CHAPMANVILLE — The Chapmanville Regional High School football team is very close to being a very good team.
A play here or a play there and a maybe a break or two and the Tigers would be 2-0.
However, Chapmanville is 0-2 on the season after Friday night’s heartbreaking 13-12 loss to Class AA No. 9-ranked Herbert Hoover in the Tigers’ home opener before a packed house at Chapmanville’s Tiger Stadium.
Chapmanville was coming off last week’s hard fought 22-15 loss on the road at Sissonville, in a game the Tigers led 7-0 at halftime and battled to the end with a furious late fourth-quarter comeback.
But after the loss to the Huskies, Chapmanville now sits at 0-2 overall and 0-2 in the Cardinal Conference.
Such is life in the new and improved Cardinal Conference, which if full of parity this season with the expansion of former Class AAA schools Logan, Winfield and Nitro.
Herbert Hoover (2-0, 2-0) went ahead 13-12 on Chapmanville with 11:07 left in the game as Brody Thomas scored on a 14-yard touchdown run and John Campbell tacked on the extra point kick.
Chapmanville got the ball back on its own 30 and marched deep into Hoover territory, keeping a drive alive with a fourth-and-four pass from quarterback Adam Vance to wideout Billy Sheppard which went for nine yards, giving CRHS a first down at the Huskies’ 14-yard line.
However, on the next play, Chapmanville fumbled the ball away and Hoover’s Thomas was able to fall on the pigskin at the 12 with 6:10 left in the game.
It was the fifth turnover of the game for the Tigers — another storyline on the night.
The Huskies then looked to milk the clock and preserve the win.
After five first downs — the last gift-wrapped by the Tigers after Chapmanville was flagged for an offsides penalty on a third-and-three at the CRHS 25-yard line, Herbert Hoover quarterback Chase Stover was able to take three knees to run out the clock.
Chapmanville first-year coach Rob Dial is still looking for his first win.
“Turnovers. It was the turnovers that bit us this week,” Dial said. “Last week at Sissonville it was the fatigue in the fourth quarter. We didn’t have that problem tonight. We had plenty of energy and want to and desire. We just didn’t hang onto the football — one as we were actually crossing the goal line and two more as we were driving deep into their territory. Those are just mistakes that if we clean up we win the ballgame. It’s really as simple as that.”
Dial said he can’t fault his young team’s effort.
“The effort was great,” he said. “I am disappointed with some of the penalties, especially in the second half. We got a little undisciplined. We were trying so hard to get back into the game that we let our emotions take over at times. We jumped offsides a few times when we don’t normally do those things.”
The Tigers started off the game with a bang.
On the sixth play from scrimmage, Vance found senior Dylan Smith down the sideline for a long 49-yard pass. Smith appeared to be heading into the end zone for a touchdown, however, Herbert Hoover’s Colten Rollyson stripped the ball away near the goal line and the ball was recovered by the Huskies in the end zone for a touchback.
Hoover, running out of the veer offense, struck first at the 5:56 mark of the first quarter with a 1-yard TD run by Thomas. The PAT was blocked by Chapmanville’s Ryan Craddock, leaving the score at 6-0.
Herbert Hoover got the ball back after a nice 46-yard punt by Austin Butcher and Rollyson ran in for a 56-yard touchdown. The score, however, was called back due to a holding penalty by the Huskies, which had to punt three plays later.
The Tigers then tied it 6-6 when Vance hooked up with Billy Sheppard on a 24-yard touchdown pass with 11:35 left in the second quarter. The extra point kick by Dillon Renniger was short.
Then a series of see-saw turnovers dominated play late in the second period.
Vance was picked off by Rhett White in Hoover territory.
Two snaps later, Hoover’s Rollyson ran down field for a 38-yard gainer in CRHS territory but Tristan Browning stripped him of the ball and Sheppard recovered at the Tigers’ 30-yard line.
On the very next play, Thomas stripped the ball back from Chapmanville and Herbert Hoover took over at the CRHS 22-yard line with 2:44 left until halftime.
The next snap produced another turnover as Rollyson fumbled the ball away and Sheppard recovered the bouncing ball on the turf at the 29-yard line.
Four plays later, yet another turnover occurred as Rollyson intercepted a Vance pass at the Hoover 30 and returned it to the 42.
Two snaps later and the half ended with the game deadlocked at 6-6.
