Football Gives No. 13 Chapman Scare in Season Finale

Football Gives No. 13 Chapman Scare in Season Finale

LA VERNE, CA — Matthew Albright connected with Jordan Moore on the Leopards' opening possession to go up 7-0 and the University of La Verne football team looked poised to upset the number 13 in the country.

But after falling behind by 10 Chapman retaliated with a 28-0 run and held on for a 28-17 win over the Leopards.

Season Impact

The Leopards end the 2019 end the season 4-6 overall and 3-5 in SCIAC play. Chapman wins the SCIAC Championship with a 9-0 overall record and 7-0 mark in the conference. The Panthers will represent the SCIAC in the NCAA playoffs.

Albright, a senior, ended his La Verne career with career-high 247 yards through the air with two touchdowns including his 57-yard strike to Moore on the Leopards' sixth play of the game. His second touchdown pass of the game came on the opening play of the fourth quarter when he connected with running back James Gonsalves.

Gonsalves rushed for over 100 yards for the third time this season totaling 102 in the game. Fifty-five of those yards came late in the third quarter to get into Panthers' territory, setting up his touchdown reception later in the drive. 

Both teams had trouble holding onto the ball as the Leopards and Panthers combined for 10 turnovers. The La Verne defense forced six of those turnovers including four interceptions.

Raymond Moronez had a game to remember, accounting for three of those interceptions. He grabbed his first pick on the Panthers' first possession of the game when he jumped in front of Jonston MacIntyre's pass just outside the Leopards' red zone. The takeaway led to a Diego Garcia 19-yard field goal that put La Verne up 10-0.

Early in the second quarter, he added his second interception this time picking off Reed Vettel. On Chapman's first possession of the fourth quarter, the Charter Oak High School product added his third interception when he snagged MacIntyre's pass at the La Verne three-yard line and just managed to keep his toes inbounds. Moronez had an outstanding finish to the season, finishing with six interceptions in the final three games. His six interceptions rank as the second most in the SCIAC.

Not to be outdone, Torii Hilbert added two takeaways of his own. The cornerback added one interception and forced a fumble to go with one pass breakup and four tackles. 

Seniors Conner Johnson and Robert Franklin each recorded 12 tackles. Mason Montanez and Cameron Mooneyhan each added 11 tackles. 

Moore finished the game with 70 receiving yards, Grayson Kline finished with 63 receiving yards and Nathaniel Sagastume led the Leopards with four receptions. Nine different Leopards finished with at least one reception. 

MacIntyre led the Panthers with 246 yards through the air and a touchdown. Tanner Mendoza rushed for 133 yards and two scores.

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