The SCIAC – Week 8 Review & Week 9 Preview

The Stags took care of business against the Bulldogs to set up at match with Chapman that will likely decide the Surf representative in the SCIAC Championship Game.

CMS Stags' #22 Kirby Baynes
Source: Kayla Ishibashi

With only two more weeks to go before Championship/seeding week, there are still 4 teams who could conceivably make the Division 3 playoffs. This has been an entertaining season and hopefully it's a good sign for the future of SCIAC football, as questionable as a 6-team conference may look on paper. The identity of the conference has developed into one centered around success through running the ball and defense, which does feel somewhat contrary to what one might expect of Los Angeles area football.

Week 8 Results

Redlands Bulldogs 17 | CMS Stags 31

Redlands continues to be a confusing team to get a read on, though they were without starting quarterback Tyler Tremain. Instead, the combined effort of Jordan Ford and Jack Wilson could only complete 12/30 for 153 yards and 2 touchdowns with an interception and 2 sacks. With a bit more consistency throughout the afternoon, they may have been able to keep up with CMS along with Tony Williams Jr’s 18 carries for 101 yards.

Billed as a matchup of the top 2 running backs in the SCIAC, Justin Edwards was again uncharacteristically limited to only 57 yards on his 21 carries, though he did score 3 touchdowns.

The game was tied at 10 through the first quarter, but CMS would take over from that point with two touchdowns in the 2nd quarter and another in the 3rd.

Walter Kuhlenkamp had a solid afternoon with 255 yards and a touchdown on 20/29 passing, though he also had an interception.

As tough and physical as Redlands has been against the rest of the SCIAC, their offense has lacked the consistency to outscore the Claremont Colleges so far this season and a second loss to Pomona-Pitzer would likely end their playoff dreams.

Pomona-Pitzer Sagehens 20 | La Verne Leopards 7

Something that I am discovering about Division 3 football is that coaches will sometimes make sweeping changes from week to week to try to find something that works better than what they have going, and that is exactly what happened here.

It’s also hard to understand what exactly the Sagehens are trying to do on offense just from perusing the box score, as they have had only a few rushing attempts from an actual running back for weeks now.

Sander Wimmer is listed as a QB/TE and he would start the game at quarterback, totaling 4/5 passing for 35 yards and an interception. He would be sacked twice against 7 carries for 28 yards and a touchdown for a net total of 16 yards. He would give way to Freshman Grady Russo, who is listed as a QB/WR.

Russo would have a much more explosive game with 192 yards and 2 INTs through the air on 13/23 passing along with 108 yards rushing on 21 carries. The only other rushing attempt for the Sagehens came on a 2-yard TD from Quinten Wimmer, Sander’s twin, who is listed as a WR.

Pomona-Pitzer seems to be conflicted on what they want their identity to be. They generally line up in classic Air Raid formations but at the moment there's a heavy reliance on the QB Draw with almost zero RB presence.

As for La Verne, they started Trevor Tedesco at quarterback in place of Nicholas Garcia or Johnathan Martin, who had a solid showing against CMS last week.

Overall, Tedesco only completed 18/36 for 110 yards with a touchdown and interception. The Leopards running game would contribute 118 yards on 27 carries but overall it has been a hapless season for the Leopards as they try to sort out who could contribute next year.

Cal Lutheran Kingsmen 10 | Chapman Panthers 38

After a slow and frustrating start to the season, Chapman remained on their warpath with their 3rd consecutive dominating victory.

Although JP Andrade and James McNamara combined to throw for 229 yards, it came with 4 interceptions and 7 sacks against the Panthers suffocating front 7. It is hard to describe just how far Chapman has come since their earlier loss against the Kingsmen.

On the other side, QB Luke Peterman had a solid showing in his first career start for the Panthers, completing 11/16 for 152 yards and a touchdown with no interceptions or sacks. The run game wasn't as dominant as previous weeks but they were effective with 167 yards on 35 carries and 3 TDs. Isaiah Woods and Gio Ursino have developed into a dangerous RB tandem for the Panthers and so far the losses of Nathaniel Espinoza and Tyler Pacheco at quarterback haven't hurt their production on offense.

Week 9 Schedule (Pacific Time)

You can catch all the action on the SCIAC Network.

Chapman Panthers (3-3, 3-2) at CMS Stags (6-1, 4-1) | 1PM

This is the game that likely decides the Surf division representative in the SCIAC Championship Game. A few weeks ago the Panthers turned their season around with a 20-7 victory over the Stags at home and now must look to replicate the result to the East in the Claremont.

That result is still the Stags only loss of the season as they've handled the rest of the SCIAC without too much trouble to this point and missing the opportunity to play for a spot in the Division 3 playoffs would be a major disappointment for the team.

Although CMS has by far the best overall record in the conference, it is hard to argue against Chapman being the best team at the moment with how they’ve performed the past 3 weeks and have control of their destiny should they win out.

La Verne Leopards (1-6, 0-5) at Redlands Bulldogs (4-3, 3-2) | 7PM

With a matchup against Pomona-Pitzer looming on the horizon, Redlands needs to keep their focus on the task at hand to keep themselves on track to win their pod and avoid an upset against a Leopards team that must be feeling desperate for a conference win.

It is hard to say at this point who will be starting at quarterback for either team, but the Bulldogs will surely lean on Tony Williams Jr to carry the load with the playoffs within reach.

Pomona-Pitzer Sagehens (4-3, 3-2) at Cal Lutheran Kingsmen (3-4, 2-3) | 7PM

It will be interesting to see if the Sagehens continue to lean on their hybrid options at quarterback, especially Grady Russo whose Freshman eligibility could make him a viable option to lead the offense in future seasons with some development.

For the Kingsmen, they've fallen out of the race for a SCIAC Championship, but they have taken a strong step from last season.

JP Andrade has shown flashes of the talent that had him on Division 1 rosters but the roster around him has held things back on offense. If they can project Andrade against the Sagehens front, this could be a potential upset for the Kingsmen and a highlight of their season.

Week 9 SCIAC Power Ranking

  1. Chapman Panthers
  2. CMS Stags
  3. Redlands Bulldogs
  4. Pomona-Pitzer Sagehens
  5. Cal Lutheran Kingsmen
  6. La Verne Leopards