TACOMA, Washington – Both of Jewell Day's touchdown catches went for more than 50 yards, but the Puget Sound football team's late comeback bid came up short, 28-21, in the Loggers' home opener against Redlands in Baker Stadium Saturday afternoon.
Following a scoreless tie at halftime, both teams were quick to reach the end zone in the second half. Redlands (2-0) scored less than two minutes into the second half, but the Loggers (1-1) needed less than two minutes to answer.
Murdock Rutledge connected with Day up the middle of the field for a 64-yard touchdown to tie the game. From that score, however, the Bulldogs put up 21 unanswered points.
Twenty-three minutes went off the clock before the Loggers scored again. With 4:29 left in the fourth quarter, Day caught another Rutledge strike over the middle and sprinted down the left sideline for his second touchdown of the game.
Despite facing long odds with a 14-point deficit and a few minutes remaining on the clock, Puget Sound still was not done. The Logger defense forced Redlands into a three-and-out, putting the ball back into Rutledge's hands with 1:59 on the clock.
The drive started on Puget Sound's five-yard line, and began with a trick play that had wide receiver AJ Johnson complete a 17-yard pass to fellow wideout Ethan Goldizen. Two plays later, Rutledge connected with Collin Heimbach for 25 yards. Rutledge and Heimbach kept the drive going with a big 18-yard completion on fourth and 10, setting the Loggers up on the Redlands' 18-yard line. The duo connected one more time before Heimbach caught a seven-yard touchdown pass, cutting the deficit to 28-21 with seven seconds on the clock.
Redlands, however, recovered the ensuing onside kick.
Rutledge finished the game with 396 passing yards and three touchdowns. He became Puget Sound's first sophomore starting quarterback since Hans Fortune in 2014. Jewell Day finished with 5 catches for 163 yards, and Heimbach totaled eight catches for 97 yards.
Johnson finished with 12 receptions for 97 yards. Through two games this season, he has 24 catches for 289 yards and two touchdowns.
Saturday's game was the first meeting between Puget Sound and Redlands since 1998.
The Loggers are back on the road for a non-conference game at La Verne, Sept. 15. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m.