More On the Line: CLU-Redlands Preview

Kingsmen, Bulldogs to play for Smudge Pot

Cal Lutheran and Redlands will battle for the Smudge Pot beginning this weekend. The winning team will paint the pot, seen here in its natural state.

Photo: Tracy Maple

Game Four for CLU: Saturday, Oct. 6, the No. 8 Cal Lutheran Kingsmen continue SCIAC play as they travel to Redlands to take on the Bulldogs. Kickoff is set for 7:05 p.m. at Ted Runner Stadium.

A New Tradition: Starting in 2012, Cal Lutheran and the University of Redlands will play for the Smudge Pot, a perpetual trophy that celebrates the heritage and history of the citrus industries in Ventura and San Bernardino Counties.  The winner of the annual game will be presented with the Smudge Pot and paint it in the respective colors of their University, holding the trophy until the following meeting. 

In the winter of 2012, Paramount Citrus, headquartered in Delano, Calif., donated a retired smudge pot for use as the trophy.  Smudge pots, also known as orchard heaters, were once used in the citrus industry to prevent frost damage to crops.  Smudge pots have been replaced by smokeless heaters and wind machines in California orchards, and the Smudge Pot trophy symbolizes the importance of the citrus industry in the two regions of Southern California. It is also a salute to the families of growers that keep the industry strong.

Series History: Saturday will mark the 41st meeting between the two teams with the Kingsmen holding a 22-18 advantage all-time. CLU and Redlands first met on the gridiron in 1965 with Redlands winning 9-6 in a defensive struggle. The series has been one of extended streaks, with Cal Lutheran winning 10 consecutive games from 1975-1983. The series went on hiatus until 1992 when CLU joined UR in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC). The series saw Redlands win seven consecutive games from 1996-2002.

The two programs have been the two winningest teams in the SCIAC over the past 15 years and have combined to win 12 conference championships including four of the past five seasons.

The teams have also combined to make nine appearances in the NCAA playoffs in the past 20 years.  In 2011, both teams received a bid to the NCAA playoffs, the first time the SCIAC has ever had two conference members make the playoffs in the same season.

Last Meeting: In front of a capacity crowd, the then No. 20 Kingsmen hosted the then No. 13 Bulldogs in the first-ever game at the newly constructed William Rolland Stadium. With playoff implications already present on the first day of October, the game would go down in SCIAC lore as CLU rallied from a 24-0 halftime deficit to score 28 unanswered points including the game-winning touchdown coming with just 16 seconds left in the game to defeat Redlands 28-24.

UR looked as if it would spoil opening-night of Rolland Stadium as the Bulldogs raced out to a 17-0 first quarter lead thanks in part to touchdown runs from quarterback Chad Hurst and running back David Woolbert, as well as a field goal from Kevin Grady. The Bulldogs would tack another touchdown in the second quarter to push their lead to 24-0 at halftime.

CLU was able score on its first possession of the second half with running back Daniel Mosier capping a 10-play drive with a two yard touchdown run to make the score 24-7.

The Kingsmen, however, would go scoreless the rest of the third quarter setting up a dramatic fourth-quarter comeback.

With one minute into the fourth quarter, quarterback Jake Laudenslayer would find wide receiver Eric Rogers in the back of the end zone for a two yard touchdown pass and pull the score to 24-14.

Redlands responded by picking off Laudenslayer on CLU’s next drive. The Bulldogs would drive down to the CLU 30 yard line before a 47 yard field goal attempt would sail wide left.

Following the missed field goal, CLU marched down the field with a nine-play, 70 yard drive capped by a second touchdown catch for Rogers, making it 24-21.

After a Redlands punt put CLU inside their own five yard line, the Kingsmen would struggle on their next offense possession as the Bulldogs defense forced a turnover on downs and Redlands started with the ball at midfield with just 3:31 left in the game.  CLU, using all three of their timeouts, saw the defense step up and hold the Bulldogs to a three-and-out. A tremendous punt by Redlands punter Wes Norris pinned CLU down on their own two-yard line with just 3:03 left on the clock, which set the stage for the final drive.

On the very first play of the drive, Laudenslayer found Deme’Trek Chambers on a 22 yard catch and run. After an incompletion, Laudenslayer hit freshman Nick Bueno for a 19 yard catch that got CLU to midfield. Later in the drive and the ball spotted at the Redlands 35 yard line, Laudenslayer would make the play of the game as the senior would scramble for a 26 yards down to the Redlands nine yard line with 1:01 left on the clock. On first down, a seven yard flare pass to Mosier got CLU down to the two yard line. On second down, Redlands stuffed a quarterback sneak. With the clock ticking and no timeouts CLU hurried to the line and  Laudenslayer called his own number again, pushing his away into the end zone, giving the Kingsmen their first lead of the game with just 16 second left.