Chapmanville took the lead 12-6 by taking the first drive of the third quarter down field, culminating with Browning’s 16-yard TD run on a draw play with 3:34 left. Renniger’s kick was wide left off the upright.
The Tigers drove 82 yards in seven plays. Browning also ran for 27 yards during the drive. Sheppard also had an 18-yard catch and Smith a 14-yard reception.
“We felt like as the game progressed we were able to move the ball both on the ground and in the air but primarily on the ground,” Dial said. “We felt like we had a good push up front. We started riding Tristan and Smitty both and alternated them in the backfield. Both of those guys ran real hard. We didn’t have a problem moving the ball.”
Herbert Hoover then went up for good with the Thomas score in the early moments of the fourth quarter.
Vance was 15 of 18 passing for 188 yards and two picks.
Smith finished with nine catches for 107 yards and added nine rushes for 34 yards.
Sheppard had three catches for 52 yards. Browning had 13 carries for 85 yards. Austin Butcher snared two passes for 19 yards. Brennan Williams had one catch for 10 yards.
Coach Dial said his defense also performed admirably in Friday night’s game.
“Our defense bent a lot but we didn’t break,” Dial said. “We only gave up two scores. We were sound on both sides of the football. Unfortunately, we just came up a little bit short. For two weeks in a row we have played some tough Double-A football. One of these days I hope sooner than later we are able to make a play and find a way to get these boys a victory because they certainly deserve it.”
Seth Whitt led the Chapmanville defense with nine solo tackles and two assists, while Craddock had seven solo tackles, five assists and a QB sack.
Browning had six tackles, four assists and two sacks, while Smith contributed six solos and three assists. Butcher also had six tackles for the night.
Timmy Bigley had five tackles, two assisted stops and one sack.
Alex Oxley had four solos and four assists. Tyler Barcklay had four tackles and three assists. Renniger had four solos and one assist. Evan Willis had three solo tackles and one assist.
Sheppard had two tackles and two fumble recoveries. Robert Seigman also had two tackles. Williams and Corey McGraw each had a tackle.
The Tigers were penalized seven times for 80 yards. Herbert Hoover also had seven yellow hankies for 80 yards.
Scott up next
Chapmanville returns to action with this Friday night’s game at rival Scott. The Skyhawks are 0-2, 0-2 after Friday’s 34-20 loss to Winfield.
“Anytime you play Scott you can just throw the records out the window,” Coach Dial said. “It’s going to be a tough battle. You are looking at two teams who are really going to give it all that they’ve got to get that first win. We will be on the road so that may add a little bit of a degree of difficulty to it. We have to show up for practice on Monday and work to get better.”
Scott leads the all-time series 33-29-1.
Team CONF ALL PF PA
Logan 1-0 2-0 109 24
Mingo Central 0-0 2-0 100 33
Wayne 0-1 0-2 20 64
Chapmanville 0-2 0-2 27 35
Scott 0-2 0-2 27 48
Team CONF ALL PF PA
Sissonville 2-0 2-0 60 27
Herbert Hoover 2-0 2-0 27 19
Winfield 1-0 1-1 49 48
Nitro 1-0 1-1 30 49
Poca 0-2 0-2 17 70
Friday, September 2 results:
Logan 61, Poca 11
Herbert Hoover 13, Chapmanville 12
Mingo Central 42, Tolsia 20
Winfield 34, Scott 20
Sissonville 38, Wayne 12
St. Albans 43, Nitro 21
Friday, September 9 games:
Lincoln County at Logan, 7:30 p.m.
*Chapmanville at Scott, 7:30 p.m.
*Mingo Central at Sissonville, 7:30 p.m.
*Nitro at Herbert Hoover, 7:30 p.m.
Buffalo at Poca, 7:30 p.m.
Wayne — OPEN DATE
Winfield — OPEN DATE
* Cardinal Conference game
High School 2016
Football Schedule (0-2):
Aug. 26: *at Sissonville, L 15-22
Sept. 2: *Herbert Hoover, L 12-13
Sept. 9: *at Scott, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 16: *Poca, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 23: *at Logan, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 30: *at Nitro, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 7: Man, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 14: *at Mingo Central, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 21: *Winfield, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 28: *Wayne, 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 4: OPEN DATE
*Cardinal Conference game
(Paul Adkins is the Sports Editor of the Logan Banner. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @PAdkinsBanner).