While celebrating Senior Night amidst wintry conditions at Ted Runner Stadium, the No. 15 University of Redlands football team appeared hot in every aspect of the game as it ran away with a 49-6 victory over the visiting Poets of Whittier College. With nearly 1100 fans enduring the temperatures, the Maroon and Gray completed one more step toward staying alive for a possible at-large berth to the NCAA Championships.
In addition to a senior-night win, the Bulldogs captured Head Coach Mike Maynard's 150th victory in his career-long tenure at Redlands.
The Maroon and Gray dominated nearly every statistical category, highlighted by junior quarterback Chad Hurst's (Dixon, CA) four rushing touchdowns in the first half. He, along with junior running back Brad Crisanty (Granite Bay, CA) on a two-yard scamper and senior wide receiver Tyler Aubrey (San Diego, CA) on a six-yard reception, accounted for the Maroon and Gray's 42-0 advantage through the opening two quarters.
Hurst finished the game with 138 yards on the ground to compliment his 213-yard attack through the air. He connected with seven different receivers, highlighted by junior wide receiver David Metcalf (Northridge, CA) on five catches for 83 yards.
Crisanty finished out the team's offensive outpouring midway through the third quarter on a 51-yard carry to the promise land for the longest scoring run of his career.
Whittier forced its way into the red zone for the first time all game with 2:32 remaining in the fourth frame. Senior quarterback Matt Evans (Lancaster, CA) topped off the Poets' five-play, 42-yard drive with a nine-yard scoring run. The Bulldog defense stifled the two-point conversion attempt, holding the Poets to just six points on the night.
Defensively, the Maroon and Gray put together an awesome display, complete with big plays and consistent effort.
Early on, senior defensive back Vince Aiello (Fullerton, CA) blocked the Poets' second field-goal attempt of the game, which eventually led to the Bulldogs' 14-0 advantage on the ensuing drive. He later added a pick to his stat sheet, pulling in a touchback and thus eliminating Whittier's scoring chance on second and two from the UR 23-yard line.
Junior defensive back Scott Payton (Sammamish, WA) also nabbed an interception for a 35-yard return, giving Redlands excellent field position that translated into another score for the Maroon and Gray just one play later.
Junior linebacker Sean Woods (Victorville, CA) wrapped up a stellar pass-protection performance for the Bulldogs by collecting an interception of his own during the Poets' final drive of the night.
Junior linebacker Justin Butler (Poway, CA) led the defense with six tackles, while 18 other players notched at least two.
Redlands (7-1, 5-1 SCIAC) completed the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) schedule with tonight's contest and currently sits in second place. The Bulldogs head to Chapman University for a 1 p.m. non-conference tilt with the Panthers. Fans are invited to join Orange County Redlands alumni, parents and friends for a pre-game brunch prior to Saturday's game. For more information or to sign up, please visit http://bulldogconnect.redlands.edu.