ORANGE, Calif. – The No. 19 Chapman University football team rolled to a 56-23 win over Occidental on Saturday. The Panthers went for over 300 yards on the ground while holding Occidental to negative rushing yards.
The Panthers were balanced in their scoring effort with two touchdowns in each quarter. With the win, the Panthers moved to 5-0 for just the third time in program history. Sophomore Reed Vettel threw for three touchdowns while junior Jonston MacIntyre threw for two more in the blowout victory.
Senior Hunter Spriggs made his return to the field just over a year after undergoing a bone marrow transplant and beating leukemia. He missed two seasons while battling cancer and returned to the offensive line for the first time since his initial diagnosis in 2017.
Chapman accumulated 568 total offensive yards on the way to the win, including 311 rushing yards. Sophomore Tanner Mendoza carried the ball 11 times for 93 yards to lead the effort as 14 different Panthers carried the ball at least once.
The Chapman defense held Occidental to -11 rushing yards with three sacks and eight tackles for loss sending the Tigers backwards for 39 yards. The Tigers threw for 414 yards as Joshua Greaves threw for 361 yards and three TDs.
The Panthers took an early lead with Mendoza rushing in for a touchdown to complete the first drive and junior Caleb Henshaw hauling in a 7-yard touchdown catch to cap the next drive. In the second, Occidental made it a game as Greaves threw his first TD pass to get the Tigers on the board. An interception on Chapman's next drive gave Oxy a short field but the defense held the Tigers to a 20-yard field goal to keep a 14-10 lead.
Chapman responded by scoring the next 21 points to pull away for the win. MacIntyre found sophomore Wyatt Hardin for a 39-yard TD as Hardin leaped over his defender to make the grab and fall into the end zone. Sophomore Spencer Corona caught a 6-yard TD just before halftime and capped off a 14-play, 82-yard drive in the third quarter with a 15-yard scoring grab. Corona grabbed five passes for 85 yards to lead the Panthers through the air.
Occidental scored a couple of late touchdowns but Chapman was able to keep pace and pull away for the win. Junior Dillon Keefe started the game with a sack, giving him a sack in all five games this season. He ended the game with three tackles. Junior Franky Narez had four tackles and three pass breakups.
The Panthers return home next week to take on Cal Lutheran at 7 p.m.
By Steven Olveda
Sports Information Director