The Redlands East Valley High football team has reclaimed the Smudge Pot.
REV scored on a 50-yard touchdown pass from Jeremiah Donahue to Laviel Pickett with six minutes left in the game to defeat rival Redlands 14-10 in the annual Smudge Pot Game. The Citrus Belt League game was played at Citrus Valley High.
“It wasn’t pretty, but we pulled it out at the end,” REV coach Rich Lunsford said. “It was fantastic. The kids were ecstatic, and it was so emotional. I’m proud of everyone after all the COVID stuff and shutdowns.”
The coveted trophy will go in the refurbished entrance to REV.
Redlands had taken the award away from REV during the 2019 season with a 20-17 overtime victory earned on a trick play.
“That was a heartbreaker last year,” Lunsford said. “Coach (Mike) McFarland made a great call with that reverse pass (in 2019).”
REV leads the Smudge Pot series overall, 14-10.
Redlands’ sophomore Kristian Johnson scored a touchdown on the Terriers’ first drive and later added a 40-yard field goal.
But REV stayed close with a 20-yard first-half touchdown run by Donahue.
Redlands ran the ball well, but REV put an extra defensive lineman, Isaac Armenta, in the game in the second half and he made a difference, Lunsford said. Armenta also excelled on the offensive line.
The victory snapped a 12-game losing streak for the REV program, which includes a loss to Norco in the 2018 playoffs.
Redlands (0-2) visits Citrus Valley (1-1) on Saturday, April 3. REV (1-1) is at Cajon (2-0). Both games are at 5 p.m.