CHAPMANVILLE — The Tolsia Rebels have the inside track to the Cardinal Conference football championship.
But the Chapmanville Regional Tigers might have something to say about that.
Class AA No. 7-ranked Chapmanville (7-1 overall, 4-1 in the Cardinal Conference) heads to Glenhayes on Friday night to take on the No. 2-rated Rebels (7-0, 5-0).
Tolsia currently sits in first place can clinch the Cardinal title with a victory over Chapmanville and a Nov. 6 win in the regular season finale at Poca.
It all seems to be riding on the Chapmanville-Tolsia game since the Rebels will likely handle the winless Poca Dots easily. Tolsia’s other game is next week in a non-conference game at Boyd County (Ky.).
If Chapmanville beats Tolsia, then wins on the road at Wayne next week in the finale, there is a possibility of a three-way tie for the conference championship with Mingo Central. The Mingo Central Miners, a 69-21 winner at Chapmanville last week, currently sit in second place at 6-1, 4-1.
The Miners play host to Scott (2-5, 1-4) on Friday, then head to play at fourth-place Herbert Hoover (5-2, 4-2) next week before closing out Nov. 6 at Westside in a non-league affair.
MCHS, Chapmanville and Tolsia could all finish at 6-1 and tie for the crown.
It all seems to be in Tolsia’s hands, however, as the Rebels control their own destiny. Tolsia beat Mingo Central 44-41 earlier in the season in the head-to-head matchup with the Miners. Chapmanville also controls its own destiny and can possibly get a piece of the title.
“We’re going to down there and have a chance at getting a piece of the conference championship,” Chapmanville coach George Barker said. “We’re playing the number two team in the state and that’s exciting. That’s why we play. I’m glad that we’re in a position to where we are. We’re going to have a nice, beautiful trip down the Tolsia Highway, get to see the colors on the mountains and hopefully we will play a great football game.”
The Tigers have never won a Cardinal title in football.
Wayne, which has dominated the league for a long time, is having a down year as the Pioneers are only 3-4, 2-3.
“We’ve never been there,” Barker said of a league championship. “We have an opportunity to do something that no one else has ever done in the school. That’s what I told the kids and told them to seize the moment.”
Even with a split in its final two games, Chapmanville will have enough points to qualify for the upcoming Class AA playoffs.
Two wins would, of course, lock it up.
The Tigers haven’t made it to the post-season since 2011. That year, CRHS advanced all the way to the state semifinals before losing 33-13 at Point Pleasant.
“Last week was a learning situation and we have tried to find out ways to get better,” Coach Barker said. “They are excited about playing and we’ve got a chance at hosting a playoff game at home.”
The top 16 teams in each of West Virginia’s three classes advance to the playoffs. The top eight teams host first-round games.
Chapmanville hasn’t hosted since the late 2000s when the Tigers were shut out by James Monroe.
Chapmanville’s Tiger Stadium, carpeted with Field Turf over the summer, is now a much more appealing playoff venue.
Coach Barker said a few of his players have been sick this week with the flu and starting running back Tanner Dillon is also a bit banged up but lists him as “probable.”
Dillon also plays on defense and is also the Tigers’ kicker and punter.
“He’s a little beat up,” Barker said. “But he’s probable. We’ve reduced his contact at practice this week. He’s a big part of what we do. When you are the single setback everyone looks at you. We’ve got to get him ready but if he can’t play we’ll have to get someone else ready to take his place.”
Dingess breaks records?
Chapmanville senior wide receiver Jacob Dingess might just have broken a bunch of school records this fall including: Most catches in season and career; most receiving yardage in game, a season and a career; and most receiving touchdowns in a game, a season and a career.
Coach Barker and his staff are trying to research this and verify.
Former CRHS wideout Brady Cox, who played in recent years with the Tigers, was said to have most of the Chapmanville school receiving records.
“We’re in the process of trying to get some statistics compiled for historical purposes but we think that’s the case,” Barker said of the broken records. “We want to make sure and do some research. He probably is the leader.”
Dingess has 54 catches for 853 yards on the season and 11 touchdowns and leads the Cardinal Conference in all categories. He was also the top receiver in the league last season.
For his career, Dingess has 1,710 receiving yards. Cox had 1,577. Cox had 742 yards in one season — the mark that Dingess broke this season.
The five touchdown catches by Dingess earlier in the season in the Scott game is also believed to be a Chapmanville record.
Dingess has 11 touchdown catches this season and that’s believed to break the nine set by Cox.
Career touchdown catches (19), season catches (54), career catches (111) are other records believed to be broken by Dingess. Cox (17 career TD catches, 48 catches in a season and 98 career catches) was believed to be the previous record-holder in all categories.
TEAM CONF. ALL PF PA
Tolsia 5-0 7-0 260 118
Mingo Central 4-1 6-1 377 136
Chapmanville 4-1 7-1 309 200
Herbert Hoover 4-2 5-2 273 158
Wayne 2-3 3-4 235 244
Scott 1-4 2-5 178 306
Sissonville 1-5 2-5 115 189
Poca 0-4 0-7 118 365
Friday, October 23 games:
Logan at Sissonville, 7:30 p.m.
Chapmanville at Tolsia, 7:30 p.m.
Scott at Mingo Central, 7:30 p.m.
Wayne at Poca, 7:30 p.m.
Roane County at Herbert Hoover, 7:30 p.m.
Friday, October 16 results:
Mingo Central 69, Chapmanville 21
Tolsia 34, Scott 16
Herbert Hoover 36, Wayne 8
Sissonville 21, Clay County 13
Poca — BYE WEEK
(Paul Adkins is the Sports Editor of the Logan Banner. He can be reached at 304-752-6950 ext. 1730, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @PAdkinsBanner).