ORANGE, Calif. – The Chapman University football team shut down a high-powered La Verne offense to capture a 30-7 win on Saturday. The Panthers (3-3, 2-2 SCIAC) limited La Verne to just 282 yards of offense and forced a pair of turnovers.
Chapman never trailed as it scored on its first four possessions of the game. Senior Ethan Weinstein's return of the opening kickoff set up the Panthers right near midfield and it took just three plays to find the end zone for a quick 7-0 lead. Junior Ricky Bautista fueled the drive with a 14-yard pass to junior Jacob Isabel and a 37-yard touchdown run.
The defense set the tone on the next drive as it forced a La Verne punt after just four plays. A 14-play, 71-yard drive ended with the first of junior Lucas Alfonso's three field goals on the night. He hit from 26 yards out in the first quarter, 35 yards in the second quarter and 39 yards in the fourth.
La Verne scored its only touchdown late in the first quarter on Dallas Parent's one yard run. Otherwise, the Chapman defense stalled a Leopard that averaged over 30 points and nearly 500 yards per game coming into tonight. The Leopards punted four times, turned it over on downs four more times, threw an interception and lost a fumble.
No drive reached the red zone except for the touchdown drive. Chapman also denied La Verne of a first down nine out of 11 times on third down and four of six times on fourth.
Chapman's consistent pressure in the back field contributed to La Verne's drives stalling outside of scoring range. The Panthers had 14 tackles for loss, including eight sacks. The 14 tackles for loss put the Leopards back 76 yards.
Senior Ben Wadors led the charge into the back field with four tackles for loss, including three sacks. He had six total tackles, broke up two passes and forced a fumble as well. Senior Eddie Lee Favors had seven tackles to lead the defense. Sophomore Andrew Dieken forced the fumble that the Panthers pounced on and was one of four Panthers with at least 1.5 tackles for loss.
Junior Ron Washington came away with the interception in the fourth quarter.
Chapman added a couple of long scores in the middle quarter to open the lead. Bautista hit Weinstein for a 25-yard TD pass in the second quarter and found Isabel for a 37-yard TD strike in the third.
Bautista ended the game with 236 passing yards on 16-of-25 passing. He hit Isabel seven times for 126 yards and found Weinstein four times for 58 yards.
La Verne had just 40 yards rushing – over 250 yards below its average. The Panthers outgained the Leopards 401-282.
Chapman heads back out on the road next week to take on Cal Lutheran at 1 p.m. in Thousand Oaks, Calif.
by Steven Olveda
Sports Information Director