/seasons/2019/contrib/20191116ey48j3

No. 13 Chapman completes undefeated season at La Verne

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LA VERNE, Calif. – The No. 13 Chapman University football team made history with a 28-17 victory over La Verne on Saturday. The Panthers became the first team in program history to finish a season undefeated, claiming Chapman's third SCIAC title in the last six years.

The Panthers finished the season 9-0 overall and a perfect 7-0 in the SCIAC. With nine wins this season and a season-ending win over La Verne a year ago. The Panthers have won 10 straight games heading into the NCAA Tournament next week.

The Panthers entered the season ranked No.2 in the NCAA West Region rankings and will find out their first round matchup tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. when the selection show is aired on NCAA.com.

Chapman completed its undefeated season despite six turnovers at La Verne, including four interceptions. The defense held strong in limiting La Verne to just three points off the six turnovers.

The Panthers found themselves in an early hole to start the game. A fake punt and a 57-yard touchdown pass put La Verne on the board first. After the Leopards' first interception ended Chapman's first drive, they converted it into a 19-yard field goal and a 10-0 lead.

The double digit lead didn't last long as junior Nico Ragas took the next kickoff 93 yards to the end zone for his second return TD in as many weeks. With the momentum swung toward the Chapman sideline, the Panthers erased the lead by the end of the first quarter.

Junior Chris Tsirtsis grabbed the first of three Chapman interceptions on the next drive and sophomore Tanner Mendoza punched in a three-yard touchdown nine plays later for a 14-10 Chapman lead.

Interceptions became the name of the game over the second quarter as the teams traded picks over the next four drives. Senior Sal Ochoa III and junior Franky Narez each grabbed INTs for the Panthers but La Verne returned the favors with two picks of their own.

Neither offense could quite get going until the end of the second as both teams turned it over on downs and gave up fumbles before the next score. After a punt pinned Chapman inside their own 20 with less than four minutes to go, the Panthers marched down the field to add to their lead.

Mendoza ended an 11-play, 82-yard drive when he took a screen pass 35 yards into the end zone with nine seconds remaining. The Panthers took the 21-10 lead into halftime.

Mendoza ran the ball 35 times for 133 yards and caught the one pass for 35 yards. Sophomore Spencer Corona had a career day, catching eight passes for 135 yards. Mendoza added another TD in the third quarter with another three-yard run to make it 28-10.

Raymond Moronez led the La Verne secondary with three of the four Leopard picks. Junior Jonston MacIntyre and sophomore Reed Vettel split the interceptions at QB but MacIntyre completed 17-of-20 passes for 246 yards while also running for 55 yards on 13 carries.

La Verne cut the lead down to two scores with a touchdown on fourth down to start the fourth quarter. After an interception ended the Panthers' next drive on La Verne's three yard line, the defense forced a three-and-out to get the ball right back. However, the punt was fumbled near midfield and La Verne recovered 7:53 left in the game.

After the drive stalled, the Leopards set up a 41-yard field goal but it sailed wide left. The Panthers drove 71 yards over eight plays to get inside the Leopards' 10 and take the clock inside the final minute. Chapman was unable to punch the ball in for a game-sealing touchdown but the clock ran out before La Verne had a chance to make the comeback.

The Panthers celebrated their third SCIAC title in six years and will find out their tournament pairing tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. when the selection show airs on NCAA.com.

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at Case Western Reserve 35, Bethany 14
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Concordia-Moorhead 19, at St. John's 18
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at Hardin-Simmons 91, McMurry 29
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at Bethel 62, Hamline 7
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at Wartburg 21, Coe 7
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Salisbury 62, at TCNJ 20
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St. John's 70, at Hamline 0
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at Wheaton (Ill.) 55, Carthage 6
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at Mary Hardin-Baylor 41, Texas Lutheran 3
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at Bethel 62, Augsburg 6
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at Central 57, Wartburg 56
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at St. Thomas 57, Gustavus Adolphus 36
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at UW-Whitewater 37, UW-Stout 17
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Hardin-Simmons 45, at East Texas Baptist 0
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Linfield 38, at Whitworth 31
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at Susquehanna 49, McDaniel 7
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at Redlands 45, Whittier 10
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Nov. 16: All times Eastern
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at Union 33, RPI 0
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at Delaware Valley 28, Widener 21
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at Ithaca 32, Cortland 20
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at Wesley 42, Christopher Newport 7
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Susquehanna 63, at Juniata 7
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Salisbury 42, at William Paterson 13
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at Bridgewater 41, Guilford 7
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at Carnegie Mellon 24, Case Western Reserve 21
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Mary Hardin-Baylor 77, at Sul Ross State 14
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Mount Union 69, at Marietta 7
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John Carroll 17, at Baldwin Wallace 10
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at Berry 55, Austin 28
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North Central (Ill.) 59, at Millikin 32
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Wheaton (Ill.) 58, at Elmhurst 0
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at Hardin-Simmons 49, Southwestern 6
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at St. John's 47, Rose-Hulman 14
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at Wartburg 48, Loras 7
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at Texas Lutheran 57, McMurry 14
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at St. Thomas 17, Bethel 7
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at Linfield 24, George Fox 17
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Redlands 67, at Occidental 12
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Chapman 28, at La Verne 17
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Huntingdon 27, at Berry 24
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at Mount Union 65, Hanover 14
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at Wesley 58, Framingham State 21
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Delaware Valley 30, at Bridgewater 22
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Washington and Jefferson 20, at Ithaca 17
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at Susquehanna 88, Wilkes 24
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at Mary Hardin-Baylor 43, Redlands 14
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at UW-Whitewater 35, Monmouth 10
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at Wheaton (Ill.) 51, Martin Luther 7
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at St. John's 51, Aurora 47
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at North Central (Ill.) 51, Wabash 15
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Final - OT
at Chapman 68, Linfield 65
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Nov. 30: All times Eastern
Final
North Central (Ill.) 59, at Mount Union 52
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at Salisbury 62, Union 41
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at Muhlenberg 42, Brockport 0
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Delaware Valley 45, at Wesley 10
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at Mary Hardin-Baylor 42, Huntingdon 6
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at Wheaton (Ill.) 49, Central 13
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at UW-Whitewater 41, Wartburg 28
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St. John's 55, at Chapman 26
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Dec. 7: All times Eastern
Final
Muhlenberg 24, at Salisbury 8
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at North Central (Ill.) 31, Delaware Valley 14
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St. John's 34, at Wheaton (Ill.) 33
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UW-Whitewater 26, at Mary Hardin-Baylor 7
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Dec. 14: All times Eastern
12:00 PM
North Central (Ill.) at Muhlenberg
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St. John's at UW-Whitewater
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