The University of Redlands football team lit up the scoreboard in Ted Runner Stadium on Saturday night by rolling to a 58-7 victory over the visiting Loggers of the University of Puget Sound (WA). The Bulldogs came out on fire and quickly scored three touchdowns on their first four possessions in a very busy opening quarter. The Maroon and Gray continued to impress en route to 626 yards of total offense, which was complemented by seven defensive takeaways.
"We are very pleased with the win," Head Coach Mike Maynard stated. "I thought we played really well, particularly in the first half."
The Bulldogs' first drive allowed them to establish both dimensions of their offense. Junior quarterback Nathan Martinez (Redlands, CA) connected with three different receivers, while sophomore running back Kai Thompson (Murrieta, CA) took care of business on the ground. On second and nine, first-year running back Mason Carvalho (Menifee, CA) found space to carry the ball 29 yards to the house for the Bulldogs' 7-0 lead.
The Redlands defense immediately put its offense back on the field by forcing a fumble on the Loggers' second play from scrimmage.
This short field set up Martinez' touchdown pass to junior wide receiver Kai Kang (Sammamish, WA). With senior kicker Alex Raya's (Jamul, CA) PAT, the Bulldogs owned a 14-0 advantage less than five minutes into the game.
Although UPS cut the deficit in half, Redlands kept its foot on the gas pedal late in the quarter with another efficient scoring drive. Starting at their own 41-yard line, the Bulldogs moved the chains on two plays, which set up Carvalho's 42-yard catch into the end zone.
Redlands hauled in its first of six interceptions on the Loggers' ensuing drive, which immediately led to a Martinez-Kang scoring combination from 35 yards out.
"Takeaways were really key and we were able to capitalize on those Puget Sound turnovers," added Maynard.
Now leading 28-7, Redlands remained persistent by tacking on 20 more points before the end of the first half. Raya converted two field goals, while Martinez ran in a pair of touchdowns.
"Nathan played really well. He was able to distribute the ball and be effective."
The Bulldogs' offensive line played a huge part in the team's success on offense with great blocking and protection throughout the game.
On the other side of the ball, the defense shut out the Loggers for the rest of the game. Senior defensive back Jeff Hector (Palos Verdes Peninsula, CA) hauled in three picks in an impressive display. His effective coverage of UPS' top receiver provided a great spark to the Bulldog offense. In addition, junior linebacker Jermaine Calhoun Jr. (Oceanside, CA) led the Maroon and Gray with 11 tackles, including four solo hits, as junior linebacker Matthew Betancourt (San Bernardino, CA) provided eight tackles.
By the end of the game, Raya had his third field goal, while first-year running back Andrew Kellstrom (San Bernardino, CA) made a six-yard jaunt into the end zone for his first touchdown as a Bulldog.
With the win well in hand, the Maroon and Gray utilized many players throughout the lineup.
Overall, Martinez went 14-for-20 for 249 passing yards, while senior quarterback Eric Kump (Huntington Beach, CA) connected on 8 of his 14 throws. The duo found 12 different receivers, including junior wide receiver Trey Gevers (Issaquah, WA) for 83 yards on just two catches. Carvahlo racked up 134 yards on the ground on 16 carries.
Redlands (2-0) looks forward to hosting Linfield College (OR) on Saturday, September 21, at 7 p.m. Ted Runner Stadium.