The No. 24 University of Redlands football team competes on the road for the second week in a row as it travels to nearby Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges on Saturday, October 19, for a 1 p.m. Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) showdown. The Bulldogs look to flip the script on last week's tough, three-point loss at Chapman University by returning to the success of their conference opener against Pomona-Pitzer Colleges.
The Maroon and Gray now holds a 4-1 overall record and 1-1 mark in SCIAC play.
After facing a 3-21 halftime deficit against the Panthers, the Bulldogs ignited a 15-0 run in the second half to close the gap to three points. With impressive resolve, Redlands' defense held Chapman scoreless in the second half, but time ran out before the Bulldogs could complete the comeback.
"Things got away from us in the first half but I am really proud of our guys and how hard they battled after halftime. We came out of the break motivated, put together a nice offensive rhythm, and had a much better second half," commented Head Coach Mike Maynard.
Among the bright spots, senior kicker Alex Raya (Jamul, CA) booted the ball away for an incredible 55.8 yards per punt.
Maynard commented, "We are really happy with Alex. He gives us great field position, whether it be on kickoffs with one of his many touchbacks or an extremely deep punt."
Although the loss is hard to swallow, there is plenty of football to be played in what promises to be an exciting second half of the season.
"The team has really bounced back. They have worked really hard at practice throughout the week and are well prepared to have a great game this weekend," added Maynard.
Last week, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges fell to Cal Lutheran University, 7-37, to move to a 2-3 overall record and a 0-2 mark in conference. As one of four quarterbacks to play against the Kingsmen, first-year Hank Harvego scored his first collegiate touchdown on a two-yard carry in the fourth quarter.
"Due to the nature of it being the mid-point of the season, there are going to be some different players on both sides of the ball. We are prepared to adjust and improvise to anything we see on the field on Saturday."
The Bulldogs plan to keep an eye out for senior running back Garrett Cheadle, who earned the 2018 SCIAC Offensive Player of the Year but missed last week's game due to injury.
For Redlands, junior quarterback Nathan Martinez (Redlands, CA) enters his sixth start of the season with an efficiency rating of 163.4, which ranks him first in the conference. He also boasts the SCIAC's top completion rate of 68.3%. Junior wide receiver Jacob Huff (San Juan Capistrano, CA), senior tight end Blake Roy (Camas, WA), junior wide receiver Noah McFadden (Puyallup, WA), and sophomore running back Kai Thompson (Murrieta, CA) each have hauled in 10 or more catches among the team's diverse arsenal attack. First-year running back Mason Carvahlo (Menifee, CA) leads Redlands and the SCIAC with 444 rushing yards.
"We need to come out strong, find our rhythm, and move the ball effectively in the first half. CMS also leads the nation in time of possession, so we need to focus on keeping its offense off the field," commented Maynard.
This week's captains include Raya, Roy, senior wide receiver Mitchell Nikovich (Mission Viejo, CA), junior defensive back Jake Geisbauer (Canyon Country, CA), and sophomore linebacker Joe Bennett (San Diego, CA).