Iowa Western Reivers upset Chaparrals at Homecoming, 20-13

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Iowa Western Reivers upset Chaparrals at Homecoming, 20-13

Chaparral Defensive Back Mitch Boals tries to take down Iowa Western Reiver Running Back Jon Nzombo at the College of DuPage Homecoming match on Oct. 17.

Chaparral Defensive Back Mitch Boals tries to take down Iowa Western Reiver Running Back Jon Nzombo at the College of DuPage Homecoming match on Oct. 17.

Lucas Koprowski

Chaparral Defensive Back Mitch Boals tries to take down Iowa Western Reiver Running Back Jon Nzombo at the College of DuPage Homecoming match on Oct. 17.

Lucas Koprowski

Lucas Koprowski

Chaparral Defensive Back Mitch Boals tries to take down Iowa Western Reiver Running Back Jon Nzombo at the College of DuPage Homecoming match on Oct. 17.

Lucas Koprowski, Sports Editor

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The Chaparral football team suffered their first loss of the season at the second-annual College of DuPage Homecoming match, 13-20, against the Iowa Western Community College Reivers. Although this is their first loss of the season, this is the second season in a row they have lost at homecoming. Last year, they faced Georgia Military College and lost 52-6 at COD’s first Homecoming since 1975.

           

Even though the Chaparrals gave it their all, the team played significantly worse than the NJCAA powerhouse. COD couldn’t get the job off the ground, having to rely on quarterback Devin O’Hara to pick up the game with 157 yards, leading to the two touchdowns. Even with O’Hara, the Chaparral’s third down efficiency was abysmal, only being able to convert 3 of their 13 third downs into first down. Due to that fact, the Chaparrals had significantly less possession time, having 12 minutes less than the Reivers.

 

Chaparrals and Reivers waiting for the hike at the College of DuPage Homecoming match on Oct. 17.

Lucas Koprowski
Chaparrals and Reivers waiting for the hike at the College of DuPage Homecoming match on Oct. 17.

 

Chaparral quarterback Evan Scales thought that the team didn’t play to their own standards. “They’re a good team, and we’re a good team too. We didn’t come into the game thinking we were underdogs, but we didn’t play to our ability,” said Scales. “We had too many penalties and mistakes.”

           

When talking about the game, Head Coach Matt Foster was proud of how his players performed, and thought they fought hard against one of the strongest teams of the NJCAA. “They’re a heck of a football team. They won nationals two years ago, and made it to the finals last year,” said Foster. “They’re one of the best teams in the country, and I’m very proud of our kids and how they played. They just have to execute better.”

           

All the way until the end, the Chaparrals fought hard, only allowing one touchdown until the back and forth battle in the second half. The Reivers scored a touchdown in the first quarter to let them lead most of the game 7-0. In the third quarter, the Chaparrals finally hit back with a touchdown by running back Crissean Caver-Williams, only to be answered back a few minutes later by the Reivers. Due an incomplete field goal attempt, the Reivers led 13-7 at the end of the third.

 

The battle between the two teams ensued back and forth until halfway into the fourth quarter when Chaparral wide receiver Manny Grant ran the ball 17 yards past the Reiver defense to score. With kicker Casey Bednarski missing the field goal, the score became 13-13. With only a few minutes left in the game, the Reivers ran the ball one last time into the endzone. With a completed field goal, the game arrived at its final destination, with the Chaparrals falling short 13-20.  

 

Chaparral players attempt to tackle Iowa Western Reiver player at the College od DuPage Homecoming match on Oct. 17.

Lucas Koprowski
Chaparral players attempt to tackle Iowa Western Reiver player at the College od DuPage Homecoming match on Oct. 17.

 

One player that stood out on Iowa Western squad was their running back Jon Nzombo, who ran the ball 87 yards past the chaparral defense. He could slip past many players at a time, and scored two of the three touchdowns for the Reivers.

 

After Nzombo’s second touchdown in the fourth quarter, a Chaparral defensive line player took down the running back after the whistle with a helmet-to-helmet hit, taking out the powerhouse player but resulting in an ejection for what the refs deemed a deliberate dirty play.

 

Throughout the game, the Chaparrals lacked the focus needed to properly play the game, which gave Iowa Western the edge and allowed them to increase their lead over COD multiple times. Although he suffered a small injury in the third quarter, linebacker Matt Fletcher had six sacks and fought hard throughout the game on the defensive line. “We gave it our best, but we were a little off as a team,” said Fletcher. “Usually, when someone makes a mistake someone is there to pick it up, but today it didn’t come out in our favor. It was a close game.”

 

Although COD suffered a bad loss, there are more games to look forward to this season. “[This game] is something I’m trying to put in my rearview mirror at this point and just work towards this next game,” Fletcher said.. “This season’s not over, and we still have a lot of football to play.”
The Chaparral squad heads into the second half of their season as they play Olivet Nazarene JV on Monday, Oct. 26, and University of Wisconsin Whitewater JV on Sunday, Nov. 1, both of which are home games. If the team wins both of these matches, they will have a high chance of being able to participate in an NJCAA Bowl game this December. It would be the first time they played in a bowl game since 2013 at the Carrier Dome Bowl in Syracuse, New York. Last year, COD beat University of Wisconsin Whitewater JV 38-6, and Olivet Nazarene JV 56-8.

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