Whitworth Heads to Chapman for First Road Contest

Whitworth Heads to Chapman for First Road Contest

Whitworth hits the road for the first time in the 2013 football season this week as the Pirates travel to Orange, California for a match up with Chapman University.  The Bucs' final non-conference game of the season will kick off at 7:00 pm at Ernie Chapman Stadium and can be heard live on KSBN 1230am in Spokane and on KSBN.net.

Whitworth is coming off of a 25-20 loss to the University of La Verne last Saturday in the third of three straight home games.  It was Pirates' first loss of the season.

Chapman is 1-0 following a season-opening thrashing of Northwest Conference member Puget Sound.  The Panthers enjoyed a bye last Saturday to prepare for this week's game.

Live Links for Saturday's game:

Live video feed and live stats (provided by Chapman)

Live KSBN radio broadcast

The Pirates:  It is a cliché, but last Saturday's game with La Verne was definitely a tale of two halves.  The Leopards dominated the opening half while building a 17-0 lead.  The Pirates took control in the second half and had a chance for a game winning-touchdown pass from 13 yards away on the final play of the game, which ended in a 25-20 victory for the Leopards.  It was La Verne's first win over the Pirates in eight meetings between the schools. 

Whitworth (2-1, 0-0 NWC)


Chapman (1-0, 0-0 SCIAC)

Saturday - Sept. 28
7:00 pm
Ernie Chapman Stadium
Orange, Calif.

The History:
Series: 5-1, Whitworth
Last Meeting: 2012 -
Whitworth 17, Chapman 14
Last Chapman Win: 2011
Biggest Whitworth Win: 49-22 (2000)
Biggest CU Win: 16-14 (2011)
First Meeting: 2000

The Leopards outgained Whitworth 260-66 in the first half and sacked Pirate QB Bryan Peterson five times for 45 yards in losses over the first two quarters.  La Verne's 17-0 lead might have been larger had the Whitworth defense not held the Leopard offense on downs twice deep in Pirate territory late in the second quarter.  But then Whitworth got going in the second half and finished the game with a 415-391 edge in total offense.

Peterson completed 20 of 38 passes for 354 yards (tying a career high) with two interceptions.  He also ran for touchdowns from 20 and 14 yards away in the fourth quarter.  Drew Clausen caught eight passes for 172 yards, while tight end Wade Meyer added seven grabs for 100 yards.  DJ Tripoli ran for 74 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries.

The Whitworth defensive line played good football, especially in the second half.  The four starters were the top four tacklers on Saturday.  Jacob Kriegbaum (DT) continues to impress as he tied for team lead in tackles with 10 and led the way with three tackles for losses totaling 12 yards.  Defensive end Aaron Cochran also had ten tackles while DT Kyle Davidson and DE Danny Welstad had nine stops each.  Cornerback Jarrell Norman made seven tackles and broke up two passes, while safety Casey Monahan intercepted his second pass of the season.

Robert Thullen averaged 37.2 yards per punt and 60.8 yards per kickoff.

Great Start Redux?:  Whitworth opened the 2012 season by going unbeaten against its four non-conference opponents.  The Pirates play the same four schools in the same order in 2013.

On the Air Again:  Whitworth's games are once again being carried live this season on KSBN 1230am in Spokane.  The relationship between Pirate athletics and KSBN goes back to 1994, a span of almost 20 years.  Bob Castle, whose voice has become synonymous with Whitworth athletics on the radio, is back as the voice of the Pirates in 2013-14. Bob has called Whitworth games for the past 13 seasons, as well as in 1997-98. Bob has 20 years in radio and his experience as a sports broadcaster includes stints as the voice of Spokane Indians Baseball, Gonzaga University baseball and Washington State women's basketball.  Former Pirate standout Matt Miethe, a four-year starter at center and current head coach at Rogers High School, will provide color analysis for seven of the games this season.

