September 7, 2012

Chapman Football Game Notes (9/8/12)

Chapman in Home Openers
Chapman is 9-9 all-time in home debuts having won three of its last five dating back to 2007. The Panthers defeated Whitworth University 16-14 in their 2011 home opener and have won two straight against Division III opponents. Azusa Pacific handed Chapman a home-opening loss in 2010. Under Coach Owens, Chapman is 4-2 in its first game at home.

Panthers in Season Openers

Chapman is 10-8 all-time in season openers and have won four of their last five including last season's win over Whitworth. Three of those wins came against Menlo College. Under Coach Owens, Chapman is 5-1 in season openers.

Chapman Stadium Turns Five
The 2012 season marks Chapman's fifth in the rebuilt Ernie Chapman Stadium. Despite being rebuilt in 2008 as part of the Lastinger Athletic Complex, the stadium kept its name after the son of the university's namesake, Irvin "Ernie" C. Chapman, who played football at Chapman in the early 1930s.

Turning it Around
Chapman enters the 2012 season with two streaks it would like to reverse: A four-game losing streak to end the season last year that included back-to-back home losses in November.

Alfonso Within (Field Goal) Range of Record
Senior K Mauricio Alfonso is three field goals shy of breaking the school's career field goals made record of 18 set by Bill Hamlin who played from 1994-96. Alfonso is 16-of-20 for his career and made 9-of-11 attempts last season which tied a school record. He has made 80 percent of his field goal attempts at Chapman which is the best percentage for a kicker in school history.

Kunitomo Finding the Endzone
In his first season with Chapman, junior WR Kali'i Kunitomo led the team in receptions (39), yards (611), yards per catch (15.7) and touchdowns (7). His seven touchdowns in 2011 was the third highest single-season total in school history, falling just two scores shy of the record which has been accomplished four times, most recently by Lorenza Wilson in 2002.

Strengths Heading into 2012 Season
Chapman relied heavily on its run game in 2011 and rushed for 1,410 yards at an average of 156.7 yards per game which is the highest total since Coach Owens took over in 2006. Expected to lead the way again is an experienced offensive line that returns four starters in senior left tackle D.J. Brandel, senior left guard Andrew Gutierrez, sophomore center Chris Collodel and junior right guard Justin LaLonde.

On defense, eight of Chapman's 11 starters are back including five of the team's front seven as well as three of the four starters in the defensive secondary. Senior LB Michael Mehlhaff, junior LB Wade Minshew and senior LB Kellen Matsuno were the team's top three in tacklers last season while sophomore CB Jordan Williams also returns after leading the team with three interceptions.

Extra, Extra (Points)!

Thanks, in part, to the footwork of Alfonso, the Panthers have successfully kicked 43 consecutive PATs dating back to 2010. In fact, Alfonso has been perfect in his career going 47 for 47 over the past two seasons. The school record for consecutive successful PATs is 54, set between 2007-09.

Chapman vs. Puget Sound

This is the first-ever matchup between Chapman and Puget Sound.

Puget Sound in 2012
The Loggers are coming off a 30-7 road loss to Sewanee (Tenn.) on Saturday to open the season, running their overall losing streak to 11 games dating back to 2010. Puget Sound's last victory came on Oct. 30, 2010 against Pacific (Ore.).  

What to Watch For: Puget Sound
Puget Sound is not afraid to throw the ball as was evident against Sewanee. Loggers' QB Braden Foley completed 19 of 39 passes for 208 yards and a touchdown on Saturday, but did throw four interceptions. Preseason All-American Adam Kniffin led the Loggers with six receptions for 91 yards and a touchdown while Kupuno Park had a team-high 70 yards rushing. On defense, Puget Sound is led by Matt Gilbert who had 14 tackles. Puget Sound is currently ranked second in the nation in pass defense, in large part because Sewanee attempted just three passes for 20 yards against Puget Sound, while racking up 463 yards rushing.

Chapman Football on Air
For the sixth-straight year, Chapman has partnered with the school's on-campus radio station, Chapman Radio, to broadcast eight of the nine Panthers' football games in 2012, including all four home games. The games will be streamed 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.

Chapman Partners With Stretch Internet for Live Video/Stats of Home Games
This is the first season that Chapman has partnered with Stretch Internet to offer live stats and streaming video for all of the team's home games. The video stream will be synced with the Chapman Radio broadcast to give fans video, audio and live stats in an all-in-one portal at http://client.stretchinternet.com/client/chapman.portal#

by Chris Watts
Sports Information Assistant

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