Sat., Oct. 20, at 1 p.m.
at the University of La Verne
The University of Redlands football team heads to the University of La Verne on Saturday, October 20, for a 1 p.m. Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) showdown against the one-win Leopards. With a desire to put last week's result in the past, the Bulldogs strive to bounce back in a big way.
After defeating Chapman University on October 6, Redlands dropped a difficult loss to Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges in an apparent let-down performance last week.
"That game will probably haunt us for a long time…" commented Head Coach Mike Maynard. "We made a bunch of critical errors."
Out of adversity, the team has gained perspective on some great leaders among them, including senior linebacker Nick Castro (La Verne, CA), who consistently sets the standard at practice and during competition, along with seniors Joe Munroe (Costa Mesa, CA), Troy Kay (New York City, NY), and Tobias Leonardos (Half Moon Bay, CA), and junior Elias Hackney (Santa Monica, CA), all of the defensive line. Within the secondary, junior defensive back Jeff Hector (Palos Verdes Peninsula, CA) has stepped up his play, while first-year defensive back Jadin Michaels (Palm Springs, CA) continues to impress as a tremendous athlete. Offensively, the squad has turned to the leadership of sophomore quarterback Nathan Martinez (Redlands, CA) and senior quarterback Levi Plante (Lake Arrowhead, CA). Senior tight end Blake Roy (Camas, WA) and senior offensive lineman Tommy Garcia (La Habra, CA) offer steady contributions as well. Furthermore, senior running back Conner Kennedy (Olympia, WA) remains a warrior who leads by example.
"When our best players play the best, we become a powerful team capable of tremendous success," stated Maynard.
Last week, the Leopards captured their first win of the season with a 42-23 showing over Whittier College. During this impressive outing, ULV put it all together by engaging key personnel in the first half, which simply took the spirt out of Whittier. Senior running back Martaveous Holliday and junior running back James Gonsalves combined for a two-headed ground attack, while senior quarterback Josh Evans effectively found sophomore wide receiver Nathaniel Sagastume for downfield plays through the air.
The Bulldogs strive to put their recent result behind them with this week's opportunity to move a step closer to having an eight-win season while staying viable in the conference race.
Redlands moves forward off a great week of practice that required them to refocus for the Leopards. The Bulldog defense has allowed only 61.3 rushing yards per game to rank 13th in NCAA Division III. The team also sits 11th in red-zone defense. Special teams remains a threat to opponents, with Redlands owning six blocked field goals for the third-best tally in the nation.
Offensively, the Maroon and Gray anticipates a revitalized look that maximizes its personnel's varying talents.
"We are going to shake things up a bit."