CLU would intercept a hail-mary on the last play of the game and prevail with a 28-24 victory.

About Cal Lutheran: Cal Lutheran enters Saturday’s game 2-1 coming off a 38-10 victory over Pomona-Pitzer last Saturday. Senior Eric Rogers broke the school record for career touchdown receptions with his nine-catch 135 yard, three touchdown performance. The Duarte, Calif. native also included a 38 yard touchdown run on the first play of scrimmage. His 173 all-purpose yards led all players and his performance earned him Team of the Week recognition. Through three games, Rogers has 30 receptions for 454 yards and averages over 15 yards per catch.


Kevin Ramay, the SCIAC’s leading passer, was 21-for-29 for 282 yards with three TDs and two interceptions. While Rogers was his favorite target, freshman Justin Bloom caught a career-high five balls for 58 yards.

Running back Ryan Zirbel had 121 yards from scrimmage including 83 yards rushing. He also nabbed three passes for 39 yards.

Defensively, CLU was led by Dontaie Ferguson who finished with nine tackles, including five solo stops, with two going for a loss. Safety Derrick Romo recorded eight tackles with four solo while Christian Bradley and Caius Radu had four solo tackles apiece as well, each contributing one for a loss of yardage. Cornerback Vince Minor had a 64-yard punt return as part of his 159 all-purpose yards.

Taking over the point after touchdown duties was senior Zach Shultis who converted all five of his chances.

About Redlands: Last Saturday saw Redlands get into the win-column for the first time in 2012, defeating conference foe Occidental 49-7. The Bulldogs racked up 630 yards of total offense, sixth-most for a single game in school history, while the defense limited the Tigers to just 17 yards rushing.

Leading the way was wide receiver Peter Adams who had 10 catches for 221 yards and two touchdowns. The 221 yard performance was the third-most for a single game in Redlands history.

A week after not playing, quarterback Chad Hurst returned and lit the Occidental secondary up for 352 yards passing and three touchdowns. Hurst also added a 30-yard touchdown scamper in the first quarter.

Running back Brad Crisanty had 15 carries for 116 yards rushing and two scores.

Defensive back Brandon Morris led the Bulldogs with five tackles while intercepting two Tigers passes. Linebacker Jordan Garica finished with six tackles.

About the Coaches: Cal Lutheran Head Coach Ben McEnroe is in his sixth year at the helm of the Kingsmen football program, where he has compiled a 37-12 overall record. A former All-SCIAC center for the Kingsmen, McEnroe joined his alma-mater 1993 as the offensive line coach. In 1998, he joined Division II Humboldt State, and in 2003, was named the head coach of Chaminade High School. After leading Chaminade to four straight CIF playoff appearances, McEnroe returned home being named the head coach of Cal Lutheran in 2006.

Since then, McEnroe has led Cal Lutheran to four conference titles in five seasons, including consecutive Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) championships in 2009, 2010 and 2011. They are the only three campaigns in CLU football history in which the team has posted undefeated SCIAC records. Heading into the 2012 season, CLU has won 20 SCIAC football games in a row under McEnroe's direction.

Coach McEnroe and his staff also recruited both 2011 SCIAC Players of the Year, Jake Laudenslayer (Offense), and Justin Haulcy-Bateman (Defense).

 Redlands Coach Mike Maynard is in his 25th season as the head coach of the Bulldogs. Since 1988, Maynard’s teams have gone 152-71-1 and 107-30 in SCIAC play.

Maynard received his first head coaching job at Redlands in 1988 after a successful stint as defensive coordinator at conference rival Claremont-Mudd-Scripps.

Since then, the Bulldogs have won 10 SCIAC titles under Maynard’s direction. During the spring of 2005, Maynard was inducted into the Bulldog Bench Intercollegiate Athletics Hall of Fame at the University of Redlands. In addition, he earned the University of Redlands Frank J. Rice Memorial Award for Community Service in 1999. The All-American football foundation named Maynard with the Johnny Vaught Head Coach Award in 2007.

Coach McEnroe on Redlands: “Redlands played like a playoff team on Saturday against Oxy. Their offense was impressive and Chad Hurst looked like the guy we are used to seeing. They did a nice job of running the football and controlling the pace of that game. Defensively they really got after Oxy.”

Regarding this week’s preparation, “It is going to take a great week of practice and tremendous energy for our football team to go into that environment and come out with a win. I'm guessing they've had this one circled on the schedule since last year so we're looking forward to the challenge.”

Game Day Information: Admission fees will apply. Ticket prices are $7.00 for Adults, $4.00 for Non-UR students with ID and Senior Citizens. Children under 12 are Free.

If you cannot make it out to the game, Redlands will offer Live Stats, Audio and Video feeds.