Redlands, CA – The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps football team tried to spoil the University of Redlands' (5-1, 4-0) homecoming party, but their late comeback attempt fell short as the Stags (4-2, 2-2) dropped their second game of the season 23-17. Senior Trey Reynolds (CMC) threw for 281 yards and scored two touchdowns, one passing and one rushing while junior Trey Smith (CMC) recorded a season-high 145 receiving yards and caught one touchdown. On the defensive side, senior Henry Wei (CMC) managed to force one fumble and junior Victor Bunce (CMC) snatched an interception. Conner Kennedy had a standout performance on his homecoming, rushing for 113 yards with a touchdown on 20 attempts, and Trevor Raras scored a touchdown on the defensive end off a fumble recovery.
The first quarter was a defensive battle, as neither sides were able to find their targets in the endzone. However, in the second quarter, the Bulldogs managed to establish a significant lead. With the game tied at three apiece, freshman Garrett Cheadle (HMC) tried to get the CMS offense started in the opening drive from their ten-yard line. Unfortunately, on first-and-10 the running back got stripped by Tristan Corwin and Raras managed to recover the ball in the end zone to give Redlands the 10-3 lead.
In Redlands' following drive, Kennedy broke out with a 41-yard run to the Stags' five-yard line to set the Bulldogs up for a touchdown. Quarterback Mitch Kidd found Cole Blackburn with a five-yard strike to give Redlands the 17-3 lead.
The Stags continued to struggle on the offensive end in the third quarter, finding trouble against the Bulldogs' stifling defensive line, while Redlands extended their lead with another field goal from Alex Raya.
After Raya added a field goal in the fourth quarter, to give Redlands the 23-3 lead, the Stags started to come back to life and fought hard to bring the game back within striking distance. With 6:08 left in the game, Reynolds passed for 74 yards to get to the Redlands' three-yard line. From there, the senior rushed into the end zone to close the gap 23-10.
Senior Matthew Aven (CMC) followed with an on-side kick and the Stags recovered on their 47-yard line, but a personal foul call on the Bulldogs brought them to Redlands' 38-yard line. Reynolds capitalized on the mistake with a nine-yard pass to sophomore Jackson Zeledon (CMC) followed by a 29-yard touchdown pass to Smith to bring the game within a touchdown with 2:18 left on the clock.
Unfortunately, the Stags ran out of miracles as Redlands recovered Aven's second on-side kick attempt and burned the clock to finish the game.