With big plays on all areas of the field, the University of Redlands football team unleashed a 49-7 thrashing during its Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) opener against the visiting Tigers of Occidental College on Saturday in Ted Runner Stadium. Amidst "Take a Kid to the Game Night" and "Coach to Cure M.D.," the Bulldogs gave their fans plenty to remember as they came alive with awesome execution en route to the sixth-highest offensive output in the history of the program.
With senior quarterback Chad Hurst (Dixon, CA) back in the lineup after a week hiatus, the Maroon and Gray quickly found its rhythm on an efficient five-play, 88-yard drive to the promise land on its opening possession. After finding junior wide receiver Taylor Irwin (Rocklin, CA) and junior tight endDaryl Andersen (Grand Terrace, CA) on consecutive plays, Hurst connected with senior wide receiver Peter Adams (Laguna Niguel, CA) for 36 yards into the Tiger end zone. It was a sign of things to come, as Adams played a key part in the Bulldogs' 630 yards of offense by amassing the third-most receiving yards in single-game history with 221.
After the Bulldog defense forced the opponents to punt on fourth-and-10, Redlands continued to charge, orchestrating a rush-dominant series for a 14-0 lead. Irwin tallied 24 yards on the ground, only to be surpassed by Hurst with his 30-yard scoring carry.
Occidental's ensuing drive moved the ball all the way to the Redlands 35-yard line but senior defensive back Brandon Morris (Mission Viejo, CA) halted the Tigers' efforts with his first of two interceptions on the night. The Bulldogs converted this opportunity into a 34-yard field goal by junior Kevin Grady (Seattle, WA), making it 17-0 at the start of the second quarter.
After Grady split the uprights on a 43-yard field goal, Occidental was on the move from its own 22-yard line to the Bulldogs' 34. But Morris once again changed the Tigers' plans by hauling in his second interception and running it back 31 yards for a huge play.
This inspired a six-play, 50-yard drive by the Maroon and Gray, bookended by senior running back Brad Crisanty's (Granite Bay, CA) 27-yard and seven-yard runs.
Up 27-0, Redlands clearly owned the momentum, as shown by senior defensive back Carter Hersey's (Tacoma, WA) safety upon a bad snap during a Tiger punt attempt with five minutes left in the second quarter.
Minutes later, senior linebacker Justin Butler (Poway, CA) nabbed an Oxy pass for the Bulldogs' third interception of the night, which came at just the right time as the opponents were knocking on the door at the Maroon and Gray four-yard line.
With seconds to go in the first half, Hurst launched a surprise air attack with an 80-yard bomb to Adams for the touchdown.
During the third quarter, Redlands continued to move the ball well while stymieing any Tiger opportunities. Crisanty carried the ball 23 yards to the house and Hurst found junior quarterback-turned-wide-receiver Daniel Davis (Seattle, WA) on a seven-yard strike to complete the offensive onslaught.
Occidental avoided the shut-out with a 16-play, 93-yard drive early in the fourth quarter, as junior quarterback Tommy Edwards (Sherman Oaks, CA) forced his way through the Bulldog line for a one-yard scoring carry.
Offensively, Adams uncorked a career-game with 221 yards on 10 catches for two touchdowns, placing him in the Bulldog record book with the third-most receiving yards for a single game.
Hurst went 20-for-35 for a total of 352 yards as the team's starter, while Crisanty served as the Bulldogs' top ball-carrier, racking up 116 yards on 15 attempts.
Redlands recorded three sacks on the night, with Butler, sophomore defensive lineman Adonis Downey (Fontana, CA), senior defensive linemanZack Andrews (Santa Ynez, CA), sophomore defensive lineman Jordan Bixler (Redlands, CA), and senior linebacker Sean Woods (Victorville, CA) contributing on these big plays.
Senior linebacker Jordan Garcia (Carlsbad, CA) led the defense with six tackles, while the Bulldogs gained at least one hit from multiple members of the team.
Redlands (1-2, 1-0 SCIAC) looks to ride this newfound momentum into Saturday's game against the visiting Kingsmen of Cal Lutheran University at 7 p.m. in Ted Runner Stadium.