CHAPMANVILLE — A playoff spot is already waiting for the Chapmanville Regional High School football team.
The final two weeks of the season will reveal where the Tigers will go and who they will play.
It all starts on Friday night when Chapmanville, 7-2 overall and 4-2 in the Cardinal Conference, hits the road to Pioneer Field in Wayne to take on the Pioneers (4-4, 3-3).
Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
A win over Wayne and some bonus points in the Tigers’ Week 11 bye week and Chapmanville will be sitting on the fence as far as hosting a Class AA home playoff game. With a loss to the Pioneers, Chapmanville will most likely be hitting the road.
The top eight teams host home playoff games beginning Nov. 13 and the Tigers would certainly like to do that.
Chapmanville, ranked No. 9 in the state this week in the WVSSAC Computer Ratings, will first need to beat Wayne, a team it hasn’t defeated since the 1991 and 1992 seasons when Chapmanville toppled the Pioneers in back-to-back years.
Wayne isn’t having a football season up to Wayne standards, starting with its shocking 49-36 loss to county rival Tolsia way back in the season opener, but the Pioneers have shown signs of improvement.
There’s no gimmies there, however.
There’s also the issue of Chapmanville’s defense, which has surrendered a whopping 145 points the last two weeks in back-to-back losses to Mingo Central (69-21) and Tolsia (76-45) after surrendering just 131 points in the previous seven contests.
Tolsia is still No. 2 in the state this week, No. 1 in the Cardinal Conference and have an 8-0 record. Mingo Central is 7-1 and ranked No. 6 in the state and second in the league. The only to date by Mingo Central was a 44-41 setback to Tolsia.
“In both of those games their offenses played the entire game,” Chapmanville coach George Barker said. “It was a situation where there were four quarters of football. We haven’t played very good defense in a while. Hopefully, we can get back on track but I think that has a lot to do with our opponents. Those last two opponents have combined losses of one. And the only reason that’s the case is because they played each other. They are both pretty good. I think that it has more to do with our opponents than us. Everybody they are playing they are shaking their heads too. Hopefully we can learn and get better.”
Wayne, which won Class AA state championships in 2006, 2011 and 2012 and were state runners-up in 2000, 2004, 2009 and 2013, will also be hungry on Friday night and the Pioneers are not ready to throw in the towel yet this season.
If the Pioneers are able to beat Chapmanville and then score an upset next week against Bluefield, Wayne could slip into the playoff field’s top 16.
Wayne won easily, 54-20, last week over the winless Poca Dots.
Logan Queen ran for 122 yards and two scores on just six touches to lead the Pioneers, which rolled up 419 yards on the ground. Keaton Stiltner rushed for 90 yards on 11 carries and Jeremiah Milum hit on 6-of-8 passes for 84 yards and a touchdown against the Dots.
Chapmanville is 0-11 the last 11 years against Wayne since the two schools started playing each other on a yearly basis.
This could be the Tigers’ best shot at beating the Pioneers.
The Tigers, though, must step up on defense.
That’s pretty obvious.
“We have to play defense,” Barker said. “They’re a good football team. They are the most successful Double-A program in the state over the last 12 years. Their kids are playing for the right to keep their playoff post-season berths in tact. They have a lot that they are playing for. Not only are their kids excited their community is also excited for them. We’ve got to go down to their place and play them. I think that we’ll be getting a tremendous effort on their part. We haven’t beaten Wayne since I have been here. They weren’t on the schedule for awhile in a lot those years. It was around 1990 the last time we beat them.”
Last week’s loss by Chapmanville at Tolsia was a wild one.
Tolsia’s Luke Presley broke the school’s single game rushing record with 369 yards on 25 carries and scored six touchdowns. Presley, who reportedly has walk-on invitations from Akron, Memphis and Appalachian State, is quickly emerging as a top Class AA candidate for the Kennedy Award. He entered the game with over 1,200 yards rushing.
The Rebels rolled up 583 yards rushing and three Tolsia backs surpassed 100 yards for the game.
“It came down to us making mistakes,” Barker said. “We had a couple of touchdowns called back. We were within one touchdown midway into the fourth quarter and we dropped the ball. We started doing things defensively and offensively in order to get the ball back and things just didn’t work out for us. I thought we played them pretty tough. We just had a hard time tackling them.”
Despite the loss, several Tigers had huge games.
