoping to see the home stands filled as they will be showing off a squad that has some outstanding players and great ten unity.

To anyone who saw Loyola play football from 1973 through the early years of the new millennium, Thursday's home game against an outmanned Fairfax JV team seemed like a Thursday afternoon fray in the 1970s or 1980s as head coach RIC FLORES and his all-alumni staff ran the veer offense to near perfection the entire first half, and the Cubs' trademark "50" defense dominated for four quarters as the 2017 Loyola sophomore team annihilated the Lions, 63-0, on Thursday afternoon on Hernandez Field at Shepherd Park.

As legendary Cub teams did in the past, the quarterback lined up under center on every play of the first half with split backs behind him. The 'Wolfpack' defense was breathtaking in its physicality all afternoon.  In the first half, Loyola's stop unit held Fairfax to negative yards and allowed a single first down. The Cubs led 49-0 at intermission and had a long distance touchdown run called back as a result of a questionable unnecessary roughness call as time expired.  Let it be said . . . Loyola competed with NECESSARY ROUGHNESS all afternoon. The second half was played with a running clock, and the Big Blue reserves outscored the Lions 14-0.

The Cub veer operated with well executed precision in the first two quarters. CARTER LINK got Loyola on the board early with a 19-yard TD run. Quarterback ANTHONY ARNOU completed a perfectly executed 30-yard TD pass to tight end CUTLER CLIFFORD.  Tailback STEPHEN ARELLANO ran one yard for Loyola's third tally, and did so again from one yard out shortly after his first TD bolt. Link scored on a six-yard romp for the Cubs' sixth TD. TYLER RATKOVICH blocked a punt to set a one-yard TD run by CALVIN LAUGHLIN.  MILES BEARDEN sprinted 30 yards for the final TD of the first half.

After intermission lineman BARRET KELLY recovered a blocked punt in the end zone, and DAVIS WARREN lofted a beautiful TD pass to CONNER FONG to close out the scoring avalanche.

The Cub defense dominated. Lineman BRENDAN PERNECKY and linebackers Clifford, Link, Arellano, NIKKO GONZALEZ and RYAN QUINTANAR all made tackles for losses.

Next week's trip to Santa Margarita will be a much better litmus test for Loyola. But suffice to say, Thursday's flash back to the past bodes well for the future. The soph staff has done a tremendous job in imbuing old school physicality to a team that will play hard every week.

The Cub freshmen have talent, but their first non-league game on the road against Villa Park was marred by two critical fumbles as Villa Park eked out a 7-6 win.