Big second half leads to dominant win over Whittier

Derek Bauerle evades a tackler.
Derek Bauerle (photo by Larry Newman)

WHITTIER, Calif. – A dominant second half performance led the Chapman University football team to a 54-14 rout of Whittier College. The Panthers gained over 500 yards of offense for the second game in a row while putting up a season-high points total.

The Panthers (2-1 ,1-0 SCIAC) never punted and faced only five third down situations the entire game. The efficient offense scored on each of its final six possessions to put the game out of reach by the end of the third quarter.

On the other end of the ball, the defense allowed just 250 yards to the Whittier offense. The front seven continued to get after the quarterback with four sacks and remained a force in the backfield with seven tackles for loss. Whittier managed just 105 through the air and 145 yards on the ground.

Senior Nathan Parkin and sophomore Chris Tsirtsis each came up with interceptions for to end two of the Poets' drives. Senior Curt Calomeni had eight tackles to lead the defense while senior Andrew Dieken dragged down the QB for 1.5 sacks.

Chapman's running game came to life to lead the rout of the Poets. Chapman had 10 runners combine for 271 yards on the ground, led by 132 yards from junior Derek Bauerle. Bauerle carried the ball 18 times and found the end zone twice – once in each half. Junior Nicholas Callen found the edge and sprinted 52 yards for a first half TD that put Chapman up 20-7.

Senior Ian Fieber was 13-for-18 in the first three quarters of the game for 212 yards and two TDs. A large chunk of those yards came in the second half when he found junior Trevor Vill for an 82-yard touchdown – Chapman's longest play of the year. Vill needed just four catches for 107 yards and a pair of TDs. Nine different receiver caught a pass from either Fieber or sophomore Jonston MacIntyre, who was 4-for-4 for 54 yards and a TD.

Chapman scored on its first drive with a 6-play, 51-yard drive. Whittier tied the game after taking over on Chapman's two yard line following a punt. The punt bounced off a blocker near the goal line and the Poets jumped on the opportunity. Chapman responded with an 11-play drive that ended on Vill's 13-yard TD catch from Fieber.

After trading interceptions, the Panthers went up 20-7 on Callen's breakaway TD. Miguel Avina hit Moises Gonzalez for 27-yard touchdown just before the half to make it 20-14.

Sophomore Nico Ragas set the second half tone with a 51-yard kick return to start the half. Bauerle covered the next 40 yards on three plays for the score. The defense forced a three-and-out on the Whittier's next drive and the offense scored six plays later to make it 33-14.

Chapman went on to score 20 points in the third quarter and 14 more in the fourth to put the game away, including Fieber's 82-yard bomb to Vill. The defense kept the Poets off the board, stopping them in the red zone twice with a turnover on downs and Tsirtsis' interception.

The Panthers remain on the road next week for a SCIAC matchup at Redlands. Kickoff is set for Saturday at 7 p.m.