Football heads to Cal Lutheran for key road game

Sal Ochoa III is congratulated after an interception.
Sal Ochoa III (photo by Larry Newman)

Chapman at Cal Lutheran
Saturday, October 20, 2018
William Rolland Stadium (Thousand Oaks, Calif.)
7 p.m.
Live Stats | Video  Notes


After last week's big Homecoming win, the Panthers head back out on the road. They will be the visiting team for Cal Lutheran's Homecoming on Saturday. Both teams come in at 2-1 in SCIAC play and will be looking to keep pace with undefeated Claremont-Mudd-Scripps.


The Panthers have dominated the recent series history with a current five-game winning streak over the Kingsmen. However, Cal Lutheran is one of two SCIAC teams that the Panthers have a losing record against since 1994. The Kingsmen own a 13-10 advantage in the all-time matchup but the Panthers lead 5-1 since joining the SCIAC in 2012.


The Panthers saw two individual records fall in the blowout win over Occidental. Sophomore Nico Ragas became the first Panther in program history to return a second kickoff for a touchdown. After returning the last kick at Redlands for a TD, he broke a 97-yard TD return on the opening kickoff against Oxy. Junior Trevor Vill hauled in three TD receptions to run his total up to a school record 11 receiving TDs. Jacob Isabel became the first Panther to reach double digits with 10 receiving TDs a year ago.


Junior Trevor Vill kept his streak alive with another 100-plus yard game against Occidental. Vill caught six passes for 144 yards, upping his average to 140.4 yards per game. He is averaging nearly 60 yards more per game than any receiver in the SCIAC while his 11 TDs are more than the next two SCIAC receivers combined. He ranks fourth in all of Division III in receiving yards per game and receiving touchdowns. He is just over 300 yards away from the school record for receiving yards in a season and six touchdowns shy of tying the career receiving touchdowns record at Chapman.


Junior Sal Ochoa III joined the Chapman pick six club with a 36-yard interception return for a TD against Occidental. He became the 17th Panther to accomplish the feat and the second to do it against Occidental. No one in Chapman's history has returned two interceptions for a touchdown in the 25 years since the program was revived.


Seniors Matt Layton and Andrew Dieken rank second and third in the SCIAC, respectively for sacks in 2018. Despite not recording a sack last week, Layton still ranks second with four sacks and Dieken ranks third with 3.5 sacks. Dieken's 14.5 career sacks rank third all-time at Chapman while he also ranks seventh with 26.5 tackles for loss.


In just their sixth game, the Panthers are already playing their fourth road game of the year. Both of the Panthers' losses have come on the road this year (at Whitworth and at Redlands). In two home games, the Panthers have outscored their opponents 98-6 and outgained them by 431-150.5 yards per game. On the road, the Panthers have still outscored opponents 108-84 but are giving up 400 yards per game while gaining 443.


The Chapman offense has put up some big numbers over the first half of the season. The Panthers average 80 more yards per game and 15 points per game than the second-ranked teams in the SCIAC. Chapman is the only team averaging over four touchdowns per game. The Chapman defense also ranks near the top of the leaderboards. The Panthers allow just 300 yards per game on average, which ranks second in the SCIAC, and only 18 points per game, which ranks third. Chapman's 19 sacks leads the SCIAC while Cal Lutheran ranks second with 13 sacks.


The Panthers shutout Occidental for their first shutout since a 58-0 win over Pomona-Pitzer in 2014. Coincidentally, the Panthers last shutout also came during the Homecoming game. It was just the fourth shutout in Chapman history. The 2005 Panthers shutout Lewis & Clark 53-0 while the inaugural team shutout Menlo 62-0 in 1994. All four shutouts have been at home in the month of October with the Panthers' offense averaging 58.75 points per game in the shutouts.


The Cal Lutheran University Kingsmen are one of the best running teams in the SCIAC, averaging 215.8 yards per game on the ground. They average over five yards per carry, led by a three-pronged rushing attack.  Chris Anderson leads the Kingsmen with just under 80 yards per game Jabyr Byrd average 58 yards per game while quarterback Eli Peters average 46.7 yards per game. Byrd and Anderson gain over six yards per rush with the elusive Peters averaging 5.1 yards per carry. The Knigmen's defense ranks near the middle of the conference while allowing 330 yards and 22.7 points per game. The opportunistic defense has four interceptions this year but has returned two for touchdowns.


Just before his junior season on the Chapman football team, Hunter Spriggs was diagnosed with Leukemia. After receiving treatment, he received a second diagnosis last spring and is currently battling that second diagnosis. In a display of solitude with their brother, a Chapman football player will wear Spriggs' number 77 jersey in each of Chapman's games this year.

Game 1: Alec Kohn

Game 2: Ryan Moles

Game 3: Owen Savage

Game 4: Jimmy Vreeland

Game 5: Andrew Dieken