When the University of Redlands lost to Occidental three weeks ago, hopes of a playoff bid appeared bleak. It might be natural to suffer a letdown, but the Bulldogs (5-1, 3-1) have lived up to their billing, beating two foes by a combined 101-14. Next up is a 1 p.m. contest Saturday at Pomona-Pitzer (2-4, 1-2).
“I have been proud of this team because that does show a lot of character,” Bulldogs Coach Mike Maynard said. “That was a huge, disappointing loss but it shows nothing can keep us down.”
Pitzer coach Roger Caron has been impressed with the way the Bulldogs regrouped after their loss.
“They’re going out and playing to the bitter end and letting things play out,” he said. “That’s a tribute to their kids and coaching staff that they have played that well after such a big letdown.”
This is yet another game that looks like a mismatch. The Bulldogs got back in the American Football Coaches Association poll at No. 25. More importantly they are ranked seventh in the West Region.
Redlands is ranked second in the country in total defense. Senior end Brock Arndt is tied for second nationally in both sacks and tackles for loss.
While the Sagehens have not fared well overall, they do boast a passing attack that ranks first in the SCIAC and 26th nationally.
Sophomore quarterback Jacob Caron, the coach’s son, is the catalyst. He has the two top receivers in the conference in senior Kevin Kelly and sophomore R.J. Maki.
Maynard said he plans to mix up his defenses to try and keep Caron off balance.
“He’s a very good quarterback and his receivers are solid,” Maynard said. “He’s very savy. He’s a coach’s son so they talk about coverages over the dinner table.”
Caron knows that they key to that passing will whether or not the smaller offensive line can withstand a bigger, more physical defensive front.
Redlands will dress 100 while Pitzer, which also has smaller players physically, will dress 40.
“We’re going to have to go out and play way over our heads,” Caron said.
In SCIAC play elsewhere La Verne (1-5, 1-3) will be at Whittier (1-5, 1-2) and Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (2-4) will play nonconference foe Chapman (3-3).
On the community college front, Chaffey (4-3, 1-2) will host Riverside (2-6, 0-4) at 1 p.m. and San Bernardino Valley (0-7, 0-4) hosts first-place Southwestern (5-2, 4-0).