Plum grad Jake Chapla becomes highest-scoring kicker in PSAC history
Last Saturday, Slippery Rock demolished Gannon by a score of 56-7 en route to becoming the first football team in school history to produce an undefeated record of 10-0.
The undefeated record wasn’t the only accomplishment, though. With his sixth extra point of the game, former Plum kicker Jake Chapla become the all-time PSAC record holder for scoring by a kicker. His total of 362 points tops former Bloomsburg kicker Dan Fisher, who set the mark at 361 in 2013.
The 6-foot-1, 205-pound, kicker is also the record holder for scoring and extra points made at Slippery Rock, which was something he had never really even thought about.
“I didn’t really look at the record ‘til after my sophomore year and I saw that I was halfway there,” Chapla said. “Then I looked at it as a long-term thing and thought maybe I could put it down, and I looked at it as a way to keep my work ethic going in the summer when I’m by myself or working with my dad. Then it kind of all panned out.”
The former Plum kicker has been the guy for Slippery Rock since he was a freshman. During his first year, Chapla made 39 PATs and 11 field goals. As a sophomore, he made the same number of field goals but added 14 more PATs to his total.
Each year, his scoring total has continued to rise. During his junior season, Chapla converted 66 PATs and made 17 of his 26 field-goal attempts — seven of the nine attempts he missed came from 40 yards or more — for a career high of 117 points.
The dedication to improve leg strength and accuracy is something that Chapla has put a lot of time into and he’s seen a lot of growth over the course of his college career.
“I came into college as an 18-year-old out on the field with guys in their early and mid-20s,” Chapla said. “I just feel like I’ve grown and I’ve matured so much since I was a freshmen and I think that’s one of the factors of being here.”
While Chapla has grown and improved, so has the Slippery Rock offense. Last season, the Rock put up 521 total points, their best total of the last four years. This year’s team is 42 points away from tying that record, and they are currently averaging 47.9 points per game.
The total offensive production from the team has given Chapla a lot of work this year.
“At the beginning of the season, I was exhausted,” Chapla said with a laugh. “With the amount of points they were putting up in the first half, I was kicking off at least six to eight times in the first half, which is insane. That’s how much I should be kicking off during a whole game.”
Despite his personal accolades, Chapla and the rest of his teammates still have a few things that they want to accomplish. No. 9 Slippery Rock will take on No. 13 Kutztown for the PSAC championship Saturday night, and the former Mustangs kicker is determined to end his career with a PSAC ring and possibly more.
“It’s exciting. Last year, we didn’t get it and that’s definitely one of the things on my list, a PSAC championship,” Chapla said. “It’s really cool to be in this position again and it’s huge. We obviously want to win this, but we want to win a national championship, too. But it’s one week at a time.”
Greg Macafee is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Greg by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .