Old Dominion reminds that anything is possible as "new" season begins

Loyola's "new" season starts Friday - anything is possible in wide open Mission League  
The Washington Post headline in Sunday’s Sports Section read, "From Norfolk to eternity: Old Dominion springs a glorious upset for the ages" after the winless Monarchs of Conference USA not only upset Virginia Tech, the nation's number 13th-ranked team, but poured it on the Hokies to the tune of a staggering 632 yards of total offense in a 49-35 victory that can only be described as a seismic event in FBS football. Old Dominion lost to lowly Liberty, 52-10, three weeks ago. Since their lone victory over the Monarchs, the Liberty Flames were outscored 85-21 by Army and North Texas.

What made the epic upset all the more compelling was that Old Dominion was struggling on offense until last Saturday's veritable total yardage explosion against one of the best defenses in major college football.

What does a college football game played in Norfolk, Virginia before a small crowd on a late September Saturday have to do with Cub Football? Well . . .everything. It proves that any team can get off the mat when down and turn around its fortunes notwithstanding what projections of further futility might indicate.

This Friday at Mission Hills, Loyola (1-4) will travel to Alemany (4-1) to kick off the 2018 Mission League campaign. The league is somewhat down compared to recent seasons, and the races for the conference title and playoff berths are wide open.

The Cubs have a chance to change the trajectory of their season as a "new" campaign commences this Friday. 

Below (in alphabetical order) are thumbnail sketches of each of Loyola's Mission League opponents after the non-league portions of their schedules were concluded.

ALEMANY (4-1)
The Warriors average 232 yards per game passing and 114 yards per game rushing. Sophomore quarterback Miller Moss (6-2, 190) has completed 60 per cent of his passes for 1,141 yards. Alemany’s top runner is freshman Floyd Chalk (5-9, 185), who is averaging 7.8 yards per carry. Senior DL Trevor Oioh (6-3, 240) leads the team in tackles with 31.

Most noteworthy result: 56-14 loss to Oaks Christian.

Average score: 31-16

BISHOP AMAT  (4-1)
The Lancers average 154 yards per game passing and 131 on the ground. Their top runner, Damien Moore, is lost for the season due to injury. Senior QB Blake Archuleta (6-2, 190) has completed 62 per cent of his passes for 762 yards. Senior running back Kenny Collins (5-9, 170) is averaging 5.8 yards per carry. Senior defensive back Deven Jarvis (6-2, 180) leads the team in tackles with 46.

Most noteworthy results: 42-14 season opening loss to Mater Dei (was a forfeit win due to MD’s use of an ineligible player), one point loss to state top 20-ranked JSerra (21-20), 42-21 win against Cathedral.

Average score: 34-21

CHAMINADE (2-3)
The Eagles, who along with Amat, have played a tough non-league schedule, average 181 rushing yards per game and 112 yards through the air. Senior QB Ryan Stevens (6-1, 180) has passed for 665 yards (58%). Alex Okuribido (6-0, 184) averages 6.5 yards per carry. Cal-bound senior linebacker Blake Antzoulatos (6-2, 202) leads Chaminade with 46 tackles.

Most noteworthy results: lost to state number six-ranked Folsom 70-34, lost to state number two-ranked St. John Bosco 56-20

Average score: 28-33.

NOTRE DAME (3-2)
The Knights average 241 yards on the ground and 112 passing yards per game. Sophomore signal caller Cooper Meek (6-3, 185) has completed 59% of his passes at a 14.9 yards per cometion clip and averages 6.7 yards per rush. Senior running back Christian Grubb (5-11, 170) averages a whopping 10.8 yards per carry. Sophomore RB Anthony Spearman III (5-10, 193) averages 7.2 ypc. Sophomore middle linebacker Jacob Moore (6-1, 195) leads the Kights with 69 tackles.

Most noteworthy result: lost 23-12 to St. Francis of San Mateo of the CIF Central Coast Section.

Average score: 30-17.

SERRA (3-2)
Serra averages 298 passing yards per game and 72 yards rushing. Junior quarterback Doug  Brumfield (6-5, 200) has completed 60% of his passes for 1,480 yards (14.2 yards per completion). Six foot-three inch senior receiver Justin Lockhart is averaging 102 receiving yards per game. Running back Jaylon Armstead (5-11, 215) is averaging 6.0 yards per carry.

Most noteworthy results: lost to San Diego Cathedral Catholic 41-22, defeated L. B. Poly 29-25, lost to Narbonne 27-26.

Average score: 28-27.

Cubs in college football update
Former Loyola punter STEFAN FLINTOFT '14 was named the Ray Guy Award punter of the week as he averaged 48.8 yards per punt, with a long of 70 yards, in UCLA's game against Fresno State on September 15. Flintoft is on the Ray Guy Award Watch List. The award is bestowed on the best punter in college football at the conclusion of each season.