END ZONE NOTES: Missing QB hurts Wolverines’ hopes of winning American Championship Bowl … SCIAC champ Chapman wins triple OT over Linfield … Ex-Blackhawks get spot in CIF Division I finals this week against Mater Dei.
BENTON, Texas — It couldn’t have gone worse for a hopeful University of Redlands team seeking its first-ever NCAA Division III post-season win at University of Mary Hardin-Baylor.
The NCAA Division III top-ranked Crusaders, taking advantage of special teams play and Bulldog turnovers, wound up with a 43-14 win over visiting Redlands — the sixth straight win for the Texas-based team over its So Cal rivals.
Bulldog QB Nathan Martinez was knocked out of the game.
Just as bad, Redlands fell behind 21-0 by halftime on three TD passes off the arm of QB Jace Hammack.
Four turnovers killed off the Bulldogs’ chances, especially when their defense surrendered just 236 total yards.
The Bulldogs showed some early special teams success en route to their 10th straight NCAA Division III opening round playoff loss.
Jeff Hector’s kickoff return to the 50 proved no value to Redlands, which was forced to punt. Punter Alex Raya delivered his kick to the Crusaders’ 14.
But MHB, already leading 7-0, drove downfield before getting Hammack’s second TD pass, a 13-yarder to Gary Ruckman after a fumbled punt. Hammack tossed his third TD pass before halftime for a 21-0 lead.
By the time Redlands scored, Martinez had been knocked out of the game. Backup Eric Kump scored on a 1-yard run and later found Kai Kang on a 62-yard TD pass.
MHB’s Keith Gipson recovered a fumbled punt, scored on a 64-yard punt return, then intercepted a pass and returned it 26 yards for another TD.
Redlands finished 9-2.
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In the American Championship Bowl, undefeated Chaffey College (11-0) jump out to a 16-0 halftime lead before San Bernardino Valley came roaring back to pull within three points with Wolverines’ backup QB David Schmucker taking snaps for injured Jeremy Moussa.
Chaffey won, 33-20, but had to hold up against 2 Schmucker TD passes and an option TD pass from WR Tate Pringle.
Jhalen Hanes and Jaiden Roe each picked off Panthers’ QB Caden Arreola, who threw for 330 yards. SBVC finished 9-2.
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It took SCIAC champion Chapman University-Orange three overtimes, three QBs totaling 340 yards passing before Tanner Mendoza (173 yards rushing) delivered a 13-yard run to win.
Earlier this season, Redlands beat Linfield, 27-19, on the Bulldogs’ home field.
PREP FOOTBALL NOTES
St. John Bosco, with a pair of players off last year’s Citrus Valley roster — linebackers Benny Lockhart and Danny Lockhart — will go up against Santa Ana Mater Dei in this week’s CIF Division I championship.
The two, along with sophomore cousin Jahsiah Lockhart, transferred to the Bellflower-based campus last winter. The Braves are ranked second in the nation. They’re coming off a 52-14 win over perennial powerhouse Corona Centennial last weekend.
At 12-1, their only loss this season came against Mater Dei back on Oct. 25.