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Chapman Moves Up to Next Weight Class at Redlands

October 01, 1994|MARTIN BECK | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Redlands football Coach Mike Maynard predicted this.

In August 1993, when Chapman football was still lacking such essentials as coaches and players, Maynard said the Panthers would be immediately competitive with the best teams in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

So far, Chapman has easily handled two weaker SCIAC opponents, Whittier, 30-13, and Claremont-Mudd, 34-14. But tonight at 7 p.m., the Panthers play at Redlands in a game that should test Maynard's theory.

Redlands won three consecutive conference titles before tying for third last season. The Bulldogs are 2-0 this season after beating Azusa Pacific, 31-14, and Pomoma-Pitzer, 39-15.

"We have been telling the team that this is a real measuring stick to see where we are," Chapman Coach Ken Visser said.

Maynard, however, said his team isn't formidable yet.

"We haven't really been that impressive," he said, noting that the Bulldogs only led Pomona-Pitzer, 18-15, before scoring 21-consecutive points in the fourth quarter.

"I think people think that because we show up with 95 players, we are an awesome team," Maynard said. "We're not an awesome team."

Redlands has been depending on its running game; the Bulldogs are leading the SCIAC in rushing with a 304-yard average. Running back Anthony Jones rushed for 213 yards and two touchdowns against Pomona-Pitzer.

Redlands has the SCIAC's most effective defense against the rush, giving up only 81.5 yards per game. Linebacker Joe Kelly was named the conference player of the week with 18 tackles against Pomona-Pitzer.

Maynard said he likes the Bulldogs' chances if they can keep the game close.

"Chapman is so explosive," Maynard said. "They are a team that can pull away from you. They have fast receivers and a fast quarterback. I hope they don't get away from us early."

Chapman quarterback Curtis Robinson, who sat out last week with a separated shoulder, will likely start and his return should open up Chapman's options. Robinson gained 272 yards in total offense and accounted for four touchdowns against Whittier. Last week, with a rusty Todd Gragnano at quarterback, the Panthers stayed mostly on the ground and tailback Darnell Morgan gained 200 yards.

"I don't think we can hang the whole game on running our tailback inside," Visser said. "We thought we could do that against Claremont and we did, but it's not going to work against these people."

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