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Owens gets 50th win as Chapman stays perfect in SCIAC play

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ORANGE, Calif. – Sixteen unanswered points in the final 8:49 by the Chapman University football team broke open what had been a tied game as the Panthers defeated visiting Occidental College 44-28 at Ernie Chapman Stadium on Saturday night. The win was the 50th career head coaching win for Panthers' head coach Bob Owens, who ran his Chapman record to 31-28.

Chapman (4-1 overall, 3-0 SCIAC) remains unbeaten in its first season of conference play and is a perfect 3-0 at home this season.

The Panthers twice built a two touchdown lead at 14-0 and 28-14 only to see the Tigers climb back into the game and tie the score on each occasion. However, Chapman took the lead for good 31-28 on a 30-yard field goal by sophomore K Markus Trujillo with 8:49 remaining in the fourth quarter.

Following a big defensive stop by Chapman, the Panthers then marched 70 yards on nine plays capped by a 30-yard touchdown pass from freshman QB Andrew Chavez to a wide open senior WR Kali'i Kunitomo on a reverse play with 2:55 left to extend their lead to 38-28. The touchdown pass was Chavez's fifth of the game tying a Chapman record previously set by Stan Villanueva versus Menlo in 1999.

A desperate Occidental tried moving the ball downfield quickly in the final minutes, but junior DB Cameron Cutter intercepted Tigers' junior QB Tommy Edwards at the Chapman-44 to seal the win. Four plays later, the Panthers punched in one more touchdown for good measure on a 36-yard run by sophomore RB Jeremiah McKibbins to make it 44-28. On the ensuing PAT attempt, Trujillo's kick missed wide right bringing an end to Chapman's school record string of 65 consecutive PATs made.

The Chapman offense was once again potent, scoring more than 40 for the third time in five games this season. In every game this season, the Panthers have scored first and they did so again on Saturday, finding the endzone on their third play from scrimmage when Chavez hit McKibbins with a 41-yard touchdown pass to give Chapman an early 7-0 lead. The Panthers made it 14-0 on their next drive another TD pass from Chavez to senior WR Alex Wendling from 21 yards out.

Occidental (1-4 overall, 1-2 SCIAC) rallied to knot it at 14 on a pair of scoring passes from Edwards, the second of which came with 1:56 left in the half, appearing as though the teams would go into the locker rooms tied. However, Chavez and McKibbins connected again on a 63-yard touchdown strike just 23 seconds later to go up by a touchdown 21-14 at halftime. McKibbins, who ran for at least 150 yards in each of the first four games, this time caught for 131 yards to complement his 135 yards rushing. Meanwhile, Chavez was 17 of 26 for 318 yards – his first 300-yard passing game of his career.

After the intermission, the Chapman defense came up with another big defensive play as senior LB Michael Mehlhaff stripped junior RB Austin Cheadle and recovered the fumble on the Occidental 19 yard line. That play set up the first of two TD catches by Kunitomo, a one-handed grab in the back-left corner of the end zone from Chavez to put the Panthers up 28-14 at the 14:44 mark of the third quarter. Kunitomo finished with 123 yards receiving on seven catches.

Edwards again brought Occidental back, tossing two more touchdown passes in the second half to tie it at 28 with 12:54 to go in the game, but Chapman came up big in the fourth quarter to quell any further comeback attempts by the Tigers. Edwards finished 35 of 49 for 321 yards.

Nov. 18: All times Eastern
Final
Husson 23, at Springfield 21
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Final
at Berry 34, Huntingdon 20
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Final
at Delaware Valley 35, Western New England 0
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Final
at Brockport 66, Plymouth State 0
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Final
Frostburg State 35, at Wittenberg 7
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Mount Union 21, Washington and Lee 0
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Final
at Wesley 45, RPI 27
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Washington and Jefferson 31, Johns Hopkins 28
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Trine 63, Monmouth 24
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Final
at Mary Hardin-Baylor 50, Chapman 6
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Case Western Reserve 28, at Illinois Wesleyan 0
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at UW-Oshkosh 63, Lakeland 0
Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at St. Thomas 47, Eureka 8
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Final - OT
at Wartburg 35, Franklin 34
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Final
at North Central (Ill.) 17, St. John's 7
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Linfield 27, Hardin-Simmons 13
Box Score Photos
Nov. 25: All times Eastern
12:00 PM
Wesley at Brockport
Video Preview Live stats Audio
12:00 PM
Case Western Reserve at Mount Union
Video Preview Preview Live stats Audio
12:00 PM
Frostburg State at Washington and Jefferson
Video Live stats Audio
12:00 PM
Husson at Delaware Valley
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Berry at St. Thomas
Video Live stats Live stats Audio Audio
1:00 PM
North Central (Ill.) at UW-Oshkosh
Video Live stats Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Linfield at Mary Hardin-Baylor
1:00 PM
Trine at Wartburg
Video Live stats
Nov. 19: All times Eastern
Final
at Alfred 29, Stevenson 16
@ University of Delaware
Video Box Score Recap
Nov. 25: All times Eastern
12:00 PM
Wesley at Brockport
Video Preview Live stats Audio
12:00 PM
Case Western Reserve at Mount Union
Video Preview Preview Live stats Audio
12:00 PM
Frostburg State at Washington and Jefferson
Video Live stats Audio
12:00 PM
Husson at Delaware Valley
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Berry at St. Thomas
Video Live stats Live stats Audio Audio
1:00 PM
North Central (Ill.) at UW-Oshkosh
Video Live stats Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Linfield at Mary Hardin-Baylor
1:00 PM
Trine at Wartburg
Video Live stats