There was minimal drama this week and nothing too unexpected happened, though Chapman continues to disappoint along with losing QB Nathaniel Espinoza to an injury.
Week 5 Results
Redlands Bulldogs 24 | La Verne Leopards 7
It was not a surprise that the Bulldogs limited the Leopards offense to only 189 yards of offense, but they struggled to put the game out of reach.
Running back Tony Williams Jr was once again the engine behind the Bulldog offense with 99 yards on 19 carries and 2 TDs, and got the scoring started in the first quarter with a 3-yard run.
Redlands would add a field goal but a Nicolas Garcia pass would be caught for a La Verne touchdown midway through the 2nd quarter and make the game a tight 10-7 affair.
Tyler Tremain would add a 25-yard touchdown pass with 2:32 remaining in the half to make the game 17-7.
It would take nearly the entire 2nd half for another score as Tony Williams Jr scored his second touchdown of the day with less than 2 minutes remaining to put a mark of finality on the proceedings.
Tremain was quite inconsistent in this game, only completing 14 of 30 for 193 yards and had 2 interceptions in addition to his lone touchdown. The Redlands program continues to be difficult to read through their uneven performances, but college football is defined by a certain amount of entropy and so they continue to have a shot at the SCIAC crown.
Pomona-Pitzer Sagehens 20 | CMS Stags 30
The Sixth Street Showdown! The Sagehens defense deserved better in a packed Zinda Field on this afternoon.
On the surface, the box score is a little bit misleading as the Stags 17-point burst in the first quarter was lead by a pair of interception return touchdowns on consecutive Ethan Gretzinger passes only minutes into the game.
The Sagehens opening drive had them moving down the field but on 1st & 10 at the CMS 29, a short pass to the middle of the field was intercepted by Jacob O’Connell and returned 79 yards.
After reclaiming possession at their own 32-yard line, the Sagehens quickly found themselves in 3rd & 10 and another shallow pass was caught by a Stag defender, Thanio Bright, and returned 35 yards for a second touchdown. The plays were eerily similar and would establish a lead that the Stags would not relinquish.
The first quarter could have gone even worse for Pomona-Pitzer as on their third drive they would stall near midfield and intended to punt the ball away, but the ball would sail over the punter and the Stags would begin their first drive at the Sagehens 11 but were held to a field goal.
Gretzinger does show solid arm talent and command of the Sagehens spread passing attack but he hasn't played much college football and that inexperience shows.
Overall, Gretzinger threw for 193 yards on 17/38 passing with 2 TDs and 3 INTs. He was also sacked twice.
The Sagehens would be down 23-7 at the half, but they came out with some fire in the second half and tightened the score to 23-20. Unfortunately for them, on the first play of the 4th quarter, Walter Kuhlenkamp would finish the Stags drive with a 25-yard touchdown pass to Ben Kim and that 30-20 score would hold through to the final whistle.
This was mostly a defensive affair as the Sagehens totaled only 243 yards compared to the Stags 291 and the end result could have been much different without those two ill-advised throws.
These teams could very well meet again on November 11 with the SCIAC Championship on the line.
Chapman Panthers 21 | Cal Lutheran Kingsmen 24
The overarching script of this game was too familiar for the Panthers.
Nathaniel Espinoza had his offense moving well early in the game, using a diverse rushing attack to march down the field for a touchdown in the first quarter, then hitting a deep throw to set up another touchdown early in the second quarter that gave them a 14-3 lead before things would begin to fall apart.
Cal Lutheran would move down the field on their next drive for a touchdown, and then a Chapman drive would quickly fizzle only to have their punt blocked and returned for a touchdown. The Panthers suddenly found themselves at a 17-14 deficit.
On their final drive of the half, Espinoza became tied up awkwardly in the backfield on a rush attempt and suffered a lower leg injury. There hasn't been an official update on the severity of the injury, but it did not appear to be trivial and he would not return, once again replaced by Tyler Pacheco. This has been a nightmare of a season for the Panthers with no end in sight.
On the other side of the field, the Kingsmen had a solid game overall though by the end of the night they found themselves outgained 337-314 in total yardage. JP Andrade was a solid 19/31 for 223 yards and a touchdown. He did not turn the ball over and only suffered a single sack.
The opening drive of the second half was a real masterclass by Cal Lutheran on how to take control of a game. They were pinned at their own 6 after a penalty on the kickoff, but burned through half of the quarter chipping their way down the field, covering 94 yards in 16 plays to take a 24-14 lead.
Chapman and Cal Lutheran would trade missed field goals on clock-burning drives before Pacheco would find enough sustained success to score a Panther touchdown with 4 minutes remaining.
It would be too little too late as they would not get the ball back before the final whistle and remain winless on the season as the Kingsmen moved to 2-2.
Week 6 Schedule
All games should be available to watch through the SCIAC Network.
La Verne Leopards (1-3, 0-2) at Cal Lutheran Kingsmen (2-2, 1-1) | 7PM PDT
The Leopards defense has been the strength of the team, so it cannot be assumed that the Kingsmen will hit big plays all game, but JP Andrade has a strong command of the offense and it would be surprising if La Verne can keep up.
CMS Stags (4-0, 2-0) at Chapman Panthers (0-3, 0-2) | 7PM PDT
This looks to be quite a mismatch on paper, and it's unclear at this time just how injured starting QB Nathaniel Espinoza is after leaving last week's game.
Stags RB Justin Edwards hasn't had the sort of performance many would have expected this season, but the emergence of QB Walter Kuhlenkamp has made that a non-issue for now.
The best chance for Chapman is a varied and creative run game loaded with misdirection to limit the passing game reads for Tyler Pacheco. He's a very good athlete but raw as a passer as the team seeks an identity for the remainder of the season.
This is a game that could get out of hand quickly for the Panthers as the Stags continue their march towards 10-0.
Pomona-Pitzer Sagehens (2-2, 1-1) at Redlands Bulldogs (3-1, 2-0) | 7PM PDT
The victor of this matchup should have the inside track in the SCIAC Sun pod, and Redlands has the home field advantage. The Sagehens offer a more explosive “modern” spread passing attack, but inconsistent QB play is a great equalizer and the Bulldogs could look to run their offense through RB Tony Williams Jr to keep the clock running and shorten the game.
If Ethan Gretzinger can remove the errors from his game, the Sagehens will be very difficult to beat through the rest of the season.
Week 6 SCIAC Power Ranking
- CMS Stags
- Pomona-Pitzer Sagehens
- Redlands Bulldogs
- Cal Lutheran Kingsmen
- Chapman Panthers
- La Verne Leopards