Football suffers first round loss at UMHB

Photo by Larry Newman
Photo by Larry Newman

BELTON, Texas – The Chapman University football team fell 50-6 to No. 1 Mary Hardin-Baylor in the first round of the NCAA Division III Football Championship. Senior Jacob Isabel became the new school record holder for receiving yards in a season in the loss.

Senior Ricky Bautista ended his career with a touchdown as junior Trevor Vill leapt in the air to wrestle away the pass from a Crusader defensive back. Bautista extended his school record to 24 TD passes with the toss and Vill hauled in his second TD catch of the year on the final play of the season.

Isabel further cemented his place in Chapman history with nine catches for 85 yards. He ran his season total up to a new school record of 1,050 receiving yards this season. He also previously set the school record with 10 receiving touchdowns.

The Panthers defense held strong in the first quarter against UMHB while the offense wasn't able to get into a rhythm against one the top defenses in the nation on a windy day in Belton, Texas. Senior Chris Williams took advantage of the strong winds to end the Cru's first drive with an interception.

With UMHB in the red zone, Carl Robinson III's pass was knocked down by the wind but Williams camped underneath it and brought it down for his second pick of the year. After a three-and-out, UMHB drove down again but the Panthers defense stalled the drive in the red zone once again to force a field goal attempt. The wind took the kick wide to keep the game scoreless.

UMHB marched into the end zone on its third drive, capped by a three yard run by Markeith Miller. The Cru went on to score a touchdown on the next three drives while a wild snap went out of the back of the end zone for a safety to make it 30-0 at halftime.

In the second half, the Panthers were able to sustain a few drives but never found its way into the red zone. Sophomore Elias Deeb punted 10 times in the game – most of which went into the wind.

Bautista ended up with 207 yards on 21-of-40 passing with one interception. He was sacked four times. Isabel ended his record-breaking career with nine catches for 85 yards while junior Dominic Vaccher had four catches 46 yards.

Senior Joe Mudie ended up just shy of 1,000 yards for the season with 15 carries for 39 yards, including a run of 23 yards in the fourth quarter.

Junior Curt Calomeni led the defense with 13 tackles while senior Andrew Dieken had five tackles, including two and a half tackles for loss and a sack. The defense came away with seven tackles for loss.

With the loss, the Panthers season comes to an end. Chapman won the SCIAC title for the second time in four years.