Game Preview: Bulldog Football Hosts Whittier for Senior Night on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.

Game Preview: Bulldog Football Hosts Whittier for Senior Night on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.

The University of Redlands football team hosts Whittier College for Senior Night on Saturday, November 4, in Ted Runner Stadium.  Kick-off against the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) foes has been pushed to 7:30 p.m. to support the late-afternoon start time of the Bulldog men's soccer game against Cal Lutheran University in the SCIAC Postseason Tournament championship.

Prior to kick-off, Redlands looks forward to honoring its 26 seniors with a short on-field ceremony.

In addition, the Maroon and Gray strives to make the most of this final home game of the regular season with a stellar performance in front of the Bulldog faithful.  Following last week's dominating win over Pomona-Pitzer Colleges, Redlands expects to raise the already high level of execution with a fully engaged offense and a stifling defense that minimizes the opponents' chances. 

Against the Sagehens, junior quarterback Levi Plante (Lake Arrowhead, CA) accounted for 360 of the team's 547 yards of total offense, while junior running backs Josiah Alvira (Danville, CA) and Conner Kennedy (Olympia, WA) combined for 130 on the ground and senior wide receivers Cole Blackburn (Sammamish, WA) and Kyle Kabeary (Indio, CA) teamed up for 148 through the air.  

"Our running backs have been steadily improving throughout the season.  They really want to be good and do everything we ask them to do.  We are very excited about what is happening in the running back position," Head Coach Mike Maynard commented.

Regardless of who is in the game, Redlands works to maintain that level of production with a multi-faceted crew gaining positive yardage.

Defensively, the Bulldogs successfully shut down the Pomona-Pitzer run attack that had averaged more than 230 rushing yards in its previous three conference games. 

"It was clear that we were serious about stopping the run game and that we were good enough to do so," Maynard added.

As a result, Redlands forced the Sagehens into a surprisingly pass-heavy offense, which allowed senior Daniel Gonzales (Mentone, CA) to snag another interception to regain the top spot in the national rankings with eight on the season for 1.1 per game.  In addition, sophomore defensive back PJ Wilson (Modesto, CA), senior linebacker Mitch Shepherd (Seattle, WA), and freshman defensive back Marvin Perkins Jr. (Las Vegas, NV) stepped up with critical stops to highlight the Bulldogs' defensive effort. 

Although this week's opponent enters the contest with a winless record, the Poets have put up some impressive offensive numbers while averaging nearly 30 points and 430 yards of total offense per game.  Redlands expects sophomore quarterback Miguel Avina to get the ball out and run well.  He has quality receives in senior Bryson Sanders and freshman standout Hakim Williams Jr., who have successfully converted medium- and long-yardage situations.  On the ground, Whittier relies on the tough and sturdy junior Chance Trammell, who just pounds out yards to wear down defenses.  With an average of nearly five yards per carry, Trammell provides a key challenge for the Bulldog defense.

Under Maynard's direction, the Bulldogs hold a 25-4 record against the Poets, which includes wins in the previous 10 encounters.

For Redlands, Saturday's game provides an excellent opportunity to send off the seniors with a bang, no matter who is on the field or on the other side of the ball.

"It's our privilege to put on a Maroon and Gray uniform, to run out into Ted Runner Stadium behind the Stars and Stripes, and play football for our great University.  We expect to be highly motivated and play our hearts out."