Dennis Gilleylen also returned an interception for a score early in the third quarter, beginning a half in which Chaffey outscored the Olympians 27-7 to win going away.
It was a strong all-around performance for Chaffey. The Panthers amassed 222 yards and 4 touchdowns on the ground, completed more than half of their pass attempts for 148 yards and two more scores, and held Mesa to just 195 yards of total offense on the day. And after Mesa's Cory Thompson rushed for 104 yards in the first half, the Panther defense held him to a net of zero yards on 5 carries in the second half, all but eliminating the Mesa offense.
Mesa actually had an early lead, as Roberto Arca's 28-yard field goal 6:30 into the game was the only scoring play of the first quarter for either team. After being thrown for a 5-yard loss on his first carry of the day, Cory Thompson had four carries for 51 yards the rest of the drive, moving the Olympians into scoring position with a 27-yard scamper. And the Mesa defense forced Chaffey to punt on each of its first three possessions of the game.
In the second quarter, however, the Panthers took control of the game. It all began with an extraordinary punt by Justin Veazie, whose kick rolled out of bounds at the Mesa 1. Three plays later, the Olympians punted, giving the ball to Chaffey at the Mesa 48. From that excellent field position, the Panthers took the ball into the end zone in 7 plays, the last of which was a 3-yard run by Rover to give Chaffey a 6-3 lead.
On the ensuing kickoff, Mesa's Jonathan Shoate lost the ball and Chaffey's Ryan Lewis recovered the fumble at the Mesa 27. Six plays later, Derrick Duran, making his first start of the season at quarterback, threw a pass towards the end zone. The intended receiver and a defender both jumped for the ball, which popped into the air before landing in the hands of tight end Jimmy Morin just across the goal line. Veazie's kick made it 13-3 Chaffey.
Mesa struck back on its next possession, due mainly to the strong running of Thompson. The 6-1, 225-pound freshman broke off runs of 11 and 28 yards – a run that ended only because Thompson inadvertently stepped on the sideline at the 2. That turned out to be a harmless error as Thompson carried the ball into the end zone untouched on the very next play to close the gap to 13-10. Then the Mesa defense forced another Chaffey punt after just three plays, giving the Olympians the ball at their own 23. And a 16-yard run by Anthony Walker moved the ball into Chaffey territory.
However, from that point on, Chaffey dominated the game. A 10-yard sack by Chaffey's Jacob Taylor and an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on Mesa ended that drive, and when Chaffey got the ball back the Panthers needed just 7 plays to score again and push the lead back to 10 points. A spectacular diving catch by Alexander Thompson got the Panthers to the Mesa 15, and a 14-yard pass from Duran to Anthony Roma got the ball to the 1. On the next play, Rover followed 300-pound right guard Charlie Hoosier and plowed into the end zone to make it 20-10.
Though Mesa got the ball to begin the second half, Chaffey increased its lead when Dennis Gilleylan picked off a Robert Sagarian pass and returned it 41 yards for a touchdown 1:42 into the third quarter to make it 27-10.
The teams traded turnovers as the third quarter went on. First, Gilleylan recovered a fumble for Chaffey at the Mesa 48. A short time later, Elzie Gatson intercepted a Duran pass and returned it to the Panther 37. A 17-yard pass from Sagerian to Tobias Cox got the ball to the 20, but the drive ended when Matt Lemond of Chaffey sacked Sagerian for a 9-yard loss, giving the Olympians a 4th and 14 at the Panther 24. And the Olympians came away empty when Arca's 41-yard field goal attempt was wide left.
The teams again traded fumbles, with Gabe Palos recovered a loose ball for Mesa at the Olympian 44 but the Panthers getting the ball back moments later when Albert Lee blitzed and knocked the ball out of Sagerian's hands. Lemond picked up the loose ball and returned it to the Mesa 16. Five plays later, Duran threw an 8-yard touchdown pass – this time without any deflections – to Thompson in the corner of the end zone to make it 34-10.
Mesa got its final touchdown late in the third quarter after Chaffey's Thompson muffed a punt and Greg Brown recovered for Mesa at the 18. Two plays later, Travis Roger, in for Sagerian at quarterback for the Olympians, threw a 15-yard touchdown pass to Mark Andrews to make it 34-17.
Chaffey got a pair of touchdowns in the fourth quarter to extend the lead. Caleb Carmichael scored from 4 yards out two plays after Brandon Lewis blocked a Mesa punt to make it 40-17. And Milton Taper scored from 3 yards out with 3:10 left to round out the scoring.
For Chaffey, it was truly a team effort. Duran, a 164-pound freshman, showed a lot of courage running the ball and did a creditable job leading the team. He finished 9 of 19 passing for 120 yards and 2 touchdowns, and rushed for 58 yards on 6 carries without being sacked. The ground attack was done by committee: Rover had 61 yards rushing on 20 carries and a pair of touchdowns before leaving with an injury in the second half. Matt Biggers came in for him and finished with a team-high 66 yards on 12 carries. In all, the Panthers totaled 222 yards on 49 carries on the day.
And the Panther defense was superb, yielding just 12 first downs, including only 4 in the second half. Gilleylen had a touchdown on an interception return and a fumble recovery, while Lemond had a sack and a fumble recovery. In all, the Panther defense forced 5 Mesa turnovers while registering 5 sacks on the day.
