CLAREMONT, Calif. – The Chapman University football team fell 16-9 at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps on Saturday. Senior Curt Calomeni had a career-best 17 total tackles in the loss.
The Panthers' offense couldn't get into a rhythm as the Panthers amassed just 175 yards of offense. Senior Ian Fieber threw for 124 yards while junior Jake Newman ran the ball eight times for 39 yards to lead the rushing attack.
Chapman (4-4, 3-3 SCIAC) went three-and-out on four of its six first half drives and came up empty after a field goal attempt sailed right on a nine-play drive at the end of the half. The Stags' first two drives went for 11 and eight plays, respectively, ending with a pair of field goals and a 6-0 lead.
CMS' stout defense led the Stags to the conference title clinching victory. With the win, CMS claimed at least a share of the title as well as the SCIAC's automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament. The Stags knocked down eight of Fieber's passes with Cade Moffatt breaking up three.
The Panthers defense was led by Calomeni's 17 tackles as well as junior Sal Ochoa III's 15 tackles. Senior Matt Layton had three tackles for loss, including his league-leading seventh sack of the year. Sophomore Jalen Dural scored the only points of the first half for the Panthers with a safety after junior Elias Deeb's 60-yard punt was downed on the two yard line.
The Panthers' offense continued to struggle to open the second half but put together a nine-play, 80-yard drive at the end of the third quarter to get back within striking distance. Fieber capped the drive with a 28-yard pass to sophomore Caleb Henshaw on third-and-10 to make it 16-9.
Chapman's defense came up with a big three-and-out on the next drive to get Chapman the ball back with plenty of time. After moving the chains once, the drive stalled at midfield. CMS held the ball for the next seven and a half minutes but the Panthers' defense came up with a huge stop as Calomeni stuck CMS running back Garrett Cheadle at the line of scrimmage on fourth-and-one at Chapman's 18-yard line.
With just under two minutes to play, the Panthers took over but immediately faced a fourth-and-six situation. CMS brought an all-out blitz and Fieber's heave to Henshaw down the sideline fell incomplete.
The Stags ran out the clock to clinch the title. CMS compiled 334 yards of total offense, led by Cheadle. The running back carried the ball 41 times for 173 yards and scored the Stags lone touchdown.
Chapman finishes up the season at home next weekend when it faces La Verne at 1 p.m.
by Steven Olveda
Sports Information Director