Because of the number of backups who will be asked to play considerable minutes, Maynard has simplified the offense. If Mikolon (508 yards) can’t go, his carries likely will be split between junior Chester McCullough and freshman Zack Schafer. About the only good news on the injury front is that senior linebacker and team captain Nick Steele (neck/shoulder) feels better than he has all season. “We’re going to go in and play hard, whether it is seniors or freshmen we’re putting in there,” Maynard said. “When we play hard, good things usually happen. So by no means are we giving up or making excuses.” Veteran Tigers coach Dale Widolff can identify with the plight of the Bulldogs. “It does seem like every now and then you have a year like that,” he said. “We have had them, too. But these teams have good games and we’re still expecting a battle.” Occidental has played a weaker schedule than the Bulldogs. The teams have two common opponents. Both beat Whittier and nonconference foe Chapman by similar scores. But the Tigers’ other nonconference foes were Lewis & Clark and Colorado College, who are a combined 1-8. Meanwhile, the Bulldogs played nationally-ranked Whitworth (3-2) and Trinity (5-0). In junior college play, both San Bernardino County teams will be on the road – San Bernardino Valley College (2-4, 1-3) plays at Antelope Valley (0-6) and Victor Valley (2-5, 1-4) plays at Foothill Conference frontrunner Grossmont (6-1, 5-0). In Mission Conference American Division play, Riverside Community College (4-2, 1-0) will play host to Long Beach City (4-2, 1-0). 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Much is on the line when the football teams from Occidental and the University of Redlands do battle. This year is no exception. The two square off today with the survivor left alone atop the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference standings. That isn’t new. One or the other has finished first in the conference 13 of the last 17 seasons. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week Redlands (3-2, 2-0), which beat Whittier 30-26 in overtime last week, has numerous key players injured. Coach Mike Maynard had to hold back on contact drills this week to make sure the problem didn’t get worse. “This has to be a record in my career. We have had like 10 knee injuries,” Maynard said. “After practice Wednesday we were ready to call out the fife and drum corps and start marching back to Gettysburg. We’re limping into battle.” Maynard confirmed senior quarterback Nick Brown, injured two weeks ago against La Verne, has a torn ACL that will require surgery. Junior Chris Saras remains the starter. That’s just the beginning. Junior defensive lineman Matt Lopez (knee) is out. Senior back Karl Mikolon, who gained 383 yards and has been banged up the last two weeks is doubtful, as is junior left guard Jeff Gazaille (ankle). Many others who have been hurt may not be at full strength. That list includes wide receiver Kyle Godfrey (hip pointer), safety Tommy Bright (hamstring), linebacker Adam Brown (knee) and defensive lineman James Sbicca (knee). Seventh-ranked Occidental (5-0, 2-0) is the reigning champion and won two playoff games last year for the first time in school history. That run ended with a loss to eventual national champion and perennial Div. III powerhouse Linfield (Ore.), which is currently ranked No. 1. The two enter in opposite situations. Occidental is coming off a bye and is healthy with the exception of a few backups.