CHAPMANVILLE — The Chapmanville Regional High School football team still has hope.
That’s all that you can ask for heading into the final couple of weeks in the regular season.
The No. 18-ranked Tigers kept themselves in the Class AA playoff picture with last week’s come-from-behind 34-20 win last week at Tolsia. It was an elimination game of sorts as Chapmanville stayed in the playoff equation and the Rebels were all but eliminated.
With the win, Chapmanville improved to 5-4 overall and 4-2 in the Cardinal Conference. The Tigers currently sit at fourth place in the league standings.
Chapmanville will have the ultimate test on Friday night as the Tigers travel to play at No. 1-ranked and two-time defending Class AA state champion Wayne (8-0, 6-0).
Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at Wayne High School’s Pioneer Field.
An upset win over Wayne would certainly get Chapmanville into the post-season at 6-4 and the ton of bonus points the Tigers would get with a victory over the Pioneers.
Even with a loss to Wayne in the finale the Tigers still have a chance.
With a 5-5 record and some added bonus points in Chapmanville bye week in Week 11 on Nov. 8 the Tigers could still get in.
Sometimes a .500 record is good enough.
Logan got into the Class AA playoffs in 2005 with a break even season. Last year, Mingo Central did it with a 5-5 mark.
Chapmanville is still in it and Tigers’ coach George Barker said he’s happy with that. The win over Tolsia last week put things into motion. The Tigers ended up forcing three Tolsia turnovers and stopped the Rebels three times inside the red zone to close out the victory.
“We came out slow last week and they scored two quick ones,” Barker said. “It didn’t look like it was going to be a pretty sight. Then we decided to play. After that point, we didn’t pretty good. By the end of the game we were playing some really good football.”
Junior tailback Devin Wiley was the catalyst last week at Tolsia as he rushed for 246 yards on 17 carries and scored four touchdowns on runs of 75, 66 and 20 and a 72-yard pass reception from quarterback Alex Berry. Wiley finished the night with 342 all-purpose yards.
Barker said his team is not giving up on the post-season just yet.
“I think anything is possible,” Barker said. “Mathmatically, 5-5 is possible. It’s not probable but possible. A 6-4 record would definitely get us there.”
Chapmanville faces Wayne, a perennial state powerhouse.
The Tigers are 0-9 against the Pioneers in the most recent nine meetings and haven’t beaten Wayne in football in decades.
Just how dominating have the Pioneers been?
Wayne comes into Friday night’s game riding a 31-game winning streak. The last loss by the Pioneers was way back on Sept. 30 at Point Pleasant when the Big Blacks won 16-14. Wayne then got revenge on Point Pleasant that year in the Class AA state championship game at Wheeling with a resounding 34-7 victory over the Big Blacks.
Wayne was 14-0 last season and cruised to a 35-0 win over the Keyser Golden Tornado in the 2A state title game as part of Wheeling’s Super Six.
The Pioneers were 12-2 in 2011 on their march to Wheeling. Wayne was 9-3 in 2010, 13-1 in 2009, 11-2 in 2008, 12-1 in 2007 and 12-2 in 2006 en route to a Double-A state championship game win over Tolsia.
It goes on and on.
Wayne has a 91-11 record over the course of the last eight seasons, including a 46-4 mark in the Cardinal Conference and numerous league titles.
The Pioneers have not really been challenged this season.
Wayne opened with a 28-0 win at home over county rival Tolsia in the opener, then took a 63-7 victory at Chesapeake, Ohio.
Week 3 resulted in a 57-6 non-conference win over Ravenswood. Wayne has since won over the Cardinal’s second-place team Sissonville (58-19) and league foes Mingo Central (40-12), Scott (55-10), Herbert Hoover (53-20) and Poca (54-27) last week.
Wayne simply crushed the Dots last week on the road, jumping out to a 28-0 lead after one quarter and 48-7 advantage at the half before emptying the bench.
A staggering 17 different Wayne players carried the football in the blowout.
The Pioneers rushed 51 times for 365 yards and passed for another 173. Wayne outgained Poca 538-276 in total yardage and didn’t have to punt the ball.
Wayne was led by 5-foot-8, 170-pound senior running back Nathan Spurlock who had five rushes for 74 yards, including a 4-yard TD run.
Quarterback Grant Ferguson fired TD passes of 7 and 58 to Kurt Arthur and completed 7-of-13 passes for 173 yards and four touchdowns.
