Whitworth returns the favor, handing Chapman heartbreaking defeat

Jeremiah McKibbins (photo by Larry Newman)
Jeremiah McKibbins (photo by Larry Newman)

SPOKANE, Wash. – Chapman's last-second field goal attempt to tie the game from 33 yards out sailed wide left and host Whitworth University hung on for a 17-14 win over the Panthers at the Pine Bowl on Saturday afternoon. Sophomore K Markus Trujillo's first game-tying attempt from 23 yards was good, but was called back because of a Panther holding penalty.

Whitworth (4-0) remained unbeaten despite being out-gained by the Chapman offense 417-288 and gaining 11 fewer first downs (24-13, CU).

The loss was Chapman's first of the year (1-1) as it heads into its first-ever SCIAC matchup on the road against Whittier College next Saturday.

The game conjured up memories of last year's meeting between the two teams in Orange, when the Panthers pulled out a 16-14 win on a last-second field goal. Chapman fell to 1-5 all-time against the Pirates and is winless (0-3) in Spokane.

After building a 14-7 halftime lead, the Panthers were shutout in the second half. Trailing by three points in the fourth quarter, Chapman got two chances to tie it or take the lead, including a 13-play, 51-yard drive that ended with a Whitworth interception in the endzone.

Chapman got the ball back once more with 2:21 left on the clock as freshman QB Andrew Chavez led the Panthers down the field and into the red zone, thanks in part to a big third-and-16 completion from Chavez to senior WR Alex Wendling for 19 yards – his second catch of the drive. The Panthers reached the 12 yard line and took a couple shots at the endzone before settling on the field goal attempt on fourth down with 2 seconds left on the clock.

Just as it did in its first game of the year, Chapman got on the scoreboard first on its second drive of the game when sophomore QB Kean Stancil passed down the right sideline to a wide open junior WR Robin Harris for a 67-yard touchdown at 9:05 in the first quarter. Harris finished as Chapman's top receiver with five catches for 89 yards.

Whitworth capitalized on a 49-yard kickoff return and 15-yard Chapman penalty to set up a 4-play, 29-yard touchdown drive on its next possession, tying the game at 7. Pirates' sophomore QB Bryan Peterson completed a pass to junior WR Connor Williams for the 19-yard score at 7:32 in the opening quarter.

The Panthers took a 14-7 halftime lead on an 8-play, 71-yard scoring drive, capped by a 4-yard run by Stancil with 2:23 left in the second quarter. Sophomore RB Jeremiah McKibbins carried the ball five times for 48 yards on the drive, including a 23-yarder that got Chapman inside the 5 yard line, setting up Stancil's touchdown.

McKibbins finished with another career-high 185 yards rushing in the game, with 94 of those coming in the second quarter alone.

It took the Pirates just two plays and 55 seconds into the second half to even the score following the intermission. Whitworth senior RB Ronnie Thomas broke free for 69 yards and a touchdown to knot it at 14.

A big defensive stand by the Chapman defense in the red zone held the Pirates to just a field goal by freshman K Robert Thullen from 23 yards out giving Whitworth a 17-14 lead with 10:12 left in the fourth quarter. The Pirates ran seven plays from inside the 20 and could only get to the 6 yard line before settling for the field goal.

Boxscore: http://www.chapmanathletics.com/sports/fball/2012-13/boxscores/20120922_64y9.xml

by Doug Aiken
Sports Information Director

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