Photo by Chris Mora
Here are five things to know as the La Verne football team takes on Redlands on Saturday at Ortmayer Stadium.
1) Redlands has been shaky against the pass. The Bulldogs have allowed 251 yards per game through the air and opposing quarterbacks have thrown five touchdown passes to zero interceptions. Redlands has three sacks on the season, tied for second fewest in the SCIAC.
All of this sets up La Verne quarterback Josh Evans for a bounceback game. Evans had one of the more difficult games of his young career against Cal Lutheran last week. Dealing with pressure all game from a very good Kingsmen defense, Evans went 17-of-38 passing for 197 yards and an interception while being sacked five times.
2) La Verne beat Redlands, 49-42, in last year's meeting between the two teams and the Leopards were unstoppable on the ground. Departed All-American Travis Sparks-Jackson rushed for 154 yards and two touchdowns while Dallas Parent rushed for 91 yards and three scores.
Parent will be instrumental once again, having broken the 100-yard mark and found the paydirt in every game so far. He is averaging 172.3 rushing yards per game and has scored five touchdowns.
3) La Verne sophomore defensive back Derrin Hooks was all over the field in last year's matchup against Redlands, recording 11 total tackles (8 solo) and forcing a fumble and recovering another.
He has been solid in the backfield to start the season, notching 17 tackles in three games. He had two pass breakups in the opener against Puget Sound (Sept. 3) and recorded the first interception of his career against Whitworth (Sept. 17).
4) Redlands and La Verne are 1st and 2nd, respectively, in the SCIAC in red zone percentage. The Bulldogs have converted 11-of-14 red zone opportunities (79 percent) and the Leopards have converted 7-of-10 (70 percent). Six of La Verne's scores were touchdowns while Redlands has punched in eight.
5) Tyler Shreve is Redlands's nominal starting quarterback, but the Bulldogs have taken a quarterback-by-committie approach to start the season. Shreve, Mitch Kidd and Paul Avila each has attempted at least 27 passes. Avila got the nod in the Bulldogs' season opener but hasn't played since. Kidd has been the most effective, completing 69 percent of his passes for five touchdowns.