Bulldog Football Stumbles to No. 3 Linfield College in Second Oregon Outing of the Season

Photo credit: Kevin Cline
Photo credit: Kevin Cline

The University of Redlands football team returned to Oregon for it second game in as many weeks, this time facing off against third-ranked Linfield College in McMinnville. Despite a valiant effort by the Bulldog defense that included three takeaways, the visiting team struggled to find its offensive rhythm and heads home for the bye week following a 7-44 loss to the Wildcats.

After allowing a Linfield touchdown on its opening drive, the Bulldogs settled down to keep them off the board for the remainder of the first quarter. Sophomore linebacker Mitch Shepherd (Seattle, WA) hauled in an interception on the Redlands 48-yard line, giving the ball back to the Bulldogs with decent field position. However, a relentless Linfield defensive line kept the Bulldogs from capitalizing.

The Maroon and Gray trailed by a reachable 17 points at halftime but saw this deficit expand through a lucrative third stanza for Linfield.

Nonetheless, Redlands successfully shut out the Wildcats in the final frame and successfully put together a scoring drive for a touchdown after recovering a fumble. Midway through the fourth quarter, the Bulldogs took advantage of quality field position at the Linfield 21-yard line after freshman linebacker Nick Castro (La Verne, CA) snagged a loose ball on the Wildcats' third turnover of the game. Freshman linebacker Peter Riccolo (Joliet, IL) was credited with forcing the fumble. Senior quarterback Kevin Russell (Lacey, WA) then facilitated a six-play drive into the end zone for the touchdown, with freshman running back Conner Kennedy (Olympia, WA) finding room on a one-yard scamper. The largest gain of the drive came on a nine-yard strike from Russell to junior wide receiver Kevin Johnson (Discovery Bay, CA).

In terms of time of possession, Redlands nearly equaled that of the Wildcats on a fairly even split in the game.

Senior kicker Sean Murray (Phoenix, AZ) was busy with 11 punts on the day for 452 yards, including two that landed inside the 20-yard line.

Junior defensive back Connor Hoffman (Tustin, CA) led the defense with 11 tackles, including eight solo hits, while sophomore defensive back Davis Peralta (Murrieta, CA) added seven solo tackles.

Redlands (0-2) looks to rebound during the bye week as it prepares for the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) opener in Ted Runner Stadium on Saturday, October 3, at 7 p.m. That night also marks the annual Rah Rah Redlands pregame gathering, which includes food trucks, music, kids' activities, and more, for a special event price of $10.