The Chapman football team fell to Saint John's (Minn.), 55-26 in Saturday afternoon's NCAA Division III Championship Second Round matchup at Chapman Stadium in Orange, Calif.
With the loss, Chapman concludes its historic season, 10-1 overall, while St. John's improves to 11-1 overall and advances to the national quarterfinals next weekend against Wheaton (Ill.).
Chapman scored the game's first points - a 26-yard field goal by Ken Baierl at the 11:51 mark of the first quarter - which was the only score in the first 15 minutes of play.
Saint John's responded with a 13-yard touchdown run by Henry Trost early in the second quarter before Baierl added a 22-yard field goal to make it 7-6 in favor of the Johnnies with 6:36 to play in the second stanza. Saint John's then added a pair of touchdowns through the air from Jackson Erdmann as he connected with Jack Kemper and TJ Hodge for 18 and 22 yards respectively to give the visitors a 21-6 lead at intermission.
An eight-yard touchdown run by Trost extended the Johnnies' lead to 28-6 with 9:08 to play in the third quarter, before Jonston MacIntyre found Spencer Corona for a 29-yard scoring strike to pull the Panthers back to within two scores at 28-13. That's as close as Chapman could get, as Erdmann notched two more TD passes in the third quarter, including a 70-yard toss to Trost and an 18-yard pass to Hodge to make it 41-13 after three periods of play.
In the fourth quarter, the teams alternated scoring possessions as Ravi Alston received an eight-yard TD pass from Erdmann, while Corona hauled in another pass - this one from Reed Vettel for 28 yards to make it 48-20 with 6:54 to play in the contest. Kenneth Udoibok capped the scoring for Saint John's with a four-yard dash up the middle before Vettel found Daniel Roberts for a three-yard TD with just 19 seconds to play to set the final score at 55-26.
Vettel finished 16-of-31 for 193 yards and two TDs, while MacIntyre was 13-for-19 for 174 and one score. Tanner Mendoza led the ground attack with 85 yards on 17 carries, while Corona finished with seven receptions for 107 yards and two TDs.
On defense, Chris Tsirtsis and Sal Ochoa III finished with seven tackles each, while Nathan Parkin added an interception. Dillon Keefe, Ricky Medeiros and Cody Masterson each forced a fumble, while Masterson and Mitch Ratliff each recovered a fumble in the losing effort for Chapman.
Erdmann was 24-for-41 for 458 yards and five touchdowns, while Udoibok and Trost finished with 78 and 51 yards and one and two touchdowns respectively. Hodge was the Johnnies' leading receiver with 164 yards on nine catches with a pair of TDs. Ryan LaCasse led all players with 14 tackles on defense to highlight a Saint John's defensive unit that notched five sacks.