CLAREMONT, Calif. – The calendar recently switched to October and with that, the transition from the non-conference to conference season for the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps football team. Despite holding a brief first quarter lead, CMS dropped its conference-opener 33-23 to Chapman on Oct. 4 at Zinda Field. CMS is now 1-2 overall and 0-1 in SCIAC play while Chapman is 2-1 overall and 1-0 in SCIAC.
On a day that saw CMS had its best offensive output of the season, rolling up 468 yards of total offense, CMS couldn't overcome Chapman and its rushing attack which ran for 290 yards.
Just three plays into Chapman's opening possession, CMS junior linebacker A.J. Herrera intercepted a pass by Chapman quarterback Michael Lahey and returned the ball 11 yards to the Chapman 25-yard line. CMS then took over but only could move the ball four yards which set up sophomore Matthew Aven for a 38-yard field goal which he made to give CMS a 3-0 lead just, 90 seconds into the game.
On the ensuing kickoff, Chapman's Kean Stancil came up with a 39-yard return which gave Chapman good field possession to start its drive, at their 41-yard line. Over 13 plays, Chapman drove the ball down to the CMS 9-yard line, but the drive stalled and Chapman settled with a field goal to tie the game 3-3 with 7:37 left in the first quarter.
After a three-and-out by the CMS offense, Chapman took the lead when Jeremiah McKibbins broke loose for a 27-yard touchdown run with 1:47 left in the first quarter. McKibbins was the main ball carrier for Chapman in the game, rushing 18 times for 137 yards and three touchdowns.
Two offensive possessions later, CMS scored its first touchdown of the game, a leaping catch by junior wide receiver Ryan Farney from sophomore quarterback Trey Reynolds in the back corner of the end zone, over two defenders on a fourth-and-18 play from the 31-yard line. After the touchdown, CMS attempted a two-point conversion but failed to convert and trailed 10-9 with 9:17 before halftime.
After stalled drives by both teams, Chapman took the ball over with just under six minutes left in the second quarter. They then put together a 14-play drive as Lahey took over and led Chapman to a touchdown and a 17-9 lead just before halftime. Lahey completed all six of his passes on the drive for 57 yards and also had a couple of big runs to set up McKibbins' second touchdown of the game, a three-yard score at the 1:41 mark of the second quarter.
CMS started the second half with possession and moved the ball into Chapman territory, but came up empty. Chapman then took over and on their first offensive play, McKibbins ran by the CMS defense for a 60-yard touchdown and a 24-9 lead, just two minutes into the second half.
Three minutes later, Chapman tacked on another score as Lahey hit Sean Myers for a 26-yard touchdown pass to go ahead 30-9 with 10:02 left in the third quarter.
The fourth quarter saw CMS battle back with two touchdowns, but the early deficit proved to be too large to overcome. After CMS senior linebacker Nick Nasse blocked a Chapman punt, CMS scored six plays later on a 1-yard touchdown run by Reynolds to narrow the deficit to 30-16. CMS' final touchdown came with 1:51 left in the game as Reynolds connected with Farney for his second touchdown catch of the game, this time a 52-yard strike from Reynolds. Farney had four catches for 121 yards in the game while Reynolds was 16-of-34 passing for 290 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.
Freshman running back Shane Pico also had a big game offensively for CMS with a career-high 160 yards rushing on 12 carries, including a 75-yard run in the third quarter.
On defense, senior linebacker Max Winsberg had a game-high 14 tackles while Herrera added 13.
CMS' next game is its Homecoming Game on Saturday, Oct. 11 at 7 p.m. against La Verne on Zinda Field.
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