Freshman team continues to dominate, demolishes Valencia, 56-13 - Vanguard tailgate before Varsity game tonight - Former Cub was leading FBS in rushing

Loyola freshman team rolls to 56-13 rout of Valencia
Loyola's freshman team keeps believing it will be challenged, but the results-namely Big Blue domination-continue to be the same. Heading into Thursday's fourth non-league game of the 2018 campaign at Smith Field the Cub coaching staff was impressed with Valencia's defense and the play of the Vikings' defensive line in particular, based on the scouting they had done. So it was felt that Valencia would provide Loyola's freshman squad its most competitive game of the season thus far, but the perceived talented Vikings  squad didn't put up much of a fight. The Cubs led at halftime, 42-7, in yet another dominant first half performance. Loyola's reserves played all but one play of the second half, and the fourth quarter was played with a running clock as it has been in the final stanza in each of the Cubs' preceding victories.

Loyola's 'Wolfpack' defense plays fast and aggressively, and the offense seemingly makes big plays at will. That template was no different on Thursday. The Vikings were bigger up front on both sides of the ball and appeared to have an impressive array of skill position players, but the Cubs, as usual, were not fazed. At the 8:15 mark of the first quarter, quarterback JOE TATUM threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to PETE VANIS. Calvin Cardenas's PAT kick put Loyola up 7-0.

With 3:44 left in the first quarter, HARRISON ALLEN ran the ball in from one yard out for the Cubs' second TD to up Loyola's lead to 14-0.The TD toss was preceded by a beautifully executed 32-yard fourth-and-long pass from Tatum to wide receiver JACOBY KELLY. After Valencia failed on a fourth down play in their own territory, Tatum again quickly found a streaking Kelly on a seam route for a 41 -yard touchdown. With 1:44 left in the first quarter the Cubs led 21-0.

Tatum scored himself on a perfectly executed 43-yard quarterback keeper around left end at the 8:50 mark of the second stanza to make the score, Loyola 28, Vikings 0. 

Shortly thereafter Kelly, who also starts at safety, stripped the ball from a Vikings' receiver at the Valencia 35 yard line. Tatum threw another perfectly placed pass to Vanis who caught it in stride before being tripped up at the two yard line. Tatum carried in from there to up the Cub lead to 35-0.

An interception by Loyola's JACKSON SHEA set up a 35-yard TD sprint by Allen with 2:25 left in the half to make the score 42-0. Just before intermission Valencia got on the board with a seven-yard TD pass to make the score, Cubs 42, Vikings 7.

Loyola received the second half kickoff, and on the first play from scrimmage, Tatum connected with Vanis on a 46-yard strike down the visitors' sideline to make the score 49-7. From that point on the Cub reserves played the remainder of the game.  Loyola's WILLIAM BLAIR returned a Valencia fumble 55 yards for the Cubs' final tally. The Vikings scored on a 10-yard pass late in the fourth quarter. The final score was Loyola 56-13.

While the exploits of Loyola's offensive platoon were impressive to say the least, the effort of the Cub 'Wolfpack defense is equally laudable. Linebacker PATRICK SODL may have had the hit of the day. Linebacker JACK SHOEMAKER was also a big stopper. Six-foot-two-inch JACK WYNPERLE, the Cubs' back- up QB was a stalwart at defensive end as was JUSTIN MURRAY at the other end post. Albeit undersized, HENRY KUPIEC, who doubles at center and nose guard is one of the toughest members of a tough team. Two-way lineman HARRISON MILLS is as good as they come, and fellow two-way trench man JOE TAYLOR punishes his opponents. Six-foot-four-inch two-way tackle ETHAN "SAM" MOON is also showing big time ability.

Loyola (4-0) travels to Murrieta Valley next Thursday for what is expected to be a challenging contest. Loyola has outscored its first four opponents by the cumulative score of 208-32 (average score: 52-8).

Pre-game for tonight's varsity game against Valencia
Loyola's varsity football team is hoping to get back on the winning track versus Valencia. Kickoff is at 7:00 p.m. at Smith Field. The usual pregame gathering will be at 5:00 p.m. at Las 7 Regiones de Oaxaca located at the southwest corner of Dewey Avenue and Pico Boulevard (2648 Pico Boulevard, just north of Loyola's Dewey parking lot).

The Loyola Gridiron Vanguard is having a tailgate in the courtyard of Rupert Hall this afternoon at 5:30 p.m. for current members and those who have recently joined the organization. If you are a member that wants to attend,and have not as yet sent your RSVP, it might still be possible to RSVP. It is suggested that you contact Pat Girardi at Loyola.

Cubs in college football update
It was reported that former Cub All-CIF running back NICO EVANS '14, a redshirt senior at the University of Wyoming, was the leading rusher in the FBS after the first two games of the season. Unfortunately because of an upper body injury, Evans will be sidelined for two weeks.