Four SWX Broadcasts: Local cable station SWX will carry four of Whitworth's games this season: the non-conference games vs. Whittier (Sept. 14) and La Verne (Sept. 21), and the Northwest Conference contests with Linfield (Oct. 19) and Pacific Lutheran (Nov. 9 – Senior Day). Sam Adams and Mike Peterson will provide play by play and color analysis.  SWX stands for Sports & Weather Right Now and is owned by local NBC affiliate KHQ channel 6. SWX can be seen both over-the-air and through some cable services in the Spokane-Coeur d'Alene, Kennewick-Pasco-Richland, and Yakima viewership areas. In the Spokane-Coeur d'Alene area, SWX is found on digital channel 6.2, on Comcast channel 115 in Spokane and Time Warner channel 306 in North Idaho. Click here for a complete list of station numbers throughout the Eastern Washington/North Idaho region.

Team Captains: The Pirate team captains in 2013 are offensive lineman Liam Brown (second straight season), defensive linemen Aaron Cochran and Brodrick Hirai and defensive back Fernando Noriega.

Thespian QB: Bryan Peterson, a junior, is in his third season as the Pirates' starting QB.  Heading into this year he has completed 59.6% of his passes (256-429) for 3,182 yards with 30 touchdowns and 15 interceptions.  In addition to playing football, Peterson is also a theater major who has performed in the school's major spring productions, including the Spring 2013 production of The Laramie Project.

DJ Takes His Turn: After spending the last two seasons as the primary back up to All-NWC running back Ronnie Thomas, DJ Tripoli has taken full advantage of his turn as the Pirates' starting running back in 2013.  So far he has run for 261 yards with five touchdowns.  He is averaging 4.6yards per carry.  He currently leads the NWC in rushing yardage per game and rushing touchdowns.

Plundering Defense: Through two games the Pirates have a turnover margin of nearly 3-1 (11 takeaways, 4 giveaways), which leads the NWC.  The Pirates have picked off six passes and recovered five fumbles.  De Hall's three interceptions is tied for the NWC lead so far in 2013.

Looking Back at 2012: Whitworth won seven games in 2012, a three-win improvement over the 2011 season.  But season-ending injuries caught up with the Pirates during the Northwest Conference slate of games.  Five season-ending injuries to starters on defense were paired with another one on offense, and Whitworth would finish the NWC schedule 3-3 and in fourth place in the final standings.

NWC Poll: Whitworth finished fourth in the NWC preseason coaches poll with 20 points.  Defending champion Linfield finished first in the poll with five first place votes, while Pacific Lutheran was second with two first place votes. Link to NWC Football Coaches Poll.

Vs. California:  The Pirates have won 28 of the last 38 against schools from the Golden State and are 31-18-1 all-time against Californian colleges. The Bucs are 15-6-1 at home against California schools and 16-12 on the road.  Whitworth played three such games last season and earned victories over Whittier (away), La Verne (away) and Chapman (home).  They play the same three schools in 2013 and have a win over Whittier (Sept. 14) and a loss to La Verne (Sept. 21).

The Head Coach: John Tully, in his 19th season as head coach at Whitworth, is 98-78 leading the Pirates. Over the past 13 years the team is 85-44 and Tully has been named the NWC Coach of the Year three times (2001, 2006 and 2007). Tully is the winningest coach in school history, as well as the longest serving Pirate football coach. Prior to his arrival, Whitworth had suffered through 11 losing seasons in 12 years. Overall he is 129-99 in his 23rd season as a head coach.  He previously was head coach at Eureka College in Illinois.

Last Week's Game: La Verne 25, Whitworth 20 Box Score Wrap up
This Week's Game: Sept. 28 at Chapman
7:00 pm  Orange, Calif.
Next Week's Game: Oct. 5 vs. Pacific (Ore.) 1:00 pm Pine Bowl

Click here for the full schedule

The Panthers:  Chapman University finished third in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletics Conference last season with a 6-3 overall record, 5-2 in the SCIAC.  That marked a two-win improvement over 2011 for the Panthers.