Sophomore wideout Cody Stiltner had two catches for 63 yards, including a TD grab of 55 yards. Junior Mason Hodge rushed three times for 45 yards, including a 20-yard touchdown run and had a TD catch of 12 yards.
Senior D.J. Wellman tacked on a 62-yard touchdown run for Wayne on his only carry of the night.
The Pioneers have 82 football players on their roster.
Barker said his team must play a full game in order to keep pace with the Pioneers.
“We have to play four quarters of football on both sides of the football and hope that we have a chance at the end,” he said. “That’s what we always try to do. We’ve had signs of being good on both sides of the ball at times. We’ve just not put together a complete football game yet. Hopefully in the last one we’re going to.”
Barker said it’s good to still be in the post-season hunt.
“I just passed one of my assistants in the hallway and told him that it was nice to be playing for something in Week 10,” Barker said. “Our playoffs kind of start this week. That’s the only way that we need to look at it. If we want to be a playoff team we might as well play number one and see what is what. We just need to play. This has been a great bunch of kids. There’s been no quit in them all year long. They just keep playing. Last week, they had fun playing. That’s the secret to them. If we can keep them upbeat and keep them playing then we’ve always got a chance.”
Berry was 9-for-18 passing for 140 yards and a TD last week. Brady Cox had four catches for 37 yards. As a team and led by Wiley, Chapmanville racked up 473 yards of total offense against Tolsia.
On defense, Cox led CRHS with eight solo tackles and three assists. Michael Hall had eight solos and two assists. Nick Brumfield finished with seven tackles and two assists.
On the season, Wiley is just 25 yards short of reaching 1,000 for the season. He has carried the ball 160 times and has nine touchdowns with 975 yards total.
“He had one of his best games that he’s ever had last week,” Barker said of Wiley. “He caught a pass and scored and ran three more in and rushed for 260 yards. That’s a pretty big game. He was running the ball with reckless abandon. That’s what you have to do. You have to be aggressive. He is a tremendous talent. We just have to execute the offense and get him in the open field so he can do what he does.”
The good news is that Wiley will be back for the Tigers in 2014 along with Berry and several other starters.
“We will have seven returning starters back on offense and seven on defense and those are not the same people,” Barker said. “There will be 14 or 15 starters back and that’s pretty good.”
Berry is 67-for-120 passing on the season for 991 yards with 10 touchdowns and eight interceptions. He’s just nine yards short of making it to 1,000. He is sure to get that in the Wayne game.
Paul Workman has another 404 yards rushing on 107 carries and six TDs on the season.
Cox has 595 receiving yards and 37 catches with five scores. Zac Casto has 16 grabs for 313 yards and five TDs.
Matt Dingess leads the Chapmanville defense with 56 total tackles and 19 assists. Casto has 54 solos and 21 assisted stops. Matt Chapman has 47 solos and 20 assists, while Cox has 44 tackles and 13 assists. Brumfield has 48 solos and 13 assists. Tanner Dillon has 43 solos and 16 assists. Hall has 39 solos and 15 assists.
Dingess leads the team with four QB sacks. Cox has two interceptions.
Wiley is averaging 31.7 yards per punt.
“This is a great opportunity for our fans to come out and see us play the number one team and get behind our kids and push them a little bit,” Barker said. “We were as loud or louder than the Tolsia fans last week. That helped us.”
If Chapmanville is able to slip into the 2A playoffs as the No. 16 seed, the Tigers would possibly have to turn around and play again at Wayne on Nov. 15 in the first round of the playoffs if the Pioneers stay on top.
The same thing happened to Chapmanville in the 1990s as the Tigers faced Tolsia in the final regular season game and then had to return to play at Tolsia in the playoffs.
“We’ll take whatever we can get from this point out,” Barker said. “We’ll just go play if it happens.”
Chapmanville-Wayne Football Series
Since 2000 (Wayne leads 9-0):
2012: Wayne 55, Chapmanville 7
2011: Wayne 52, Chapmanville 26
2010: Wayne 16, Chapmanville 14
2009: Wayne 42, Chapmanville 17
2008: Wayne 25, Chapmanville 13
2007: Wayne 41, Chapmanville 17
2006: Wayne 26, Chapmanville 0
2005: Wayne 55, Chapmanville 22
2004: Wayne 44, Chapmanville 20