For the second consecutive game, Chapman’s football team lost a halftime lead, and eventually, the game. Chapman traveled to Trinity University (Texas) Sept. 23 and led by 14 points at three different times during the game.
“It’s a heartbreaker, but as a team, it’s definitely a lesson, making sure you play all four quarters,” said senior defensive lineman Adam O’Shea. “We have to put together a complete game, to where everybody plays their best possible football.”
Chapman lost to Linfield College 27-12 Sept. 9 after leading at halftime. Head coach Bob Owens said the team’s performance inverted from the game against Linfield.
“We flip-flopped,” Owens said. “Against Linfield, we played great defense and played OK offense. Against Trinity, which is, in my opinion, not as good team offensively, we played very poor defense and pretty explosive offense.”
The Panthers led 35-21 with a little more than six minutes left in the third quarter against Trinity, after senior wide receiver Jacob Isabel scored on a 57-yard pass play for his second touchdown of the game – after returning a kickoff 96 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter.
“After watching Jake (Isabel) last year, nothing he really does really shocks me anymore,” O’Shea said. “He always seems to find the spot on the field where no one is. And when he finds it, he makes people pay, because he’s one of the fastest players I’ve ever seen.”
Chapman’s scoring stopped with Isabel’s second touchdown, as Trinity scored two touchdowns in the final eight minutes of the game, which sent it into overtime.
Chapman lost the coin toss in overtime, giving Trinity’s offense a chance to win the game before Chapman could respond. Trinity’s senior kicker Colby Doyal missed a 43-yard field goal attempt, which gave Chapman its own opportunity on offense.
During Chapman’s first offensive play of overtime, senior quarterback Ricky Bautista was sacked, fumbling the ball to Trinity senior linebacker Mitchell Globe, who returned the ball 63 yards for a game-winning Trinity touchdown.
“That was heartbreaking,” O’Shea said. “Ricky (Bautista) was trying to make a play, trying to win us the game in overtime and obviously, things didn’t go exactly as we planned them.”
Despite how the game ended, O’Shea said that Chapman created problems for itself, leading to overtime.
“We can’t really beat ourselves up too hard on that last play, because there were a lot of things that led up to that,” O’Shea said. “There were things on offense, defense and special teams that we could’ve swung in our favor. There were things here and there that we could’ve changed, but I know, especially coming in (Sept. 24), we all talked about it, and we’re going to work to fix those.”
Owens said Chapman played below the standard he expects of the team.
“I thought we made a lot of mistakes on both sides of the football,” he said. “We weren’t at the level we would expect.”
Chapman will play its first conference game at 7 p.m. Sept. 30, when it travels to Pomona-Pitzer.
“We just need to tighten up,” O’Shea said. “We are not far off as a football team. That’s apparent, even just watching these first two games. We are going to be a good football team this year. We’ve got a tough conference, so we just have to get our way through that.”