The No. 17 University of Redlands football team staved off a persistent Occidental College squad en route to capturing a 42-40 Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) victory on Saturday in Eagle Rock. It was the Bulldogs' second consecutive outcome determined in the final few seconds of the game, following last week's "Hail Mary" success story.
Redlands and Occidental traded blows through the latter part of the third quarter, leading to a knotted score at 21.
The Bulldogs were first to light up the scoreboard when sophomore running back Bobby Brown (Ladera Ranch, CA) capped off a seven-play, 80-yard drive with his one-yard carry into the Tiger end zone.
Sophomore running back David Woolbert (Irvine, CA) also scampered in for a touchdown from three yards out during the Maroon and Gray's second scoring drive.
With 5:44 left in the third quarter, junior linebacker Justin Butler (Poway, CA) blocked a punt and scooped it up for the six-yard return into the promise land, making it a 28-21 ball game.
However, every Maroon and Gray touchdown was quickly countered by an equalizing Occidental drive, leading to the tight contest.
The momentum seemed to shift in Redlands' favor when junior quarterback Chad Hurst (Dixon, CA) orchestrated two lucrative scoring runs for the first back-to-back touchdowns for either team. On second and five, he found an opening in the Tiger defense and ran it all the way to the house for a 62-yard touchdown. After the Bulldog defense shut down Occidental's response on the ensuing drive, Redlands capitalized on a short punt and good field position. Starting at the Tiger 45, junior running back Brad Crisanty (Granite Bay, CA) and Hurst each carried the ball for 28 yards, leading to Hurst's second rushing touchdown of the night.
However, Oxy came roaring back with 19 points, compared to Redlands' seven in the final quarter, which left the game in question until the final seconds. Coupled with junior wide receiver Aaron Atkins' (Fallbrook, CA) 30-yard scoring strike with 6:22 to go, the apparent saving grace for the Bulldogs was their opponents' missed PAT on the Tigers' second touchdown of the period.
Forced to go for two on its final PAT, Oxy came up just short of forcing overtime with 10 seconds left in this epic and already-dramatic game.
Redlands recovered the resulting onside kick and effectively ran out the clock for the 42-40 win.
Occidental held nearly every statistical advantage, except for the one that mattered most: points. The Tigers posted 31 first downs, compared to the Bulldogs' 18, to go along with 537 yards of total offense to Redlands' showing of 389. In addition, Oxy possessed the ball for 13 more minutes during the back-and-forth affair.
Hurst tallied 145 passing yards while leading the Bulldogs with 137 rushing yards. Sophomore wide receiver Taylor Irwin (Rocklin, CA) served as his top target, recording just four catches for 72 yards.
In addition to blocking a punt, Butler led the Redlands defense with 10 total tackles. Senior defensive back Josh Herrera (Vista, CA) chipped in nine hits, including seven of the solo variety.
The Bulldogs (5-1, 3-1 SCIAC) strive for continued success during Saturday's 2 p.m. Homecoming game against the University of La Verne Leopards, who stunned Chapman University in last night's non-conference tilt.