The No. 24 University of Redlands football team made the quick trip to Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges on Saturday afternoon for an important Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) battle against the Stags. While scoring on their first four drives, the Bulldogs jumped out to a 24-0 lead through the first quarter and continued to cruise for the 45-6 victory.
After senior kicker Alex Raya (Jamul, CA) split the uprights on a 37-yard field goal to open the scoring, the Maroon and Gray halted the Stags' first possession when junior linebacker Jermaine Calhoun Jr. (Oceanside, CA) snagged an interception on the third play from scrimmage. This sent the Bulldogs' offense back on the field at the CMS 47-yard line with plenty of time left on the first-quarter clock. Junior quarterback Nathan Martinez (Redlands, CA) completed two passes and carried the ball three times to break into the end zone for a touchdown. With Raya's extra point, the Maroon and Gray owned a 10-0 lead.
The Redlands defense kept up the pressure and quickly regained possession for efficient scores on the next two drives. First, the Bulldogs forced a three-and-out and junior wide receiver Khory Day's (Fresno, CA) 19-yard punt return set up excellent field position once again. On the next opportunity, senior defensive back Vincent Vanhorne (Henderson, NV) snagged a pick on third-and-nine at the CMS 26-yard line to put Redlands back on offense. Martinez ultimately carried the ball in for back-to-back touchdowns on these drives but also converted quality receptions to junior wide receiver Trey Gevers (Issaquah, WA), senior wide receiver David Molina (Laguna Hills, CA), and senior wide receiver Mitchell Nickovich (Mission Viejo, CA) to move the ball downfield.
Although CMS mustered a field goal early in the second quarter, Redlands responded with a 14-play, 75-yard drive into the end zone for the 31-3 advantage. First-year running back Mason Carvalho (Menifee, CA) provided gritty yards, including a nine-yard scamper on second and four. Martinez found Day, Molina, and junior wide receiver Jacob Huff (San Juan Capistrano, CA) through the air before carrying the ball to the house for his fourth rushing touchdown of the half.
During the second half, Redlands remained steadfast with its determination and scored 14 more points to secure the win. Carvalho and sophomore running back Kai Thompson (Murrieta, CA) each reeled in touchdown passes in the third quarter.
The Bulldog defense also kept the Stags off the board until the final four minutes of the game, when CMS converted a 52-yard field goal. In the second half, Redlands forced CMS to turn it over on downs, punt twice, miss a field goal, and throw another interception.
First-year defensive back Jerrell Calhoun's (East Riverside, CA) interception return for 48 yards on the last play of the game put the exclamation point on the victory.
"We played a lot of guys in the fourth quarter, which makes a happy team," added Maynard. "We are well-prepared to go forward with some momentum into Homecoming next week."
Overall, Redlands held CMS to 200 yards of offense, including 65 rushing yards. The Bulldogs earned four sacks and 11 tackles for a loss of 44 yards.
While helping the Bulldogs amass 402 yards of offense, Martinez converted 23 passes for 202 yards and two scores while also carrying the ball 11 times for 68 yards and four touchdowns.
"This was perhaps Nathan's best day as a Bulldog. He executed the offense very well," stated Maynard.
Molina earned a team-high five catches for 52 yards. The team converted six third downs, both of its fourth-down attempts, and went 7-for-7 in the red zone.
Redlands (5-1, 2-1 SCIAC) returns home on Saturday, October 26, for a 7 p.m. kickoff against the University of La Verne for Homecoming in Ted Runner Stadium.