CMS Football Uses Dominant Defensive Effort to Defeat Redlands, Take Over Sole Possession of First in SCIAC

CMS Football Uses Dominant Defensive Effort to Defeat Redlands, Take Over Sole Possession of First in SCIAC

REDLANDS, Calif. - The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps football teams received two rushing touchdowns from sophomore Jordan Leonard and held Redlands to just three points until a harmless touchdown in the final minute as it came up with a huge 20-10 road win over the Bulldogs on Saturday evening.

With the win, the Stags now stand all alone in first place in the SCIAC at 3-0, while improving their overall record to 4-2. Redlands, which came in as the only other conference unbeaten, now stands at 4-2 overall and 2-1 in the SCIAC. CMS also had not won at Redlands since the 1987 season, ending a 30-year drought of winning at Ted Runner Stadium. 

Redlands opened the game with a 12-play, 46-yard drive which ended in a 25-yard field goal, and that would be the last of their scoring until the final minute of the game with the outcome no longer in doubt. Sophomore linebacker Camrion Davis had 10 tackles to lead the defensive effort that held Redlands to only 281 yards, while freshman cornerback Benjamin Cooney had an interception. 

For the third straight SCIAC game, the Stags did not commit a turnover, and dominated time of possession, finishing the game with 38:24 of possession time, compared to 21:36 for the Bulldogs, thanks largely to a 16-play, 86-yard drive that ate up almost the entire fourth quarter (12:41). Junior Garrett Cheadle had 91 yards on 26 carries, while Leonard had 42 yards on 10 carries to go with his two touchdowns. 

Redlands held the 3-0 lead until midway through the second quarter when the Stags finally broke through. The defense held the Bulldogs to three and out, with junior defensive lineman Lukas Svitek getting a quarterback hurry on 3rd-and-9. After a 23-yard punt gave CMS a short field to work with at the Redlands 39, freshman quarterback Zach Fogel completed a 21-yard pass to Matthew Sill and then a 19-yard touchdown to freshman Jack Grasberger for his first collegiate score to put the Stags ahead 6-3 with 6:05 left in the second (after the ensuing extra point was blocked). 

Another three and out gave CMS the ball back on its own 19, and sophomore quarterback Jake Norville busted loose for a 50-yard run to bring the ball all the way down to the Redlands 25. Cheadle then carried it 20 yards down to the five, and on first and goal, Leonard scampered in with 2:09 left to make the score 12-3. The Stags tried to get the point back from the blocked extra point, but their two-point attempt failed, leaving the score 12-3.

Redlands drove to the CMS 12 on its next possession, but Cooney broke up a pass on 3rd-and-10, and the Bulldogs missed a 29-yard field goal to leave the score 12-3 heading into the break. 

The Bulldogs had a sustained drive in the second half that got down to the CMS 22-yard line, but Svitek came up big on two straight plays, stopping a run for two yards and then earning a quarterback sack to push Redlands back to the 29, setting up a 4th-and-14. The Bulldogs went for it, but their pass fell incomplete. 

After an exchange of stops, CMS took over on its own 14-yard line with a full 15 minutes left in the fourth quarter and killed 12:41 of clock on its way to a clinching touchdown. Cheadle started the drive with rushes of five yards, three yards and four yards to pick up the initial first down of the drive. After a Leonard one-yard run, Cheadle carried for nine yards for another first down, then 11 yards on the next two carries to move the chains again. 

Leonard ripped off 15 yards to move the ball into Redlands territory, and Cheadle picked up another first down with a three-yard carry on 3rd-and-1 to move it to the Redlands 26. When the Bulldogs looked like they might finally get their stop, a personal foul call kept the drive going, and Leonard finally capped it off with a 10-yard run to make the score 20-3 (after Norville connected with Theo Chamberlain on a two-point conversion).  

Cooney intercepted a pass on the first play from Redlands, and the Bulldogs burned all three timeouts to get the ball back with 1:37 to play. A 35-yard pass brought the ball down to the eight, and Redlands punched in a touchdown with 33 seconds left to close out the scoring. 

Norville finished 8-of-11 passing for 75 yards and carried the ball eight times for 56 yards, including his 50-yarder. Fogel was 3-of-6 passing for 52 yards and a touchdown, as the two CMS signal-callers combined to complete 11-of-17 passes with no interceptions. The Stags finished with 187 yards on the ground as a team on 50 rushing attempts, picking up 12 of their 19 first downs on the ground. 

CMS will be back in action next weekend when it travels to Occidental for a 1 p.m. contest on Saturday.