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Redlands strong safety dons a cowboy hat after the first of his two interceptions.

University of Redlands strong safety Scott Tinsley is from Capitola, a beachside community near Santa Cruz. It’s best known for its painted seaside cottages, “Pizza My Heart” restaurants and chill surf scene.

“I was an East Side surfer,” Tinsley said following Redlands’ 34-18 victory against Pomona-Pitzer on Saturday, Oct. 16. “The Hook (surf spot) was my favorite. I’m a longboarder. Football is really my passion and my job, but surfing is my sanctuary. I feel rejuvenated and re-centered after surfing.”

Fer sure, brah.

Against Pomona-Pitzer, Tinsley caught footballs instead of waves. His two interceptions prompted him to point to the heavens (he’s a Monte Vista Christian of Watsonville graduate) and then dance off the field and don a maroon and gray cowboy hat awarded to Bulldogs who create turnovers.

Before the two picks he had a monster hit on Sagehen freshman receiver Carter Brown that pumped up the Bulldogs.

Tinsely was recruited out of high school by Bulldog defensive coordinator Joey Mariani. He chose Azusa Pacific University, but committed to Redlands after APU shuttered its football program.

“The culture here is to be dialed in every day,” said Tinsley, who had the two picks, 10 tackles, a quarterback hit, and that teeth-rattling hit on Brown.

Redlands (5-1, 3-0 conference) allowed zero yards rushing for the game and led 17-3 at the half in winning its third consecutive game.

Other Bulldog standouts were Ryan Place with seven tackles including a sack, Jake Baillie with two tackles and a forced fumble, Noah Widgins with two tackles for loss, and Jace Tessaro, Reece Wakely, Brandon Serrano and Mikey Duran who combined for 13 tackles and 4.5 tackles for loss.

The offense wasn’t cold pizza, either. Quarterback Nathan Martinez, a Yucaipa High graduate, completed 15-of-21 passes for 121 yards.

Martinez’s 14-yard dash around the left side and dive for the pylon put Redlands up 17-3 at halftime.

“Nathan Martinez,” Bulldogs’ coach Jim Good said simply. “He’s special. He’s a fun guy to coach. He absolutely loves to compete.”

Martinez has already graduated and is in the MBA program.

Murrieta Mesa High graduate Kai Thompson lit the fuse for Redlands at the outset with a 30-yard TD run with 5:29 left in the first quarter; and Brendan Marmion kicked a 21-yard field goal with 5:49 left in the second quarter.

Marmion added a 27-yard field goal with 7:02 left in the third quarter for 20-3. Then Tony Williams Jr.’s 1-yard run five minutes later put the game out of reach for Pomona-Pitzer.

Redlands outgained Pomona-Pitzer 351 to 255, with 230 of those yards coming on the ground.

“It was a relentless effort by our running backs and the offensive line,” Good said. “Those guys grinded hard.”

The Bulldogs’ starting offensive line is Cody Paul, Dominic Perez, Calhoun Helmberger, Kaleb Gibson and Anthony Vargas. The tight end is Grant Chaney.

Thompson led the Bulldogs in rushing with 105 yards and Aquinas grad Andrew Kellstrom added 66 more and scored a touchdown.

Homecoming is coming

Redlands hosts Chapman (5-1, 2-0) at 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 23, during Homecoming Weekend, with first place in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference up for grabs. Chapman defeated Redlands 21-18 in 2019 in the last meeting between the schools.

“We executed well (against Pomona Pitzer) and just had some small mistakes,” said Baillie from Woodinville, Washington.

“It was a big win but Chapman is a great team and we’re going to need a great week of practice.”