Senior wide receiver Jacob Dingess had 11 catches for 240 yards and three touchdowns. The 11 grabs broke the single-game school record of 10 set by Brady Cox just a few seasons ago. He’s now got 1,094 receiving yards for the season and leads the conference by a wide margin.
Tigers’ QB Alex Berry was 21-of-30 passing for 338 yards with four TDs and one interception.
Chapmanville running back Tanner Dillon had 12 carries for 66 yards and also kicked a field goal.
Chapmanville led 27-21 after one quarter of play, then fell behind 44-30 at the half as the Rebels outscored the Tigers 23-3.
Tolsia then led 62-45 after three and put the Tigers away in the fourth.
“Berry and Dingess had a lot of fun,” Barker said of last week’s game. “Our running back was not up to 100 percent. Our game plan going in was to throw it. We mixed in the run a little bit just to keep them honest. I thought that we had a good game plan offensively. On defense, we just couldn’t make tackles.”
On the season, Berry has completed 125-of-191 passes (65.4 percent) for 1,924 yards with 25 touchdowns and five picks.
Dillon has 166 rushes for 827 yards (4.99 yards per carry) and 12 touchdowns.
Dillon, also the Chapmanville kicker and punter, has also had a fine season in special teams. He’s booted 39-of-43 of his extra point kicks and has made 3-of-4 field goal attempts. He’s punted 22 times for an average of 34.4 yards per boot.
Dylan Smith has 45 carries for 350 yards and four scores and also has 23 catches for 426 yards and five more TDs.
Noah Dingess has 22 catches for 293 and four TDs, including the game-winner in the victory at Man.
Billy Sheppard has another 13 grabs for 149 yards and two touchdowns.
Timmy Bigley leads the CRHS defense with 94 total tackles (58 solo and 26 assists) with one sack and one fumble recovery.
Ryan Craddock has 85 total tackles, while Austin Butcher has 75 with one blocked kick, three sacks, one forced fumble and an on-side kick recovery.
Andy Bias has 68 total tackles with three sacks and two fumble recoveries.
Ricky Combs has 60 tackles and a trio of sacks, while Ethan Neace has 55 tackles, three sacks, two fumble recoveries and a forced fumble.
Alex Oxley has 44 tackles, three sacks and a fumble recovery. Jordan Whitt has 36 tackles and Dillon 38 with a sack.
TEAM CONF. ALL PF PA
Tolsia 6-0 8-0 346 163
Mingo Central 5-1 7-1 439 148
Chapmanville 4-2 7-2 354 276
Herbert Hoover 4-2 6-2 310 179
Wayne 3-3 4-4 289 264
Sissonville 1-5 3-5 171 189
Scott 1-5 2-6 190 368
Poca 0-5 0-8 138 519
Friday, October 30 games:
Chapmanville at Wayne, 7:30 p.m.
Mingo Central at Herbert Hoover, 7:30 p.m.
Tolsia at Boyd County (Ky.), 7:30 p.m.
Poca at Sissonville, 7:30 p.m.
Scott — BYE WEEK
Sissonville — BYE WEEK
Friday, November 6 games:
Scott at Logan, 7:30 p.m.
Mingo Central at Westside, 7:30 p.m.
Wayne at Bluefield, 7:30 p.m.
Poca at Tolsia, 7:30 p.m.
Herbert Hoover at Lincoln County, 7:30 p.m.
Sissonville at Braxton County, 7:30 p.m.
Chapmanville — BYE WEEK
END OF REGULAR SEASON
Friday, October 23 results:
Sissonville 56, Logan 0
Tolsia 76, Chapmanville 45
Mingo Central 62, Scott 12
Wayne 54, Poca 20
Herbert Hoover 37, Roane County 21
Football Friday night
WHAT: No. 9 Chapmanville (7-2, 4-2) at Wayne (4-4, 3-3).
WHEN: Friday night, 7:30 p.m.
WHERE: Pioneer Field, Wayne High School, Wayne, W.Va.
SURFACE: Natural grass
LAST WEEK: Chapmanville lost 76-45 at Tolsia … Wayne won 54-20 at Poca.
INTERNET STREAM: www.chapmanvilletigers.tv
Chapmanville vs. Wayne
Football Series Last 11 years
(Wayne leads 11-0)
2014: Wayne 44, Chapmanville 8
2013: Wayne 64, Chapmanville 36
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
(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).