ORANGE, Calif. – The Chapman University football team has become accustomed to opening the season with a win. Rarely have those wins come with such firepower as Saturday night's 55-35 defeat of visiting University of Puget Sound. The Panthers and Loggers combined for 1,141 yards of total offense and 90 points in a slugfest that lasted over three hours at Ernie Chapman Stadium in Saturday night.
Chapman (1-0), making its 2012 debut, scored on its first four possessions of the game to build a 28-0 lead after one quarter. That included a 100-yard touchdown return by junior RB Austin Maranville on the game's opening kickoff – a school record. It was just the sixth kick return for a touchdown in Chapman history, the last by Kevin Krail in 2009.
On their second possession, sophomore QB Kean Stancil led the Panthers 86 yards on 10 plays and scored his first of four touchdowns in the game, scampering 7 yards for the score. Stancil would run for two touchdowns and pass for two more before his night was done.
Once again, Chapman began its third drive on the 14 yard line and went another 86 yards for the score. Stancil and senior WR Kali'i Kunitomo connected on a 60-yard pass play for a touchdown with 6:38 left in the first quarter.
For good measure, the Panthers finished the first quarter flurry with a 51-yard drive that ended on a 13-yard touchdown pass from Stancil to junior WR Robin Harris with 2:08 left, giving Chapman a 28-0 lead. The Panthers had 223 yards of total offense in the first 12:52 of the game.
In the second quarter it was sophomore RB Jeremiah McKibbins' turn. Making his first career start at tailback, McKibbins rushed 10 times in the second quarter for 86 of his career-high 154 yards and scored a pair of touchdowns from 10 and 4 yards out. That gave Chapman a 42-14 lead at halftime.
In the half, Stancil was 19 of 20 passing for 267 yards, 138 of which went to Kunitomo on seven receptions. Kunitomo finished the game with eight catches for 152 yards, just 1 yard shy of his career-high set against Redlands last season.
Meanwhile, Stancil's debut may have been the best for a quarterback in school history. The sophomore completed 26 of 32 passes for 339 yards – the most for a Chapman playcaller in his first game. He also ran for 33 yards and two scores.
Puget Sound (0-2) never did recover from the early deficit but racked up some offense, particularly in the second half where the Loggers scored three times. Sophomore QB Braden Foley and senior All-America WR Adam Kniffin torched the Chapman secondary, connecting for a school-record 267 yards and four touchdowns for Kniffin. Foley finished 31 of 55 for a career-high 470 yards passing and five TDs.
The Loggers finished with 526 yards of total offense in the game.
Chapman's senior K Mauricio Alfonso tied a school record with his 17th and 18th career field goals from 40 and 35 yards in the second half. He was also a perfect 7-for-7 in PAT attempts, running his career streak to 54 in a row.
The Panthers' 615 yards of total offense is the most they've produced since setting a school record with 644 yards in a game against Redlands in 1996. Chapman improved to 6-1 in season openers over the past seven seasons.