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October 15, 2011

Stags Lose Heartbreaker To Bulldogs

One sideline was a mass of players in a huge group hug.  The other sideline was an amorphous mob in total shock.  From the very first moment of the CMS-Redlands game (a successful onside kick by CMS), this game was filled with surprises, lucky breaks, and incredible plays.  And fittingly, at the end, it was a tip drill Hail Mary pass that gave Redlands the win over CMS, 30-24.

Coming into the game, it would be hard to argue that Redlands shouldn't be favored.  They had an excellent offense and a defense that was incredible against the run, CMS's greatest strength.  However, for most of the first half, it appeared as if CMS had Redlands' number in all three phases.  To begin, CMS successfully attempted an onside kick, shocking both Redlands and the crowd.  They dominated during their first drive, when they consistently moved the ball down the field using inside runs, play-action passes, and a halfback pass trick play. Running back Alex Wheatley (pictured) pounded the ball in on a four yard TD run, giving CMS a 7-0 lead. Afterwards, CMS didn't let up in the least; despite Redlands putting together a 13-play drive, they were forced to punt from CMS's 33 yard line.  Following a pair of three and outs by both teams, an interception by freshman linebacker Max Winsberg gave CMS the ball on Redlands 16 yard line.  The Stags offense drove down the shortened field and Corey Bickler ran in a 5 yard touchdown, putting CMS up 14-0.  After three more three and outs by both teams, CMS began the drive at its own 34 and drove 66 yards over 6 minutes, capped off with a 1 yard touchdown run by QB Peter Kimmey.  Up 21-0, that was the last time CMS was in the redzone.

After getting the ball back, Redlands put together a nice drive, ending with a field goal to make the score 21-3.  The next play for CMS, Kimmey threw a pick that was returned to the CMS two yard line and David Woolbert ran it in the final two yards for the score.  Despite the comeback by Redlands at the end of the first half, CMS still had a comfortable eleven point lead.

In the third quarter, CMS received the ball and had a three and out after a pair of drops on good throws by Peter Kimmey.  After a deep punt by Chet Corcos, Bobby Brown, Redlands' sophomore running back who had 110 yards last game against Pomona Pitzer, broke a massive run, scampering for 87 yards and a score, making it a one possession game.  CMS responded with a 20 yard drive ending in a 49-yard field goal off a massive boot by Chet Corcos.  Redlands responded back with a 72 yard drive ending in a 30 yard TD pass to Chad Aubrey.

After tying up the score, neither team was able to break away, with neither entering the redzone until halfway through the fourth quarter.  CMS had finally gotten a drive going, moving from their 18 to Redlands' 44, when Kimmey threw an interception that was returned to the CMS two yard line. However, after a false start penalty on Redlands, two illegal substitution penalties on CMS and a holding penalty on Redlands, Redlands was pushed back to the CMS 11 yard line.  On second and goal from the 11, on a pitch to the right, they fumbled the ball, giving it back to CMS with a tie game.  CMS, however, was unable to capitalize, punting to Redlands giving them only 14 seconds to win the game from their 41 yard line.  After getting to the CMS 43, wide receiver Tyler Irwin caught a Hail Mary pass in the end zone with no time remaining.

Next week, the Stags travel to Whittier, to play the 1-4 (0-2 in conference) Whittier Poets.  Game time is 3:00