Football bests Redlands, advance in playoffs 

Maddie Loverich, Editor-in-chief

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Linfield football beat the University of Redlands 44-10 on Saturday afternoon, advancing to the second round of the NCAA playoffs. The Wildcats, now 10-0, will face similarly undefeated Saint Johns University in Minnesota next weekend.

Saturday’s matchup was the second this season between Redlands and Linfield, the first being a 51-10 defeat over the Bulldogs in Southern California on Sept. 18. The preseason loss was Redland’s only other defeat of the year. 

After a scoreless first quarter, the Bulldogs were first on the board with a field goal in the beginning of the second quarter. Northwest Conference Freshman of the Year honoree Joel Valadez answered two minutes later with a two-yard receiving touchdown off a throw from senior quarterback Wyatt Smith. 

JJ Anderson

This week, the quarterback earned NWC Offensive Player of the Year. On Saturday, Smith completed 25 of 35 passes for 337 yards. The performance earned him the all-time school record with 9,918 total offensive yards.

“The team and I are grateful to win in that fashion for our final game in the Catdome on the year,” Valadez said. “The seniors deserved that for how much adversity they’ve been through, but I think everyone would agree that we are not done yet and have bigger goals for this year. Everyone is super excited to see how we match up against the best in the country.”

This weekend’s game fell near a solemn anniversary for the Wildcats. In 2014, Linfield linebacker Parker Moore was fatally wounded at the 7-Eleven across the street from the university. This Thursday marked seven years since the tragedy. 

The Wildcats were similarly playing in the first round of the NCAA playoffs against another California opponent, Chapman University, six days after Moore’s passing. The team advanced to the semifinals that year, only to closely fall to the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater by a score of 20-14. 

Since Moore’s passing, his jersey number has been worn by an upperclassman on the defense that exemplifies what Moore stood for as a teammate and as a person. The season immediately following his passing, Moore’s roommate donned 35 in memory of his friend. 

Now, senior safety and team captain Tyler Bergeron is carrying on the tradition. 

“Wearing Parker’s jersey has been the honor of a lifetime,” said Bergeron. “Even though I never met Parker, my life has been forever changed by the man he was.”

He’s worn number 35 since 2019, a call made by the coaching staff. It was decided that Bergeron best represented the strong work ethic and team-first mentality that Moore valued. 

“Getting to represent 35 on the field has been so special to me,” Bergeron said. “It’s is a tradition I hope continues on long after my playing days are over.” 

Bergeron and the rest of the Linfield defense held the Bulldog offense to a total of 200 yards. Senior Cedric Agcoili-Ostrom and freshman Nick Severson each recorded a sack, and senior defensive tackle Chase Lydig added another in the endzone for a safety in the second quarter. 

Then, sophomore wide receiver Devon Murray added two consecutive receiving touchdowns, for 12 yards in the second quarter and 41 yards in the third. The Wildcats scored three more touchdowns on the day, answered only by a sole Redlands touchdown in the fourth quarter. 

JJ Anderson

Next weekend’s game against Saint Johns will be held in at Clemens Stadium in Collegeville, Minn. The fifth-ranked Johnnies beat Lake Forest College 41-14 on Saturday to advance to the second round of playoffs after an undeafeated season and a Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championship.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Linfield-vs-Redlands-2021-4

Image 2 of 88

Click here to view more photos