The University of Redlands football team left no doubt on Saturday by dominating the Whittier College Poets in a 70-16 win to secure the program's 30th Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC). With the win, the Bulldogs own at least a share of Head Coach Mike Maynard's 12th conference title with one game still to play. As a result of the head-to-head tiebreaker over Pomona-Pitzer Colleges, the Bulldogs will head to the NCAA Division III Championships with the SCIAC's automatic bid.
Against the Poets, Redlands set the tone early with a blocked punt on Whittier's opening drive to immediately gain a 7-0 advantage. Sophomore Daniel Stabile (Rancho Mirage, CA) got a touch on the ball, before freshman defenisve back Zac Archer (Temecula, CA) smothered it in the end zone for the score.
With the big play, the Bulldogs gained all the momentum and fired off four more offensive touchdowns before the end of the first half. Junior quarterback Mitch Kidd (Salinas, CA), senior wide receiver Kevin Johnson (Discovery Bay, CA), freshman wide receiver David Molina (Rancho Santa Margarita, CA), and sophomore running back Jacob Guglielmana (Lake Elsinore, CA) each made their way into the end zone for the Maroon and Gray.
The productive opening half was capped off with another defensive touchdown, as sophomore defensive back PJ Wilson (Modesto, CA) hauled in the first pick-six of his career on an amazing 70-yard return with 17 seconds left on the clock.
The team's effective passing game thrived in the third quarter, as Kidd found senior wide receiver Stephen Rodriguez (Brentwood, CA) and junior wide receiver Kyle Kabeary (Indio, CA) on back-to-back drives for touchdowns. Each reception came off of big yardage plays of 25 and 41 yards, respectively.
During the final quarter, Guglielmana and freshman running back Joe Guzman (Desert Hot Springs, CA) accounted for Redlands' final two scores, with each occurring on the ground in a quality display of the Bulldogs' running game. Guglielmana's came on a career-high 28-yard scamper into the end zone, while Guzman scored his first touchdown as a Bulldog.
The Maroon and Gray finished the contest with 561 yards of total offense, as Kidd completed 19-of-24 passes for 326 yards and four touchdowns with 10 different receivers. Junior wide receiver Cole Blackburn (Sammamish, WA) led the team with 93 yards on just three catches.
In addition to Guglielmana's team-high 48 rushing yards, sophomore running back Conner Kennedy (Olympia, WA) continued to impress with critical gains on nine carries for 44 yards. Guzman gained great game experience at the running back position while amassing 42 yards on six rushes.
Overall, the Bulldogs took advantage of opportunity and played a significant number of players, including junior defensive back Kaimi Pupuhi (Kahalu'u, HI), who made four tackles in his first game as a Bulldog.
Redlands (7-1, 6-0 SCIAC) welcomes Cal Lutheran University to Ted Runner Stadium for Senior Day on Saturday, November 12, for a 1 p.m. kick-off. The game also marks the annual Smudge Put trophy-game.