LOS ANGELES — Kwame Do continued to prove that he's among the best running backs in the SCIAC.
Against the conference's top team, the Oxy sophomore had 32 carries for 176 yards and two touchdowns.
But despite his continued emergence as a serious offensive weapon, the Occidental College football team couldn't knock off undefeated and first-place Chapman, losing 35-16 on homecoming night at Jack Kemp Stadium on Saturday.
Oxy falls to 2-3 overall and 1-2 in SCIAC play. Chapman remains unbeaten at 5-0 and 3-0.
The Tigers held Chapman to its lowest point total of the season. Prior to this matchup, the Panthers had scored 57 against Puget Sound, 38 against Whitworth, 72 against Whittier and 62 against Pomona-Pitzer.
Do showed good vision, finished runs hard and didn't have a negative rush all game. Even when the point of contact was at or near the line of scrimmage, the 6-foot, 200-lbs. running back pounded the Panthers defenders to earn yards after contact.
His second touchdown run of the game demonstrated the power he ran with all game. He took the handoff from quarterback Bryan Scott and hit the hole, dragging two defenders into the end zone for a 1-yard touchdown run, cutting Chapman's lead to 21-16 in the process. The only run that he came up a little short on was the ensuing two-point conversion attempt when he was stopped at the half-yard line.
Do is currently third in the SCIAC in rushing yards per game with 129 per game.
The game was close until Chapman scored on two drives early in the fourth quarter, extending a double-digit lead. Cody Chapple finished an eight-play, 72-yard drive with a 1-yard touchdown run and Sean Myers caught a 34-yard TD pass from Michael Lahey, extending the lead to 35-16.
As much success as Oxy and Do had running the ball, the Tigers had trouble stopping it. Chapple went for 92 yards on 20 carries, Kean Stancil had 108 on eight carries and the Panthers totaled 230 on the ground as a team.
Oxy turned the ball over three times, all in the first half. The most costly came after a great catch and run by Cordell Harris. The freshman wide receiver took the ball 35 yards down to Chapman's goal line, but as he stretched for the end zone he fumbled the ball out of the back of the end zone, keeping six points off the board and giving the Panthers the ball at their 20-yard line for a touchback.
Marc Kuzbari was excellent in the kicking game for the Tigers. With 8:58 left in the third quarter, the senior kicker/punter belted a 39-yard field goal that cut Chapman's lead to 14-10. He was also very effective at forcing Chapman into bad field position and eliminating any chance of a punt return. The senior averaged 43.2 yards on five punts and had two inside the 20-yard line. The only punt that Chapman was able to return went for -1 yards.
Scott, Oxy's freshman quarterback who is starting just his second game after the injury to Tommy Edwards, was 17-33 for 173 yards and one interception. He also had eight carries for 20 yards.
The first half was played pretty evenly.
Oxy's defense looked sharp out of the gate. After one first down, Benjamin Kamerin came up with a sack to force a punt. But on the ensuing kick, Shay Mueller muffed the punt and the Panthers got a huge break and the ball back.
But Oxy's defense came up big again on the next Chapman drive with Ross Fiegener getting a third-down sack to force another punt.
Chapman's running game got going on its second drive of the game. The Panthers handed the ball off seven times for 71 yards, capped with a 2-yard touchdown by Cody Chapple.
Do got the Tigers on the board with a 1-yard touchdown run that finished a 7-play, 32-yard drive with 9:30 left in the second quarter.
Kean Stancil completed a Chapman two-minute drill just before half with a 25-yard touchdown run that put the Panthers up 14-7.
Samuel Crizer was active for the Tigers as a receiver in the passing game and as a runner in certain packages. The junior caught four passes for 45 yards and two carries for 10 yards.
Teran Mawhinney led Oxy with 11.5 tackles and Ross Fiegener had seven.
Oxy posted its largest attendance number of the season with 3,083 fans at the game.
Oxy returns to action next weekend, hosting Cal Lutheran at 7 p.m. on Oct. 26.