The University of Redlands football team knocked off the defending Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) champion in a solid 49-14 showing over the University of La Verne on Saturday afternoon on the road at Ortmayer Stadium. The Bulldogs scored early and often to build a 22-0 lead through their first four drives, while Redlands' stingy defense held the Leopards scoreless during the second half en route to creating great field position with big plays.
The Maroon and Gray defense set the tone early by keeping the Leopards off the board in three-straight drives to open the game. During La Verne's first series, junior defensive back Daniel Gonzales (Mentone, CA) forced a fumble at the ULV 39-yard line, which inspired an eight-play drive to the house for the Bulldogs' early 8-0 lead. After senior quarterback Tyler Shreve (Highland, CA) connected with junior wide receiver Cole Blackburn(Sammamish, WA) for 11 yards, the Maroon and Gray continued to move the chains, eventually setting up junior running back Alex Andrighetto's (Portola Valley, CA) two-yard scamper into the end zone.
Redlands extended its lead to 15 points with another efficient drive that began when the Bulldogs forced the Leopards into a three-and-out series for negative yardage. After senior running back Devin Appleton (San Jose, CA) found space on a 45-yard carry into the red zone, junior quarterback Mitch Kidd (Salinas, CA) also found Blackburn on an 11-yard pass play for the Maroon and Gray's touchdown.
The early-game productivity was complete when Redlands regained possession after holding the Leopards on fourth-and-seven at the 19-yard line. The Bulldogs made it 22-0 on their subsequent drive to start the second quarter, when Kidd marched them down field by utilizing a diversified list of contributors. Senior wide receiver Jack Peterson (Seattle, WA) recorded the biggest gain of the drive on a 12-yard catch, while Andrighetto carried this one to the house on a four-yard jaunt for Redlands' third touchdown of the game.
Although the Bulldogs somewhat stalled in the remaining plays of the second quarter, Head Coach Mike Maynard and his staff implemented the necessary adjustments for an impressive display on both sides of the ball in the final two periods. A 38-yard, Kidd-Blackburn connection provided the necessary inspiration for another touchdown, as a wide-open freshman tight end Blake Roy (Wahougal, WA) later hauled in a two-yard pass for the score.
The defense also stepped up in the second half and forced the Leopards into another turnover-on-downs situation, as highlighted by tackles from junior defensive lineman Trevor Raras (Novato, CA), junior linebacker Mitch Shepherd (Seattle, WA), sophomore linebacker Nick Castro (La Verne, CA), and freshman linebacker Blake Torgerson (Lakewood, WA). Redlands wasted little time in taking advantage of the resulting field position, with Kidd carrying this one 30 yards into the La Verne end zone for the visitors' 36-14 lead.
Despite the advantage, the Bulldog defense remained relentless, as junior defensive lineman Tristan Corwin (Wildomar, CA) chased down the ULV quarterback for a sack and a loss of nine yards on the next drive, before junior linebacker Curren Lapes (Dana Point, CA) recovered a fumble on a sack later in the third frame.
For the second game in a row, Redlands looked to its depth to gain experience on the field late in the game, especially in the running-back position. Sophomore Jacob Guglielmana (Lake Elsinore, CA) took full advantage of opportunity with a 26-yard scoring run early in the fourth frame.
Furthermore, freshman kicker Alex Raya (Jamul, CA) capped off the Bulldogs' offensive effort with a pair of field goals, including one off of a high snap that Blackburn effectively set up while Raya adjusted his execution.
Thanks in part to Head Strength & Conditioning Coach Joe Buckley's successful involvement with the team, the Bulldogs benefitted from their tested stamina to create high-quality consistency through four quarters of competition in the heat of the day.
Blackburn led the receiving corps with 147 yards on nine catches, including a long of 43. Kidd and Shreve continued their effective tag-team rotation by combining for a 16-for-26 effort for 218 yards and no interceptions.
Defensively, Raras led the impressive performance by making seven tackles, including 1.5 for a loss of seven yards. Shepherd, junior defensive back Dustin Nascimento (Aiea, HI), and senior defensive lineman Brian Keyser (Medford, NJ) each tallied six tackles. Overall, the Bulldogs racked up four sacks and nine tackles for a loss of 39 yards in a strong showing.
Redlands (3-1, 2-0 SCIAC) returns home to Ted Runner Stadium on Saturday, October 15, for a conference bout against Chapman University at 7 p.m. Fans, friends, and alumni are invited to a pregame tailgate at 4:30 p.m. in the Memorial Chapel parking lot. JoJo's Grill-a-Dog meals will be available for $7 for those who pre-register atwww.redlands.edu/alumni.