Football hosts on No. 7 Linfield in 2017 opener

Photo by Larry Newman
Photo by Larry Newman

No. 7 Linfield at Chapman
Saturday, September 9, 2017
Wilson Field at Chapman Stadium
7 p.m.

  • Chapman and Linfield begin the season against one another for the fourth year in a row. After never meeting through the first 20 years of Chapman's Division III history, the two squads are facing off for the fifth time in four years with the Wildcats winning all four times.
  • The last three meetings between the Panthers and Wildcats were up north in McMinnville, Ore. The two met for the first time in Chapman Stadium in 2014. Chapman held the halftime lead but the Wildcats scored two unanswered touchdowns in the third quarter to sneak out with the 21-14 win.
  • Six of Chapman's 2016 All-SCIAC selections return in 2017, including Preseason All-American punter Elias Deeb. Running back Joe Mudie, wide receiver Jacob Isabel, defensive lineman Austin Pyka, defensive back Chris Williams and kicker Lucas Alfonso also return for their senior seasons.
  • Senior quarterback Ricky Bautista is back as one of the best returning players in Division III in passing efficiency and completion percentage.
  • The Panthers have opened the season against a team from the Northwest Conference in each of the last six years, tallying wins against Whitworth and Puget Sound from 2011-13, and are 3-3 over that span.
  • Chapman is looking for its first win over a ranked opponent since the program returned to campus in 1994. The Panthers are 109-102-1 since the move to Division III revived the only NCAA football program in Orange County.