Kingsmen Football Defeated by Redlands Bulldogs in Smudge Pot Game


Antonio Valle

The Kingsmen offensive line runs on the field as senior quarterback Cesar De Leon points to the sky with only two games left in the season.

Antonio Valle, Reporter

California Lutheran University’s Kingsmen football came up short against division rival University of Redlands, 33-14, in the Smudge Pot Game on Saturday, Nov. 2. The winner of this annual game takes home the Smudge Pot trophy until next year’s match-up.

This was the Kingsmen’s third straight loss in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference with two games remaining.

“Tonight we did what we could on offense and defense. Every night not everything is going to go the way you want it to go, but we just try to keep fighting and get what we could take,” first-year wide receiver Cameron Jones said.

The Bulldogs came out of the gate scoring with a field goal, touchdown and  another field goal in their first three drives of the game. After the first half, the Bulldogs led 13-0.

The Kingsmen could not put anything on the scoreboard in the first half because of the Bulldogs’ pressure on Cal Lutheran quarterback Cesar De Leon and the Kingsmen’s offensive line.

“Coming into today’s game, we knew we had a good chance against this team. We kind of dropped the ball a little bit last week but we just needed to execute, made a couple of mistakes offensively, but it’s stuff that happens and you have to get better with it next week,” De Leon said.

De Leon was helped off the field by his teammates after sustaining an ankle injury in the first half, but he returned soon after.

After halftime, the Kingsmen received the ball and De Leon threw an interception that was returned for a Bulldog touchdown. Cal Lutheran was then down 20-0 right out of halftime.

After the turnover, Cal Lutheran received the kickoff and returned the kick to the 22-yard line. The first play of the drive was a 78-yard touchdown run by junior running back Jackson Taylor, making the score 20-7. By the end of the third quarter, the Kingsmen trailed the Bulldogs 27-7.

The fourth quarter began with a drive by Cal Lutheran that resulted in a 45-yard touchdown pass by Jones. The Kingsmen then trailed by two scores, 27-14.

The Bulldogs’ next drive was not successful as the Kingsmen stopped them from gaining any momentum. The Kingsmen got the ball back to try and make it a one-score game but fell short. De Leon threw his third interception of the night, leading to another Bulldog touchdown.

De Leon threw for 191 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions. The Kingsmen were led by Taylor who had eight rushes for 97 yards. Jones led the Kingsmen in receiving with 99 yards. On defense, senior linebacker Ethan Pulley led with 13 tackles, including 0.5 sacks, 1.5 fumbles and two forced fumbles.

After this loss, Cal Lutheran is now 2-3 in SCIAC and 3-5 overall in the season.

“I was really proud of this team and the way that they fought and competed, and I fully expect us to be in a position to win these next couple of weeks,” Head Coach Ben McEnroe said.

The Kingsmen look to end their three game losing streak next week at the University of La Verne on Saturday, Nov. 9 and cap off the season against Whittier College at home on Saturday, Nov. 16 for senior day.