ORANGE, Calif. – Pregame notes are now available for the Chapman University football team's road game against the University of La Verne on Saturday at Ortmayer Stadium in La Verne. Kickoff is set for 1:05 p.m.
Best Start in 15 Years
Chapman's 4-1 start is its best record after five games since 1996 when the Panthers opened the season 6-1. Chapman needs just one victory in its final four games to clinch its first winning season since 2008, following back-to-back 4-5 seasons.
Panthers Spin Another 45
Like an old school disc jockey, Chapman turned another 45 on Saturday night - the second time this season the Panthers have scored 45 points in a game. It's the first time the Panthers have put up 40-plus points twice in a season since 2003 when they did it in consecutive games.
Will the Panthers' offense come out to play on Saturday? Chapman has been all or nothing through five games this season. Of course the Panthers have flexed their muscles with two 45-point games. But in their other three games they have averaged just over 12 points.
First Quarter Touchdown
It took five games but Chapman's first-quarter touchdown against Whittier on Saturday was its first in the opening frame all season. In fact, the Panthers had been held to just three first-quarter points prior to the Whittier game.
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. 2 in Division III in sacks allowed. That pass protection has helped the Panthers to a 123 quarterback efficiency rating.
Chapman head coach Bob Owens said at the outset that the Panthers' would run the ball in 2011 - and they have. Against Whittier the Panthers ran for a season-high 259 yards, led by junior RB Chad Milburn's career-high 120 yards. Chapman has recorded at least 100 yards rushing in all but one game this season and is averaging over 150 yards per game - a six-year high during the Owens' regime.
Extra, Extra (Points)
Thanks to the footwork of junior Mauricio Alfonso and senior Jimmy Adranly, the Panthers have successfully kicked 33 consecutive PATs dating back to last season. In fact, Alfonso has been perfect in his career going 37 for 37 over the past two seasons. They still have a ways to go to touch the school record from 2007-09 when Chapman kicked 54 extra points consecutively.
Alfonso Cracks National Rankings
Not only did Alfonso equal his career-long with another 40-yard field goal against Whittier last Saturday, but the junior also cracked the top-20 in Division III, averaging 1.25 field goals per game. Alfonso is 5 for 6 this season including 2 for 2 on 40-yarders.
Mehlhaff Named to D3football.com Team of the Week
For the second time this season, a Chapman linebacker has been named to the Team of the Week by D3football.com. This week junior Mike Mehlhaff was named to the team after registering a team-high 10 tackles, with 2 tackles for loss including a sack against Whittier. He also returned a blocked punt 15 yards for a touchdown. The other linebacker to be named to the team this year for Chapman was sophomore Anthony Ferraro.
As a provisional member of the SCIAC this season, Chapman does not qualify for conference championships or awards. Thus Chapman will not show up in the SCIAC standings in 2011. However, with a 3-0 record against SCIAC opponents, here's how the standings would look if Chapman were in them:
Cal Lutheran 3-0 4-1
Chapman 3-0 4-1
Redlands 2-1 4-1
Occidental 2-1 3-2
Claremont 1-2 2-3
La Verne 1-2 1-4
Whittier 0-3 1-4
Pomona-Pitzer 0-3 0-5
The Panther-Leopard rivalry goes back 17 years and while La Verne won nine of the first 12 meetings, Chapman has rallied to win five in a row and almost even the all-time series: La Verne 9, Chapman 8. From 1994-03, Chapman-La Verne was one of the most evenly-matched rivalries in Division III. Eight games were decided by five points or less and six of those games were decided by less than a field goal. In 2010, it took an Al White touchdown run with 3:22 remaining to give the Panthers a 35-28 win at Chapman Stadium
La Verne in 2011
The Leopards are looking for their first home win under new head coach Chris Krich and are looking to do it in their homecoming game against the Panthers - a day in which they will inaugurate their new university president. The Leopards only win of the season came against a good Occidental team on the road 30-21. La Verne is led by its senior QB Thomas Arguello, an option-style QB who currently ranks No. 5 in the SCIAC in total offense, averaging 209 yards on the ground and in the air.
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.
by Doug Aiken
Sports Information Director