Redlands Football Stumbles to CMS in Battle for First Place

Photo credit: Sam Keary
Photo credit: Sam Keary
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The University of Redlands football team battled until the bitter end but came up short against the visiting Stags of Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges on Saturday night in a difficult 10-20 loss.  The Bulldogs struggled to find their offensive rhythm, while the Stags chewed up the clock with consistent gains.

The Bulldogs opened the game with a scoring drive that covered 54 yards on nine plays and resulted in a 25-yard field goal by senior kicker Nathan Hierlihy (Redondo Beach, CA).  Sophomore quarterback Nathan Martinez (Redlands, CA) completed two passes, including a 39-yard strike to junior wide receiver Steve Van Grouw (Exeter, CA) on third and eight.  In addition, Martinez and senior running back Conner Kennedy (Olympia, WA) combined for five carries to contribute to three first downs during the possession.

The Bulldog defense held strong over the subsequent three CMS drives to maintain Redlands' slight 3-0 lead.  Among the highlights, junior defensive back Marvin Perkins Jr. (Las Vegas, NV) pressured the Stag quarterback and came up with big tackles.  Senior linebacker Nick Castro (La Verne, CA) also made his presence known and went on to record 13 tackles on the night. 

However, the Stags mustered two touchdowns late in the second quarter to take a 12-3 lead.  After junior defensive lineman Elias Hackney (Santa Monica, CA) blocked the first PAT, CMS went for two on the second and missed it.

After a scoreless third quarter, the visiting team used up most of the fourth on a 16-play, 86-yard possession that ultimately put the game out of reach for the Maroon and Gray.

In the final two minutes, Redlands stopped the Stags on their final drive and mustered a late touchdown off the hands of Martinez to junior tight end Blake Roy (Camas, WA).  Sophomore wide receiver Jacob Huff (San Juan Capistrano, CA) supplied the big-gain play of the drive on a 35-yard reception from Martinez on second and eight.

Redlands gained 5.0 yards per offensive play, as compared to 4.7 for CMS.  Martinez finished 11-for-25 for 145 passing yards while adding 103 yards on the ground on 19 carries.  Van Grouw hauled in five catches for 73 yards.

Hackney stepped up with nine tackles, including 1.5 for a loss of eight yards.

Redlands (4-2, 2-1 SCIAC) looks to bounce back on Saturday, October 20, when it travels to the University of La Verne for a 1 p.m. tilt against the Leopards.