Whitworth and Redlands today renew their nonconference football rivalry for the eighth straight year and the Pirates face a stiff challenge to stop the visitors’ four-game winning streak in the series.
Redlands (1-0) scored with 24 seconds left to knock off No. 4 North Central (Ill.) two weeks ago. The victory moved the Bulldogs up to No. 17 and the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletics Conference power also comes in rested following a bye week.
Redlands returns 17 starters from last season’s 8-1 team that thumped Whitworth 23-7. The Pirates (1-1) routed overmatched Pomona-Pitzer 34-7 last week in the first of a four straight home games at the Pine Bowl. Youth football players (eighth grade and below) wearing their team jerseys will receive free admission.
“It’s a challenging matchup,” Whitworth coach John Tully said. “I don’t think it’s going to be decided until late in the fourth quarter. It’s a great opportunity, a great measuring stick.”
The Pirates may not be at full strength. Tully doesn’t expect linebacker Ryan Loutsis (ankle) to play and linebacker Scott Carr (shoulder) will be a game-time decision. If those two are unable to play Whitworth would start an all-freshmen linebacker unit for the second straight game.
Tully wanted to have further discussions Friday before naming a starting quarterback. Freshmen Bryan Peterson and Zac Hill both have started a game and essentially split time the first two weeks.
“We’re still going to play both,” Tully said. “We’re not rotating to be nice. Just like any other position, we’re doing it because both guys are capable of playing.”
Redlands scored 28 second-half points to rally past North Central. Junior quarterback Chad Hurst accounted for four touchdowns (two rushing, two passing) and 335 total yards. He was intercepted three times.
“He’s a dual-threat guy and they spread it out a little and he did a really good job,” Tully said. “It was impressive in crunch time when he led them on their last drive to win the game.”