Big first quarter helps Chapman get homecoming win over Pomona-Pitzer

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ORANGE, Calif. – A pair of first quarter touchdowns passes from freshman QB Andrew Chavez to junior WR Robin Harris gave the Chapman University football team an early cushion as they cruised to a 24-7 homecoming win over Pomona-Pitzer on Saturday night at Wilson Field. This was Chapman's third straight homecoming win with the last loss coming to Whittier in 2009 at Wilson Field.

Just over three minutes into the first quarter and on the first drive of the game, Chapman (3-1, 2-0) got on the board with a 43-yard strike from Chavez to Harris with 11:50 remaining which capped off a 7-play, 76 yard drive. After Chapman's defense forced a punt on Pomona-Pitzer's opening drive of the game, Chapman came right back and pushed its lead to 14-0 when Chavez and Harris connected again, this time from 27-yards out at the 7:20 mark of the quarter. Chavez completed 6-of-11 passes on the night for 91 yards and two touchdowns with one interception. Of Chavez's 91 yards, 87 of them went to Harris who had five catches.

Following Chapman's second touchdown, Pomona-Pitzer (0-4, 0-2) moved the ball into Chapman territory behind the running of senior All-American RB Luke Sweeney who carried the ball four times for 21 yards on the drive. With Pomona-Pitzer on Chapman's 35, they tried a wide receiver pass which was intercepted by Chapman freshman DB Ethan Weinstein on Chapman's 4-yard line to end any threat. Sweeney ran for a game-high 169 yards on 34 carries for Pomona-Pitzer.

After a Pomona-Pitzer punt to their 34-yard line, Chapman took over with 3:13 remaining in the half and capitalized on its good starting field position. Sophomore RB Jeremiah McKibbins had back-to-back runs of 12 and 15 yards to move Chapman within field goal range of senior K Mauricio Alfonso who connected on a 34-yard field goal to give the team a 17-0 lead with 46 seconds remaining in the first half. McKibbins once again rushed for 150 yards, this time on 28 carries and a touchdown.

McKibbins' touchdown came in the third quarter after Chapman senior LB Michael Mehlhaff came up with an interception to give Chapman the ball on Pomona-Pitzer's 34-yard line with 7:59 on the clock. Seven plays later McKibbins punched the ball into the end zone from four yards out to push the lead 24-0 with 5:27 remaining in the third quarter.

Pomona-Pitzer's lone touchdown came in the fourth quarter as the team put together a 9-play, 80-yard drive capped off by 26-yard touchdown pass from senior QB Luke Ferguson to junior WR Ryan Randle. The touchdown ended Chapman's hope of having its first shutout since 2005. Chapman's defense allowed a season-low 253 yards of total offense to Pomona-Pitzer, including just 83 yards through the air. Mehlhaff had nine tackles for Chapman followed by senior LB Kellen Matsuno with eight. Junior LB Wade Minshew and freshman DL Ben Wadors each had a sack for Chapman.

Chapman returns to play Saturday, Oct. 13 at 7 p.m. as the team hosts Occidental at 7 p.m. on Wilson Field.

by Chris Watts
Sports Information Assistant


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