September 30, 2011

Chapman Football Game Notes (Pomona-Pitzer)

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Road Weary
The Panthers' road loss on Saturday was their fifth in their past six away games dating back to the start of the 2010 season.

There's no 'L' in Azusa
Chapman's 43-7 loss to Azusa Pacific last week was its fifth straight defeat against the Cougars. It's the Panthers' second-longest active losing streak to any school. The longest is Chapman's six-game skid against Willamette (Ore.), which the Panthers last faced in 2003.

Long-Distance Carrier
Not only was APU's 97-yard blocked field goal return for a touchdown at the end of the first half last week a back-breaker for Chapman, it was also the longest play the Panthers' had surrendered to an opponent in 11 years. In fact, the only play longer which Chapman has allowed was a 100-yard kickoff return by Whitworth (Wash.) on Sept. 16, 2000.

Wall of Protection
Going into the season, one of Chapman's strengths was expected to be in its offensive line. Thus far, that's held true as the offensive front five have given up just one sack and rank No. 15 in Division III in sacks allowed. That pass protection has helped the Panthers to a 108 quarterback efficiency rating.

Scoring Struggles
The Panthers will be looking to break out the touchdown celebrations this week. Chapman's offense has been limited to just one touchdown in each of the first two games and a total of 23 points. That total (11.5 points per game) marks a six-year low, going back to 2005 when the Panthers scored just 20 points in their first two games.

Give and Take?
It's not that the Panthers' four turnovers in their first two games is an unusually high amount of charity for any team - but the Panthers' lack of takeaways has magnified the turnover problem. Chapman's defense has forced zero turnovers in its first two games. However, last year against Pomona-Pitzer the Panthers had two interceptions and no turnovers.

Kickers Return
Chapman kickers Jimmy Adranly (punter) and Mauricio Alfonso (kicker) return to the sidelines this week after missing the APU game while the Panthers' men's soccer team was in Texas. It was the first of three scheduling conflicts this season, however, Adranly and Alfonso are not expected to miss any more football games. Freshman K Markus Trujillo was solid in their stead, averaging over 39 yards per punt, including a 57-yarder. However, is lone field goal attempt was blocked.

Pomona-Pitzer in 2011
The Sagehens are off to another slow start, going 0-2 out of the gate. Pomona-Pitzer is now 1-10 in their past 11 games dating back to the start of last season when they lost their first seven contests and finished in fifth place in the SCIAC. The Sagehens suffered a heartbreaker two weeks ago at home against Lewis & Clark (Ore.), losing 48-39 despite RB Luke Sweeney rushing for 187 yards and four touchdowns.

Speaking of Sweeney...
The junior running back and kick returner is tracing circles around opposing defenses this year. Sweeney currently ranks No. 2 in the nation in rushing yards per game (181.5) and No. 3 in all-purpose yards with 246 per game. After being kept out of the endzone in the Sagehens' opener against Whitworth, Sweeney scored four times against Lewis & Clark and as a result ranks No. 14 in Division III with 12 points per game scoring average.

Sagehens' O-Line
Certainly Pomona-Pitzer's offensive line deserves some of the credit for Sweeney's great start as it is creating some holes for the junior to run through. The Sagehens' O-line also ranks second in the SCIAC in sacks allowed, having allowed just two this year.

Chapman vs. Pomona-Pitzer
Chapman's .875 winning percentage (7 wins, 1 loss) against Pomona-Pitzer is its highest winning percentage ever against any opponent the Panthers have played at least five times. That includes a five-game winning streak against the Sagehens which is tied for the Chapman's longest active streak against any opponent. The last meeting, Chapman overcame a 10-7 halftime deficit to beat Pomona-Pitzer 41-17 at Ernie Chapman Stadium in 2010.

Chapman Football on Air
For the fifth-straight year, Chapman has partnered with the school's on-campus radio station, Chapman Radio, to broadcast all nine Panthers' football games in 2011 streaming live on the internet at http:www.chapmanradio.com/sports. A rotation of on-air student talent will provide play-by-play and commentary for every down of Chapman football.

For complete game notes click here.

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