The Chapman football team will travel to Mary Hardin-Baylor for an NCAA Division III Championship First Round contest in Belton, Texas on Saturday, November 18 at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT).
Chapman enters NCAA Tournament action with a 6-2 overall record and is back in the national playoffs for the second time in four years. The Panthers put together an undefeated SCIAC season to clinch the league's automatic bid to the tournament. Mary Hardin-Baylor won the 2016 Division III national championship and takes the field with a 10-0 ledger. The Cru won the American Southwest Conference championship and has not lost a game since the 2015 NCAA Quarterfinals against Linfield.
The winner of Saturday's NCAA First Round tilt will take on teh winner of Linfield vs. Hardin-Simmons in the NCAA Second Round.
Chapman earned its spot in the NCAA playoffs by orchestrating a six-game winning streak after suffering setbacks in its first two games of the season. The Panthers capped an undefeated SCIAC slate by posting a 48-38 win over CMS (Nov. 4) and handed Redlands a 45-26 loss earlier in the season to win the conference title outright.
Chapman enters postseason action averaging 484.8 yards per game, including 279.6 yards through the air, and 205.1 yards on the ground. The Panthers, who average 38.9 points per game, are led by Ricky Bautista who is 152-for-217 for 2,179 yards with 23 touchdowns and just four interceptions. On the ground, Joe Mudie has been stellar out of the backfield with 959 rushing yards with eight scores. Jacob Isabel has been Bautista's favorite target with 49 receptions for 965 yards and 10 touchdowns.
On defense, Curt Calomeni and Dillon Keefe lead Chapman with 61 and 45 total tackles respectively. Marek Spooner-LeDuff has picked off four passes to lead the Panthers, while Andrew Dieken has registered a team-best five sacks to highlight 11.5 tackles for a loss.