Behind a strong offensive performance, Chapman University’s football team improved to 4-0 on the year after beating Pomona-Pitzer 62-21 on Saturday. The Hens had no answer for Chapman’s offense, which has scored an astounding 134 points in their last two games and 229 points total through the first four games. Chapman has averaged over 500 yards of total offense per game thus far and, unbelievably, has a 100% scoring average from within 20 yards, with 40 scores. The loss kept the Sagecocks winless on the season, as their record fell to 0-4 overall and 0-2 in SCIAC.
The Chapman Panthers marched down the field on their first drive. Quarterback Michael Lahey completed a 32-yard pass to Robin Harris, which eventually led to a Kyle White touchdown on a one-yard run. Kicker Markus Trujillo missed the extra point attempt to leave the score at 6-0 in favor of the Panthers. P-P could not follow suit and was forced to punt on its next drive. Chapman then started at its own 14-yard line, but quickly drove down the field after a Hens pass interference call. Lahey then connected on a 21-yard touchdown pass to White, who came out of the backfield to score his second touchdown of the game.
Alex Bresler PO ’17 started for the first time as quarterback for the Hens and had a great game, throwing for 225 yards and a touchdown while completing 22 of 38 passes. The first-year also rushed for two touchdowns, including one that brought the Hens within six points at the end of the first quarter. That was the closest the Hens would get on the day, however. Chapman scored on their next two drives to make the score 26-7.
Ryan Randle PO ’14 had a fantastic game for the Hens, catching eight passes for 78 yards and a touchdown. Bresler connected with Randle on a 12-yard pass to make the score 26-14 midway through the second quarter. Just before the half, however, Chapman extended their lead on another White rushing touchdown, his third touchdown of the day, and were successful on the two-point conversion attempt that followed.
Despite the stellar performance by the Hens’ first-year quarterback, Chapman’s Lahey would not let the Hen’s back in the game and continued to move the ball up and down the field all day for the Panther offense. Lahey, who threw for 312 yards, put the game out of reach on a nine-yard touchdown pass to Spencer Jordan towards the end of the third quarter. With the score at 41-21, Chapman pulled Lahey out of the game to give their backups some time. Lahey finished with three touchdowns and one interception as he completed 24 of 30 passes. He also rushed for 49 yards on just four attempts. His only blemish came on a great diving interception by Don Swan PO ’15 three minutes into the third quarter.
The Hens took advantage of the Panther turnover with a Bresler one-yard scoring run, set up by wide receiver Duncan Hussey PO ’14, Bresler’s go-to target on the day. Hussey notched 119 receiving yards on 10 catches on the day. P-P could not find pay dirt the rest of the game as the Chapman defense buckled down in the second half, with the Panthers scoring the last 28 points of the game. Kevin Hunter and Raymond Hulzar each threw for a touchdown for Chapman after Lahey left the game.
Sophomore running back Brett Harper PO ’15 had a strong showing in the first half, and rushed for 69 yards on 13 attempts. He was forced to leave the game early in the third quarter, however, on what appeared to be a lower body injury. Kyle Lee PO ’17 picked up where Harper left off and rushed for 51 yards on eight attempts. The pair highlights a strong Sagehens running game that will be crucial for the Sagehens’ success the rest of the way.
The Hens will be back in action this Saturday, Oct. 19, as they travel to take on the Whittier College Poets at 3 p.m. Whittier, like P-P, is still winless on the season and is coming off a loss to SCIAC rival University of La Verne. The Poets also lost to Chapman, 72-40, earlier this season, which seems to indicate that the Sagehens will have a shot to ruin Whittier’s homecoming festivities on Saturday. Look for Bresler to start again at quarterback and for Randle and Hussey to be primary targets for the first-year quarterback as the Hens hope to get their first win of the year.