For Mesa, Cory Thompson led the way with a game-high 104 yards rushing on 17 carries and a touchdown. All of that, however, came in the first half. After halftime, the only Olympian offensive threats came after turnovers. Sagerian finished 5 of 17 passing for 52 yards before leaving the game and though backup Roger threw for a touchdown he finished just 1 of 5 passing for 15 yards.
With the win, Chaffey evens its record at 3-3 overall and 2-2 in Foothill Conference play. Mesa falls to 2-3 overall and 0-3 in the conference.
Chaffey Panthers 47
San Diego Mesa Olympians 17
Saturday, October 6, 2007 – 5 pm – Grigsby Field – Rancho Cucamonga
M – FG Arca 28 yds 8:30 (0-3)
C – Rover 3 yd run (kick low) 13:11 (6-3)
C – Morin 12 yd pass from Duran (Veazie kick) 10:54 (13-3)
M – C. Thompson 2 yd run (Arca kick) 8:44 (13-10)
C – Rover 1 yd run (Veazie kick) 1:33 (20-10)
C – Gilleylen 41 yd interception return (Veazie kick) 13:18 (27-10)
C – A. Thompson 8 yd pass from Duran (Veazie kick) 3:24 (34-10)
M – Andrews 15 yd pass from Roger (Arca kick) 0:31.4 (34-17)
C – Carmichael 4 yd run (kick blocked) 7:29 (40-17)
C – Taper 3 yd run (Veazie kick) 3:10 (47-17)
First Downs: Chaffey 14 (8 rush, 6 pass), Mesa 12 (5 rush, 3 pass, 4 penalty)
Rushes-Yds: Chaffey 49-222, Mesa 40-128
Passing Yds: Chaffey 148, Mesa 67
Comp-Att-Int: Chaffey 11-21-1, Mesa 6-22-1
Return Yds: Chaffey 137, Mesa 150
Sacks-Yds: Chaffey 5-37, Mesa 0-0
Fumbles-Lost: Chaffey 2-2, Mesa 5-4
Penalties-Yds: Chaffey 15-140, Mesa 8-75
Time of Possession: Chaffey 32:08, Mesa 27:52
Rushing: Chaffey 22-Biggers 12-66, 26-Rover 20-61, 17-Duran 6-58, 39-Carmichael 2-24, 40-Graham 2-9, 5-T.Lewis 2-3, 38-Taper 4-2, team 1-(-1); Mesa 5-C.Thompson 17-104, 32-Shepherd 8-34, 39-Walker 3-18, 26-Banks-Bell 2-(-9), 14-Sagerian 10-(-19)
Passing: Chaffey 17-Duran 9-19-1-120, 2 TDs; 10-Holmgren 2-2-0-28; Mesa 14-Sagerian 5-17-1-52; 7-Roger 1-5-0-15, 1 TD
Receiving: Chaffey 80-A.Thompson 3-72, 35-Morin 2-22, 85-Gaines 2-21, 34-Trimble 1-14, 81-Roma 1-14, 82-Allen 1-8, 12-Mays 1-(-3); Mesa 81-Cox 2-25, 18-Andrews 1-15, 86-Sanders 1-11, 3-Smith 1-9, 91-Sharp 1-7
Interceptions-Ret Yds: Chaffey 3-Gilleylen 1-41; Mesa 24-Gatson 1-27
Fumble Rec-Ret Yds: Chaffey 8-Lemond 1-18, 3-Gilleylen 1-0, 7-R.Lewis 1-0, 56-Moore 1-0; Mesa 53-Palos 1-0, 88-Brown 1-0
Sack-Yds: Chaffey 98-Taylor 1-10, 8-Lemond 1-9, 36-Lee 1-8, 50-Hope 1-6, 48-Plante 1-4
Punters: Chaffey 19-Veazie 5-42.2 avg; Mesa 87-Roche 5-34.0 avg + 1 blk
Kick Returns: Chaffey 12-Mays 2-37, 13-Pappillion 2-35; Mesa 20-Ricciardulli 2-41, 1-Watson 2-28, 32-Shepherd 1-30, 8-Shoate 1-16, 80-Brewer 1-8
Punt Returns: Chaffey 80-A.Thompson 2-1, 24-B.Lewis 1-5; Mesa 20-Ricciardulli 2-0
Missed FG: Mesa 19-Arca 41 yds (wide left)
Ejection: Mesa 77-C.Johnson 1:24 left in 3rd
Notes: Chaffey evens its record at 3-3 overall and 2-2 in conference play with the win. Mesa drops to 2-3 overall and 0-3 in conference. Chaffey's 1st TD came on a 48-yd drive, the result of Veazie pinning Mesa at its own 1 with a punt and the Panther defense forcing a 3-and-out. Chaffey's 2nd TD was a bit luckier: the intended receiver and a defender deflected the ball into the air and it landed in the hands of Morin in the end zone for the score. That capped a short drive that started after R.Lewis recovered Shoate's fumble on the kickoff after Chaffey's 1st TD. Chaffey's 5th TD came after Lemond's fumble recovery & return. Mesa's 2nd TD came after Brown's fumble recovery. Chaffey's 6th TD came after the punt block by B.Lewis. C.Thompson had 104 yds on 12 carries in the 1st half but 5 carries for zero yds in the second half. C.Johnson was ejected after receiving his second unsportsmanlike conduct/personal foul penalty of the game.