Bulldog Football Caps off Homecoming Weekend with 21-6 Triumph over La Verne

The Bulldog defense denied the Leopards at the goal-line late in the fourth quarter (photo credit: de la Cruz Photography).
The Bulldog defense denied the Leopards at the goal-line late in the fourth quarter (photo credit: de la Cruz Photography).

With relentless effort and energy, the University of Redlands football team celebrated Homecoming on Saturday night with a 21-6 victory over the visiting Leopards of the University of La Verne.  After opening the game with an 81-yard, nine-play drive for the score, the Bulldogs methodically picked apart the opposing offense with incredible persistence and tenacity.  In addition, Redlands gained more than 100 yards on the ground by sophomore running back Curtis Tanquary (San Jose, CA) for the third time in a row.

Junior quarterback Kevin Russell (Lacey, WA) established the Bulldog air attack by completing his first pass of the game for 32 yards to junior wide receiver James Ramirez (La Verne, CA).  Tanquary then led the run-heavy play-calling with 28 total yards on seven carries, before senior running back Bobby Brown (Rancho Santa Margarita, CA) took the reins for an 11-yard gain, which set up first-and-goal.  From here, Russell found room into the Leopard end zone for his second rushing touchdown of the year.  Senior kicker Kevin Grady (Seattle, WA) successfully split the uprights for the Maroon and Gray's 7-0 lead.

After the teams traded field position in a back-and-forth battle, La Verne recorded its only score of the game on a one-yard carry by senior running back Matthew Biggers (Riverside, CA).  However, senior kicker Alex Miller's (Upland, CA) point-after-try was blocked by freshman defensive lineman Adrian Rodriguez (Chino, CA), leaving the Leopards with a one-point deficit.

Redlands closed out the first half with a scoring drive that began on Brown's second 11-yard carry of the night.  On first-and-10 on their own 43-yard line, the Bulldogs benefitted from a pass-interference call on a nice attempt from Russell to senior wide receiver Aaron Atkins (Fallbrook, CA).  Two plays and a timeout later, Russell and Atkins connected on a sweet play for 35 yards into the promise land.  Grady's kick made it 14-6 when the teams retreated to the locker rooms for the break.

Finally, the fourth quarter saw two huge efforts for the Maroon and Gray, as the defense stepped up for an impressive stop before the offense answered with another seven-point play.

Following a Bulldog fumble, the Leopards started their drive on the UR 37-yard line.  With successful carries and a five-yard pass, La Verne moved the ball to the three-yard line.  However, the Redlands defense refused to back down, standing up the ball-carrier on three occasions to halt the Leopards at the one.  Among the total-team effort, the Bulldogs gained big stops from senior defensive lineman Steven Locke Jr. (Barstow, CA), junior linebacker Michael Tootle (Las Vegas, NV), senior defensive lineman Daniel Kane (Covina, CA), senior linebacker Justin Butler (Poway, CA), and junior defensive back DJ Dawson Jr. (Vallejo, CA), resulting in ULV's turnover on downs.

Now backed up in their own end zone, the Bulldogs looked to Russell to come up with another big pass-play, finding senior wide receiver Taylor Irwin (Rocklin, CA) on a 35-yard strike for the first down.  This eventually led to the Maroon and Gray's final score of the game, with Tanquary rushing for 17, 10, and finally 35 yards for the touchdown.  He finished the night with 133 yards on 27 carries.

Russell registered 185 yards on a 12-for-20 effort for his best output this season.  All six of his targets recorded long catches of 10 or more yards.

The Redlands defense held La Verne's highly-touted running back to just 74 yards.  In addition, Tootle and senior defensive lineman Sean Woods (Victorville, CA) each recorded 10 tackles on the night, while Locke came up with nine to go along with four quarterback hurries.

Watch a post-game interview with Tootle.

The Bulldogs (3-2, 3-0 SCIAC) head to undefeated Chapman University on Oct. 26 for a 7 p.m. showdown with the Panthers.  The two squads remain as the only unbeaten SCIAC teams this season, thus vying for first place in the standings when they meet on Saturday.   Fans may follow the action through live-streaming and audio broadcast, by connecting through www.goredlands.com.