Sat., Nov. 9, at 7:05 p.m.
Ted Runner Stadium
University of Redlands
The University of Redlands football team welcomes Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) competitor, Whittier College, to Ted Runner Stadium on Saturday, November 9, for a 7:05 p.m. game. Prior to kickoff, Redlands looks forward to celebrating the careers and accomplishments of its seniors.
After a solid 33-14 win at Cal Lutheran University last weekend, the Bulldogs rose to No. 21 on the D3football.com rankings and reemerged at No. 24 on the American Football Coaches Association top-25 poll. Redlands now owns a 7-1 overall record and 4-1 mark in conference.
The Bulldogs executed a solid run-game last Saturday, as 249 of their 399 yards of total offense came on the ground. Sophomore running back Cole Davis (Morgan Hill, CA) carried the ball 10 times for 88 yards, with his longest coming at 31 yards.
"Davis provides a great spark to our run game," mentioned Head Coach Mike Maynard.
Sophomore running back Kai Thompson (Murrieta, CA) also provided key yards for the Maroon and Gray, as he carried the ball 20 times for 81 yards.
Senior kicker Alex Raya (Jamul, CA) enjoyed a history-making game, resetting the Redlands record with his 56-yard field goal to give the Bulldogs their first points of the game. He also made another field goal and three point-after attempts in the victory.
"Alex is just the best, he's unbelievable. He is a great four-year player that has had a tremendous career. We ask him to do a lot for us from kickoffs to punts to field goals and he excels at them all," commented Maynard.
There have been nine, 50-plus-yard, made-field goals this season in all of NCAA Division III and Raya has made the list not once but twice. He ranks second in the nation with last week's 56-yarder and tied for fourth with his 52-yard field goal at La Verne the week prior. His stellar performance also led him to be named SCIAC Football Specialist of the Week.
Heading into Saturday's contest, Maynard reflected on the careers of his seniors in a recent interview.
"They have been such a joy to coach. They hold a high standard of execution and performance to grow the next generation of leaders on the team. They carry on and act out our motto of attitude, character, and effort. I am very proud of them."
Whittier enters the game with a 2-5 overall record and 1-4 mark in SCIAC play. The Poets fell to Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges, 16-52, last Saturday. The Poets' kicker, Noah Handel, also provided the first points for Whittier.
Although quarterback Miguel Avina ranks fourth in the SCIAC in yards per game (238) and third in total touchdowns (13), Redlands hopes to counter that with senior defensive back Jeff Hector's (Palos Verdes Peninsula, CA) nation-leading 0.9 interceptions per game. Moises Gonzalez serves as Avina's main target with a SCIAC-leading 101.4 yards per game.
The Bulldogs remain the conference's frontrunner for points per game (39.9), passing touchdowns (19), punt return average yards (16.7), red-zone scores (35), and interceptions (17). Nationally, Redlands sits first in turnover margin (2.75) and among the top 10 in rushing defense (68.1), fourth-down conversion percentage (0.692), and punt returns (16.69).
Historically, Redlands has won 12-straight games against Whittier.
The first NCAA Regional Rankings of the season were recently released and Redlands landed in the No.4 spot in the West.
This week's captains include seniors defensive back Jake Walters (Tehachapi, CA), quarterback Eric Kump (Huntington Beach, CA), defensive lineman Justin Sykes (Portland, OR), and offensive lineman Will Soares (Gilroy, CA).