REDLANDS, CA: University of Redlands scored 38 unanswered points to close out the game as they raced past Pomona-Pitzer 38-7 on Saturday night at Ted Runner Stadium.
While the Sagehens (1-2, 0-1 SCIAC) were able to get on the board first with a Stephen Smith 4-yard TD pass to Senior Brett Harper with 38 seconds left in the first quarter, the Bulldogs (1-2, 1-0 SCIAC) would take the lead on a Kevin Russell 13 yard scramble with 29 seconds left in the half and never look back en route to their first win of the 2015 season. Redlands would roll up 404 yards of total offense on Pomona-Pitzer including a season high 343 rushing yards while limiting the Sagehens to only 263 yards of total offense (162 passing & 101 rushing).
Only a 14-7 game at half, Pomona-Pitzer was done in by three straight scoring drives from Redlands starting with their second position of the second half that pushed the Bulldog lead to 31-7 with 14:21 left in the fourth. The Sagehens would respond with a seven play 55 yard drive to the Redlands 15-yard line but Stephen's Smith 3rd-and-8 pass was intercepted by the Bulldogs to end the threat.
Smith finished the game 15-28 with 128 yards and two interceptions to go with his one touchdown in the first quarter. Sophomore RB Aseal Birir anchored the Sagehens ground game rushing for 82 yards on 17 carries while Senior Brett Harper (pictured) had season highs in receptions and yards catching six passes for 66 yards. Freshman Ryan McGee put together a solid day on special teams for Pomona-Pitzer gaining 84 total return yards on three kickoffs (68 yards) and one punt return (16). On the defensive side of the ball, Sophomore Zach Harris (4 solo, 6 assisted) and Junior Eric Montgomery (2 solo, 8 assisted) both compiled a team high 10 tackles while Junior Charlie Fries and Sophomore Evan Lloyd each tallied one sack a piece.
"I felt that we had a very competitive first half as a team but it just didn't translate to a full four quarters" said head coach Roger Caron. "There's still a lot that we need to improve on with both sides of the ball to get us where we need to be but I'm proud of the way we fought in those first 30 minutes. We've just got to come out Monday ready to compete and make the adjustments necessary to get ready to beat Chapman."
Pomona-Pitzer will host Chapman in their conference home opener on Saturday at 1pm. Live coverage of the game will be brought to you on the Pomona-Pitzer Athletics Website.