Bulldogs Race Past Stags Late

photo credit: Alicia Tsai
photo credit: Alicia Tsai

CLAREMONT, Calif. – Three different Stags scored touchdowns on Saturday afternoon, but the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps football team was not able to hold on against the Redlands Bulldogs, falling 42-25. The Stags held a 17-12 lead at the half and the game was tied 25-25 at the end of the third quarter, but the Bulldogs scored 17 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to claim the victory.

Sam Healy (CMC) tossed a touchdown pass to Trey Smith (CMC) while Spencer Sheff (CMC) and Garrett Cheadle (HMC) each ran for a score in the game.

The game opened with the Bulldogs putting through a pair of field goals in the opening quarter. Nathan Hierlihy knocked through field goals of 34 yards and 42 yards to give the visiting Redlands Bulldogs a 6-0 lead midway through the opening quarter.

Following the second Redlands' field goal, the Stags were on the move deep into Bulldog territory. An interception halted the CMS drive on the 25-yard line. On the ensuing drive the Bulldogs got out to midfield but the Stags forced a punt that set up an 11-play, 56-yard drive that ended in a 43-yard field goal by Mitchell Allan (CMC) to cut the lead in half at 6-3.

After a quick three-and-out for Redlands, the Stags went on an eight-play, 50-yard drive that ended with Sam Healy finding Trey Smith for a 26-yard strike. Smith caught the ball on the five-yard line and eluded his defender to get into the end zone. The score gave the Stags a 10-6 lead with 4:26 remaining in the half. The touchdown was set up by a clutch, fourth and seven conversion when Healy found Chris Cziesla (CMC) for a 14-yard gain. Two plays later the Stags were celebrating their first lead of the game.

Two plays after the touchdown, Redlands would fumble near midfield to set up another touchdown for CMS. Michael Porter (CMC) forced the fumble and Victor Bunce (CMC) picked it up at the Redlands' 46-yard line. After a quick seven-play drive, Spencer Sheff punched in a two-yard touchdown just a play after he ripped off a 21-yard run to set up the score.

Redlands responded with a touchdown at the end of 70-yard drive that took just 1:12. After a failed two-point conversion, the Stags held a 17-12 heading into the half.

The Bulldogs took the opening kickoff of the second-half and went on a seven-play, 65-yard drive that ended in Josiah Alvira scoring a two-yard touchdown. After their second failed two-point conversion of the game, the Bulldogs held a slim 18-17 lead.

Later in the third quarter, Redlands made it an eight-point game with a 34-yard touchdown pass from Levi Plante to Cole Blackburn on a post route down the middle of the field.

The Stags responded immediately with a run-heavy drive that ended in a 23-yard touchdown run for Garrett Cheadle. CMS pounded the rock on the 93-yard drive that took 4:36 off the clock. Three different backs carried the ball on the drive. Jordan Leonard (CMC) took the first two carries on the drive, which included a 31-yard gain down the sideline. Including his touchdown run, Cheadle gained 36 yards on the drive to lead the way for the Stags.

Following the score, the Stags went for two with Sam Healy finding a diving Nick Wheeler in the corner of the end zone to tie the game at 25-25.
Unfortunately for the Stags, the Bulldogs scored 17 unanswered points in the fourth-quarter to secure the victory. Redlands' quarterback, Levi Plante tossed an eight-yard score to Kyle Kabeary and Josiah Alvira rushed for a five-yard touchdown to account for the two, fourth-quarter touchdowns for the Bulldogs.

In addition to their 17 points in the final quarter, Redlands intercepted two passes, recovered a fumble, and forced a turnover on downs to put the finishing touches on the victory and improve to 4-2 overall and 3-1 in the SCIAC.

With the loss, CMS falls to an even 3-3 overall and 2-2 in the SCIAC. The Stags will now turn their attention to the La Verne Leopards. The Stags and Leopards will square off next Saturday at 5:00 p.m. at La Verne.