On Saturday, Oct. 22, under the lights of Ted Runner Stadium, the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps football team (4-2, 2-2 Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference) faced off against the University of Redlands (5-1, 4-0 SCIAC) for the Bulldogs’ homecoming game. Redlands, which is always a top SCIAC contender, fought hard and held off the Stags 23-17.
This loss made two in a row for the Stags, who were undefeated in their four games before the shutout by California Lutheran University (3-3, 3-1 SCIAC) two weeks ago. The game featured strong performances from quarterback Trey Reynolds CM ’17, who threw for 281 yards, and Trey Smith CM ’18, who tallied 145 receiving yards. The Stags staged a comeback late in the fourth quarter, but, unfortunately, came up short, Reynolds saying that they “had all the momentum at the end, it just took too long for our team to start rolling in the beginning.”
“It’s been tough; we’ve had a lot of injuries especially from some starting players on the offensive line,” said defensive lineman Connor Sinclair CM ’20, who has had to observe most of the season from the sidelines due to injury.
Head coach Kyle Sweeney told TSL, “Cal Lutheran jumped up and bit as a little bit, and we knew going in that Redlands would be really tough. Part of it is just playing good opponents. Also, we haven’t necessarily gotten great bounces and the pure luck aspect of the game hasn’t gone our way.”
Part of what defines CMS athletes as a whole is their relentless drive and determination, and the football team is no exception. Regardless of the win-loss record, the Stags will continue to give practices their all and hone in on the details. Reynolds told TSL, “We’re approaching the next three weeks just like how we have approached every game this season, which is being completely prepared for our opponent.”
“Just because the goal of going undefeated is unattainable doesn’t mean the preparation will change this week. We’ll be just as intense as if we are undefeated or if we were to have lost every game,” Sinclair said. He added that the Stags’ stellar team chemistry has not been affected by the losses. “The team is always together through thick and thin; there’s really a lot of love.”
Sinclair stressed that the team wants to send off its seniors with a winning record. Wide receiver Nick Wheeler CM ’18 agreed, “We’re playing these last three games for the seniors. They deserve to be sent off the right way after all the work they’ve put into building this program over the last four years.”
“Our guys play for each other,” Coach Sweeney echoed. “They understand that this stuff happens and that just means we work a little harder next week.”
The Stags look to bounce back against University of La Verne at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 29th.