Nationally ranked No. 11 Linfield College, closing the gap on the University of Redlands, sent 12 men onto the field on an important 4th-and-1 play with 1:05 left. The ensuing flag gave the Bulldogs a first down, running out the clock in a 26-19 victory over the Wildcats last Saturday, Sept. 21, night.
The tone of this game was simple: Every tackle was important in a game that was heavily penalized, crippled by bad special teams play and limited yardage that left Redlands ahead by a 313-236 count.
Bulldog head coach Mike Maynard, around since 1988, picked up career victory No. 200 since his arrival at Redlands.
“No one,” Maynard told fans via microphone, “gets 100 wins, 200 wins … without teamwork.”
QB sacks coming from Vinny Vanhorne and Brandon Serrano. Cornerback Jeff Hector knocked down at least one likely TD pass at the goal line and Bulldog defenders held Linfield to minus yards on the ground.
When RB Mason Carvalho sprung for 29 yards on a 3rd-and-31 play in the game’s final minutes, it gave Redlands a chance to play for a first down. After a Redlands timeout, the Wildcats returned with 12 men.
* * *
All three area high school teams are ranked in their respective divisions.
CIF Division 5 Aquinas held the No. 10 spot last week.
Citrus Valley was ranked third in Division 6.
San Gorgonio, of course, was ranked first in Division 8.
All added up, that’s plenty of firepower for a trio of area football teams located within a few minutes’ drive from each campus.
Tapena Tuitupou’s sack of Notre Dame QB Dre Robles forced a fumble, covered by Jonathan Bruno. It may not have resulted in a scoring drive, but it was a sign of Aquinas’ defensive domination.
Throw in Sione Lolohea, who had three of Aquinas’ seven QB sacks.
Citrus Valley’s targets keep piling up for Dylan Wheatley, who has found seven different receivers for his 20 TD connections through four games. One of those targets is Jordan Scott, who also came up with another interception in last week’s win at Silverado.
Then there’s Desi Gonzalez, San G’s top-tackling defender who sprang for 17 tackles in the Spartans’ first win over Yucaipa in five years. While Jaylen Matthews was racking up 100 yards rushing, Gonzalez was greeting Yucaipa RB Hayden Smith (157 yards) a dozen times on hits.
Aquinas 29, Riverside Notre Dame 0 — On the PAT following Isaac Handy’s 2-yard TD run, the 10th-ranked (Div. 5) Falcons fed Jalon Cooper for the 2-point run, giving the Falcons an 8-0 advantage. Handy’s 9-yard run just before halftime made it 15-0. Terayon Sweet’s 15-yarder drove the Titans even further behind; he later added a 1-yard run to cap the scoring.
San Gorgonio 38, Yucaipa 28 — The T-Birds jumped out to a 14-point lead before the Spartans got it rolling — Jaheim Crawford’s 4-yard run, a Seth Burbine-to-Damajae Mitchell 24-yarder, taking the lead on a 1-yard run just before halftime. Burbine to Ryan Whittemore eventually knotted the score, 25-25, but Yucaipa battled back for a 28-25 lead. Twenty-five yards from Burbine to Mitchell made it 32-28 with Jaylen Matthews’ 1-yard run sealing the win.
The real “sealer” came with All-CIF cornerback Damian Rubio intercepted a pass in the final minutes.
Citrus Valley 48, Victorville Silverado 7 — The Blackhawks built up a 41-point halftime lead. Snagging Wheatley’s 4 TD throws included Jordan Scott, returning All-CIF receiver Colby Grames, Jason Burnett, Jr. and Sergio Cervantes. RB Ty’Jhon Belton topped the running game, scoring on one of his 11 carries (88 yards). QB sacks came from Jacob Moi and S.J. Pollard, Jr. to pace the defense.
Riverside 58, San Bernardino Valley 37 – The state’s No. 19-ranked Wolverines were within four points at halftime, 31-27, but over 300 yards in penalty flags fell in a game in which SBVC QB Jeremy Moussa racked up 340 yards on 25 completions — 4 TDs, but 3 interceptions. The No. 2-ranked Tigers (3-0) countered with two QBs, Jacob Barlage and Mike Irwin, who combined for 458 yards and 5 TDs, but no interceptions.
University of Redlands 27, Linfield (Ore.) 19 – Junior QB Nathan Martinez threw for 139 yards, Carvalho and Kai Thompson combined for 154 yards rushing with Mitchell Nickovich catching a key first half TD in the Bulldogs’ win. All of which offset Linfield QB Wyatt Smith who threw for 273 yards.
Friday’s prep games
Grand Terrace (0-4) at Citrus Valley (4-0), 7 p.m. — In going up against the Blackhawks’ elite passing game, the Titans might not be able to withstand the aerial assault of Wheatley’s already high-achieving season. It’s Titans’ coach Ryan Smalls’ sixth season, the past four of which have resulted in the playoffs. Junior lineman, David Gusta (6-1, 260), is a returning All-CIF player from 2018.
Aquinas (3-2), bye — On Oct. 4, the Falcons open Ambassador League play against Ontario Christian.
San Gorgonio (4-1), bye — Only a narrow loss to Redlands has served as No. 1-ranked Spartans await their Oct. 4 San Andreas League opener against Lake Arrowhead Rim of the World.
Saturday’s college games
San Bernardino Valley College (2-1) at L.A. Southwest (0-3), 6 p.m. — It will be difficult for the Cougars to slow up a high-octane Wolverines’ attack, led by Moussa’s state-leading 477 passing yards per game, plus 15 TDs with RB Darrell Turner, Jr. second in California at 129 yards per game ... Stadium is located near the new Rams’ stadium just off the 105 and Imperial Highway.
University of Redlands (3-0), bye – For the first time since 2009, Redlands is off to a 3-0 record, missing a week in order to open SCIAC play against Pomona-Pitzer College next Saturday.