CHAPMANVILLE, W.Va. — Heading into Week 4 of the high school football season, the Chapmanville Tigers’ offense is starting to kick into gear.
After opening with a pair of losses to Sissonville (22-15) and Herbert Hoover (13-12), the Tigers broke through with last week’s 27-12 win at Scott.
Chapmanville (1-2 overall and 1-2 in the Cardinal Conference), looks to get its second win of the season as the Tigers host Poca (0-3, 0-3) on Friday night at Tiger Stadium.
Kickoff for the Chapmanville Hall of Fame Game is set for 7:30 p.m.
Leading the Tigers’ offense is quarterback and first-year starter Adam Vance.
The junior signal-caller is having a good season.
Going into the game with the Dots, Vance has completed 73.1 percent of his passes on the season as he has connected on 46 of 63 of his attempts for 525 yards and four touchdowns. Last week against the Skyhawks he was 20 of 25 for 212 yards and a score.
“We’re really happy what we are doing in the passing game,” Tigers’ coach Rob Dial said. “Anytime you throw the football it starts with protecting the quarterback. It starts up front and making sure that we have all the right protection calls with whatever we are doing.”
Dial said Vance has the offensive line has allowed Vance time to pass the ball.
“Our offensive line and our fullback are doing a real good job in letting Adam have some time to throw the ball,” he said. “(Chapmanville Offensive Coordinator) James Barker is calling a good game and making certain Adam is playing to his strengths. Our receivers ran the best routes that they have done all season the last game.”
Last week against Scott, Dylan Smith had eight catches for 79 yards and four carries for 23 more yards with three total TDs. Brennan Williams had three grabs for 50 yards. Austin Butcher had four catches for 32 yards. Billy Sheppard reeled in five catches for 51 yards.
Smith is the Tigers’ leading receiver with 21 catches for 247 yards and a TD on the season.
“We got a good game out of Austin Butcher, who caught several passes on the very first drive,” Dial said. “Brennan Williams came through with some big catches that I don’t think Scott was expecting him to do so. Billy Sheppard was solid catching some screen passes on the outside as well as finding the soft spot in the zone. Dylan Smith also really made some nice catches for us that he does each week. We’re happy with what we are doing offensively. We just think that we’re going to continue to get better.”
On the ground
Tristan Browning has been a big help to the Tigers’ ground game this fall.
The Lincoln County transfer is Chapmanville’s leading rusher with 52 carries for 289 yards and two scores after three weeks. Browning had 24 rushes for 136 yards to lead the CRHS ground attack last week.
“Tristan gets better every game,” Dial said. “He’s learning the offense more. In the second half at Scott alone he had over 100 yards rushing. As the game continued he got better. We had such good play out of our offensive line. We were getting nice pushes up front, particularly in the second half.”
Chapmanville has many big games ahead.
After taking on Poca, the Tigers head to Logan on Sept. 23 for a big clash with the county rival Wildcats. Logan is ranked No. 7 in the state and 3-0 going into Friday’s game at No. 3 Point Pleasant (3-0).
Chapmanville then would seem to be favored on Sept. 30 at Nitro, a former Class AAA team which is just 1-2.
After that, the Tigers host county rival Man on Oct. 7 in their only non-conference game of the season. CRHS then plays at Mingo Central on Oct. 14 and then hosts Winfield on Oct. 21 in a pair of tough conference clashes.
The finale is Oct. 28 at home against Wayne.
“We have to keep up the momentum because down the road we’re going to be playing some explosive offenses that we have to be ready to stop,” Dial said.
Chapmanville plays 10 games in 10 weeks and observes is bye week on Nov. 4 in Week 11.
“We have to continue to get better. We cannot be satisfied with beating Scott. We have to continue to work and look at the big picture and make sure that we are getting better each week at practice,” Coach Dial said.
Several Tigers have stepped up this season on defense.
It’s been a true team effort.
Ryan Craddock leads the teams in total combined tackles (solo and assists) with 30. He also has a fumble recovery and a sack.
Austin Butcher (24 tackles), Dillon Renniger (18), Timmy Bigley (21), Alex Oxley (26), Tristan Browning (19), Dylan Smith (20) and several others have been key contributors.
“We went back to a more simple defensive scheme that our players have really bought into,” Dial said. “We line up, we play fast and we try to play physical. We don’t have just one guy that’s going to stand up and lead us each week. Each week I think that you’re going to see a different guy step up and lead us in tackle. We play a team style of defense. That shows in the stats.”
Dial commended his team’s defensive effort vs. Scott.
“That game’s tone was set by how well we played defensively,” Dial said. “We had some outstanding defensive efforts. Alex Oxley probably played the best game of his life up front for us. Several players played well and I couldn’t name everybody. I was so proud of our young men because they did a great job.”
Around the Cardinal
Three Cardinal Conference teams are ranked in the top 10 in the state in Class AA in this week’s WV MetroNews Power Index.
Mingo Central (3-0 overall and 1-0 in the Cardinal Conference) is fourth in the state, while Herbert Hoover (3-0, 3-0) is sixth and Logan (3-0, 1-0) seventh.
Sissonville (2-1, 2-1) is 14th and Winfield (1-1, 1-0) is 16th.
In the more important WVSSAC rankings, which determine the playoff spots at season’s end, Herbert Hoover is sixth in the state and Logan seventh, while Mingo Central is eighth. Sissonville is 14th.
Three conference games are on tap this week, including the Poca at Chapmanville game. Winless Scott (0-3, 0-3) is at Sissonville and Winfield is at Herbert Hoover.
In non-conference games, Logan travels to No. 3-ranked Point Pleasant (3-0) and winless Wayne (0-2, 0-1) hosts Oak Hill.
Nitro (1-2, 1-1) is idle this week.
Team CONF ALL PF PA
Mingo Central 1-0 3-0 152 55
Logan 1-0 3-0 149 37
Chapmanville 1-2 1-2 68 53
Wayne 0-1 0-2 20 64
Scott 0-3 0-3 45 89
Team CONF ALL PF PA
Herbert Hoover 3-0 3-0 70 27
Sissonville 2-1 2-1 82 79
Winfield 1-0 1-1 49 48
Nitro 1-1 1-2 38 92
Poca 0-2 0-3 24 124
Friday, September 16 games:
Logan at Point Pleasant, 7:30 p.m.
*Poca at Chapmanville (Hall of Fame Game), 7:30 p.m.
*Scott at Sissonville, 7:30 p.m.
Oak Hill at Wayne, 7:30 p.m.
*Winfield at Herbert Hoover, 7:30 p.m.
Mingo Central — OPEN DATE
Nitro — OPEN DATE
* Cardinal Conference game
Friday, September 9 results:
Logan 40, Lincoln County 13
Chapmanville 27, Scott 12
Mingo Central 52, Sissonville 22
Herbert Hoover 43, Nitro 8
Buffalo 54, Poca 7
Wayne — OPEN DATE
Winfield — OPEN DATE
(Paul Adkins is the Sports Editor of the Logan Banner. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @PAdkinsBanner).