Kingsmen Make Stop, Go to Title Game, 21-19
For three quarters Saturday, the Cal Lutheran football team appeared well on its way to victory over Redlands.
Freshman Fredrik Nanhed was running wild with three touchdowns and had eclipsed the school’s single-season rushing record.
Little did anyone suspect the Kingsmen would need every one of Nanhed’s scores to hold off the Bulldogs, 21-19, in a Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference game at Mt. Clef Stadium.
Redlands (4-3-1, 3-2 in conference play) had a chance to tie after running back Matt Figueroa scored on a one-yard run with 4 minutes 37 seconds remaining.
Going for the two-point conversion, Danny Green passed to Lake Skalise, who was stopped a yard short by Cal Lutheran linebacker Justin Monical.
The Kingsmen (4-3-1, 4-1) trail La Verne (8-0, 5-0) by one game in the SCIAC standings heading into next Saturday’s season finale at La Verne.
“This is something these kids have talked about all season and now we’re in a position to compete for it,” Coach Joe Harper said.
Nanhed turned in another brilliant performance with 238 yards in 37 carries. The tailback from Malmo, Sweden has 1,282 yards this season, breaking the record of 1,236 set last year by Terrence Thomas.
“It felt good to get the record, but I tried not to think about it because we wanted to win the game first,” he said. “Now that we did, I’m real happy.”
Nanhed scored on Cal Lutheran’s first two possessions on runs of 38 and 15 yards. He added a one-yard run midway through the second quarter to give the Kingsmen a 21-7 halftime lead.
Figueroa’s two-yard touchdown run with 9:28 remaining narrowed the lead to 21-13, but Buddy Wellman’s extra point was blocked by Cal Lutheran’s Chris Peltonen.
That forced the Bulldogs to try a two-point conversion after their final touchdown, which culminated a 65-yard drive.
“In the second half, we were nursing the lead and maybe we got a little conservative,” Harper said. “They made some good adjustments at the half.”
Green completed 18 of 34 passes for 194 yards, including 157 in the second half. Figueroa ran for 119 yards and all three touchdowns in 26 carries.