Chapman’s football team kicked off this year’s homecoming game against Whittier College with a trick play that made the packed home crowd of 3,344 people at Wilson Field erupt. A fake handoff came back to senior quarterback Ricky Bautista, who found senior wide receiver Jacob Isabel wide open downfield for a 62 yard pass play and touchdown 41 seconds into the game.
Head coach Bob Owens said Chapman always designs a big play especially for homecoming – and that play was it.
“It was something we have drawn up all week and it worked just like coach drew it up,” Bautista said. “We ran it like 10 times this week in practice.”
This play set the tone for the rest of the game, and Isabel credited Bautista, who threw for 320 yards and four touchdowns in the game, for the play.
“Ricky (Bautista) put it right on the money and the alignment held up,” Isabel said. “He is amazing, probably one of the hardest workers on the team. (He’s) always in the coach’s office watching film. We know Ricky is going to make every throw if the line gives him time.”
Owens echoed Isabel’s positive comments about Bautista.
“Ricky (Bautista) is like a coach on the field,” Owens said. “(He has) tremendous vision and makes good decisions.”
The success Chapman created on the first play was maintained throughout the game, with a pair of interceptions by junior defensive back Marek Spooner-LeDuff leading Chapman to a couple touchdowns.
“(Turnovers) helped us out a lot,” Spooner said. “It just feels great to see the offense is going down and just driving it in and doing what they need to do when we get the turn over. For them to keep doing it over and over – it just feels outstanding.”
Chapman ended the first half leading 31-0, scoring four touchdowns and adding a field goal. Whittier has not won a football game since 2014, making this the 26th straight football game it has lost.
“Whittier is a good football team and we really believe they’re going to beat somebody really soon, we just didn’t it want it to be us,” Owens said.
After losing the first two games of the season, Chapman won its second game with a score of 45-24 Oct. 7, making the team undefeated in the conference.
“Football is an ongoing situation where you’re constantly making improvements. Our guys have done a great job eliminating mistakes,” Owens said. “Offensively, turnovers and petty mistakes. Defensively, improving on our tackles. We’ve done all those things and tonight was a great example of us doing the right thing.”
Chapman’s next game is at home at 7 p.m Oct. 14 against the University of Redlands.