Game Preview: No. 18/19 U of R Football Squares off against Pomona-Pitzer in SCIAC Opener

Sat., Oct. 5, at 7:05 p.m.

Ted Runner Stadium

University of Redlands


After a useful bye-week, the undefeated University of Redlands football team opens Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) play against Pomona-Pitzer Colleges on Saturday, October 5, under the lights at Ted Runner Stadium.

Two weeks ago, the Maroon and Gray topped then-ranked No. 11 Linfield College (OR), 27-19.

"We are really proud of our young men and the way they competed last week," commented Head Coach Mike Maynard.

The victory also signified Maynard's 200th win at Redlands and the first time Redlands had ever beaten Linfield. Bulldog football also owns a 3-0 start to the season for the first time since 2009.

"It takes a whole University to have a successful athletic department and football team. I would just like to thank the administration, admissions, equipment, athletic trainers, sports information, radio, facilities, alumni, and coaches; they all deserve a game ball."

Overall, the Bulldog defense has been particularly effective against the run, holding opponents to just 21 average rushing yards, specifically denying the Wildcats to minus-37 yards on the ground.  

Junior linebacker Matthew Betancourt (San Bernardino, CA) earned the SCIAC Defensive Athlete of the Week after pacing the team with nine tackles and recovering a fumble.

Additionally, Redlands' special teams came up with some highlight-reel performances as senior defensive lineman Elias Hackney (Santa Monica, CA) blocked a PAT to limit Linfield to only six points and junior wide receiver Noah McFadden (Puyallup, WA) blocked a punt, which was recovered by junior defensive back Braxton Taylor (Sylmar, CA) and returned for a touchdown.

"Having this open weekend really helped some of the guys get healthy. We kept a solid routine through the week, with a great combination of tough practices and recuperation to recharge for this Saturday's game," Maynard added.

Heading into this weekend, all eight SCIAC teams begin conference play.

The Bulldogs and the Sagehens met up last year in Claremont. With a late-game comeback, Redlands narrowly took the hard-fought battle, 15-13.  Although, when the teams met in 2017 at Ted Runner, Redlands won the game by a much wider spread in a 42-20 decision.

Pomona-Pitzer holds a 1-1 record coming into this Saturday's game. The team defeated Lewis and Clark College (OR) in its first contest and then fell to George Fox University (OR) in Newberg, Oregon. Earlier this season, Redlands beat George Fox by a score of 35-19.

The Sagehens rely on their passing game, as senior quarterback Karter Odermann threw for 337 yards in the team's last outing for a total of 628 yards over two games. Wide receiver Win Hunter serves as his main target with 18 receptions for 198 yards, averaging 11 yards per catch.

"Pomona-Pitzer is apt to changing things. They have very gifted athletes and coaches and we need to look out for and adjust to whatever scheme they throw at us," commented Maynard.

On the other side, the Sagehens have an impressive defensive line and active defensive backs. In addition, their kicker averages 45.5 yards per punt.

This game will be a battle of time of possession as both teams average around 36 minutes per game.

Saturday's captains include junior quarterback Nathan Martinez (Redlands, CA), senior offensive lineman Brandyn Alvarez (Grand Terrace, CA), Betancourt, and junior defensive lineman Brandon Serrano (Chino, CA).