Head coach Bob Owens is in his eighth season at Chapman and has a record of 34-30 with the Panthers.  He was previously the head coach at Whittier College from 1996-2001, where he won a pair of SCIAC titles.  His overall record is 53-65.

Chapman was very explosive running the ball last season (averaging nearly 300 yards per game on the ground) and running back Jeremiah McKibbins ran for nearly 1200 yards.  But he was lost to a season-ending injury prior to the start of this season.  Juniors Cody Chapple and Terrell Dolberry picked up the slack in the season-opening win at Puget Sound, combining for 116 yards and two touchdowns.  Michael Lahey has returned from an injury in 2012 to start at QB and completed 12 of 16 passes for 158 yards in just over one half at UPS.  Ten different Panther receivers caught passes in the season-opener, led by Blayr Jimmerson's three receptions for 51 yards.  Senior WR Robin Harris was an All-SCIAC honoree in 2012.

Like on offense, the Chapman defense suffered an early set back when defensive captain and starting safety Josh Irvin was lost to injury during summer training camp.  Sophomore DE Ben Wadors led the SCIAC in sacks as a part-time player during his freshman year and is expected to play a huge role this season.  Senior LB Steven Santana led the Chapman defense with seven tackles in the win at Puget Sound, including one for loss.

All-SCIAC punter Markus Trujillo returns and he also made his only field goal try and was 5-6 in extra point attempts at UPS.

The Panthers jumped to a 34-0 halftime lead on the way to a 57-14 win over Puget Sound in both teams' season opener on September 14th.  The Panthers outgained the Loggers 505 to 243 and only had to punt one time.  The defense sacked UPS quarterbacks five times in the game.

Last Meeting:  Whitworth rallied from a 14-7 halftime deficit and then held on for a 17-14 win over Chapman in the 2012 home opener, improving the Pirates to 4-0.

The Pirates' special teams came up big, and may have been the difference between a win and a loss.  Some highlights: Paul Miller set up the Bucs' first touchdown with a 49-yard kickoff return into Chapman territory in the first quarter.  Robert Thullen made a 23-yard field goal in the fourth quarter that provided the winning margin and also made both PATs.  Perhaps just as important, he averaged 61.5 yards on his kickoffs, allowing the Pirate coverage team to keep the Panthers deep in their territory.  Austin Ehlo averaged better than 38 yards per punt.

Meanwhile Chapman missed a pair of field goals, including one from 33 yards as time expired that would have sent the game into overtime.

Despite heavy losses to injury the previous two games, the Whitworth defense shut out Chapman in the second half and limited a team that scored 55 points in its season opener to only 14 points.  Miller had a big game from his corner back spot, leading the Pirates with ten solo tackles and one pass breakup.  Casey Monahan made six tackles and picked off his second pass of the season. 

After getting outgained 251-131 in the first half, the Whitworth offense found life in the second half.  Ronnie Thomas broke free on a 69-yard touchdown run on the second play of the second half to pull the Pirates to a 14-14 tie.  Thomas finished with 134 yards rushing on 22 carries with a touchdown, his seventh of the season.  Bryan Peterson completed 12 of 20 passes for 134 yards with one touchdown and one interception.  He also was able to run for a pair of first downs.  Jake DeGooyer caught five passes for 62 yards, while Connor Williams caught a 19-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter.

Chapman outgained Whitworth 417-288 and led in first downs 24-13.  Jeremiah McKibbins ran for 185 yards in the game, while Kean Stancil completed 16 of 25 passes with a touchdown and an interception.  Robin Harris caugtht five passes for 89 yards and a score.

The Series:  Chapman's win over Whitworth in 2011 was the Panther's first in the series. Whitworth holds a 5-1 advantage overall and won the first meeting 49-22 in Spokane in 2000. The following year Whitworth began a march toward a Northwest Conference title with a season-opening 21-10 win over the Panthers in California. In 2008 the Pirates pulled out a close 41-35 decision on the road and in 2009 Whitworth defeated Chapman 23-8 in Spokane.