Stags Topped by Panthers on Road

photo credit: Joe Bergman
photo credit: Joe Bergman

ORANGE, Calif. – The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps football team fell to the Chapman Panthers 48-38 on Saturday night. The Stags trailed 28-7 late in the first-half, but battled back and cut the margin to just four at 28-24 in the third quarter after a pair of touchdown runs from Spencer Sheff (CMC) and Garrett Cheadle (HMC) and a 43-yard field goal from Mitchell Allan (CMC).

CMS could not keep pace with the high-scoring Chapman attack and despite Cheadle punching in a one-yard touchdown late, the Stags fell 48-38.

With the victory, the Chapman Panthers claim the 2017 SCIAC Title with a 5-0 record in conference games. The Stags fall to 4-4 overall and 2-3 in SCIAC games. CMS will wrap-up the 2017 season with a meeting against Pomona-Pitzer next Saturday at 1:00 p.m. on Zinda Field.

The Panthers opened the scoring on Saturday night with a 14-yard rushing touchdown from Marcellus Hunter. CMS came right back and scored on their next possession when Jake Norville (CMC) ended a 10-play, 61-yard drive with a six-yard touchdown run. Following the extra point, the Panthers and Stags were tied at 7-7.

Chapman quickly put two more touchdowns on the board at the beginning of the second quarter. Diano Pachote ran for a 14-yard score and Ricky Bautista found Jacob Isabel for a 57-yard touchdown pass.

Now trailing 21-7, the Stags looked to be back in business when Jordan Leonard returned the kickoff following the second touchdown 74 yards deep into Chapman territory. The return would be brought back because of a costly holding penalty and CMS was forced to begin the drive on their own nine-yard line.

After a punt, Bautista snuck in a two-yard touchdown to give Chapman a 28-7 lead with 6:11 remaining in the half.

Needing a score to regain some momentum, the Stags went on a 10-play drive that ended with Spencer Sheff racing four yards for a touchdown. The score was set up by a 37-yard pass from Norville to Christian Curcio (CMC), that took CMS down to the 15-yard line. Four plays later, Sheff found the end zone and CMS cut the Chapman lead to 28-14 with less than a minute remaining in the first-half.

CMS received the opening kickoff in the second-half and went on a 65-yard touchdown drive that made it a one-possession game. Cheadle capped off the drive with four-straight carries. The final one went for a 17-yard run score. Cheadle collected 29 yards on four carries during the drive.

After a short, six-play drive for Chapman, the Stags were back on offense. CMS went on an eight-play, 54-yard drive before settling for a 43-yard field goal from Mitchell Allan. Jake Norville found Chris Cziesla for the big play on the drive, a 38-yard grab to the Chapman 40-yard line. Following the field goal, CMS trailed by four at 28-24.

The Panthers quickly turned the four-point game into an 11-point contest. Just 28 seconds after the field goal, Ricky Bautista was celebrating in the end zone following a 67-yard scamper. The touchdown made it a 35-24 game with just seconds left in the third-quarter.

Early in the fourth-quarter, the Panthers and Stags traded touchdowns with Joe Mudie scoring for Chapman and CMS' Brenden Brown (HMC) hitting Johnathon Keller (CMC) for a seven-yard score.

Trailing 41-31, Victor Bunce gave the Stags some life with an interception on the CMS 20-yard line. Unfortunately for the Stags, the drive stalled after just one first down and after failing to convert on a fourth and eight, the Stags turned the ball over on downs in their own territory.

The Panthers turned the short field into seven points and held a 48-31 lead with 2:45 left in regulation.

CMS gave themselves a chance with a quick, nine-play, 64-yard touchdown drive. The up-tempo offense resulted in a one-yard touchdown run for Cheadle, but it was not enough. Chapman recovered the onside kick attempt and ran out the clock to hand the Stags a 48-38 loss.

As mentioned, the Stags will wrap-up the 2017 season next Saturday when they host the Sagehens at 1:00 p.m. on Zinda Field.