Sarah Van Buskirk
Assistant Sports Editor
The football team’s offense was absent in its 51-7 loss to the Redlands Bulldogs on Saturday at Ortmayer Stadium.
The Leopards last victory against the Bulldogs was in 2015. Redlands is first place in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
“The only challenge we saw before the game was the fact that Redlands is a champion based team,” sophomore wide receiver Jonathon Torres said.
A quick two touchdowns were completed by the Bulldogs in the first quarter, starting the score off 14-0. The Leopards’ defense was quiet, allowing the Bulldogs to push their way down the field and successfully complete multiple scoring drives.
“There were a lot of mistakes we made, it wasn’t necessarily the other team stopping us,” senior quarterback Tyrone Williams Jr. said.
The Bulldogs prominent running game counteracted the Leopards’ man to man coverage, leaving room for yardage and numerous first and goal opportunities.
As the second quarter progressed after back-and-forth possession by each team, the Bulldogs extended their lead. Following an eight play drive averaging about 10 yards each play, Bulldog junior running back Andrew Kellstrom ran for 5 yards into the end zone, making the score 21-0.
On the return, the first scoring drive by the Leopards finally made its appearance in the second quarter when senior wide receiver Nathaniel Sagastume took a 16-yard pass from Williams into the end zone, bringing momentum back into the game for the Leopards. The extra point from freshman kicker Kapena Kamakawiwoole was good, putting the Leopards on the board, 21-7.
“For the first half we were driving the ball up and down the field really well but after that we just seemed flat,” senior wide receiver Spencer Pool said.
With less than a minute left in the first half, the Bulldogs completed another touchdown with the attempt of a two-point conversion, however they were unsuccessful. The Bulldogs’ lead going into halftime was 27-7.
As the third quarter began, the Leopards reached fourth and long, handing the ball over to the Bulldogs at the Leopards’ 12-yard line. With a speedy three play drive, the Bulldogs wasted no time as junior wide receiver Giovanni Isles collected an 8-yard pass from Bulldog graduate student quarterback Nathan Martinez in the back of the end zone due to lack of Leopard safety coverage. The extra point was good and the score stood, 34-7.
Martinez had 15 completions in 17 attempts with 155 passing yards, as well as a notable running game with 21 rushing yards.
Before the end of the third quarter, the Bulldogs found themselves in the red zone again on the 1-yard line and rushed in for another touchdown and successful extra point, going into the fourth quarter leading, 41-7.
In the final quarter of the game, the Bulldogs put up one last touchdown and field goal to finish the game 51-7.
“This game made us a lot closer brotherhood wise and we can take that with us for the last few games of the season and move forward from there,” freshman wide receiver Noah Gesser said.
The Leopards are on a bye week and will continue to practice for their second encounter of the season against Whittier on Oct. 23 at Memorial Stadium.
Sarah Van Buskirk can be reached at email@example.com.