LOGAN, W.Va. — It was a brilliant game plan.
Chapmanville Regional High School head coach Rob Dial and his staff had a two-prong scheme on Friday night and the Tigers executed it perfectly as Chapmanville upended county rival and Class AA No. 12-ranked Logan, 29-8, before a huge Logan Stadium crowd, spoiling the Wildcats’ annual homecoming game.
The Tigers first and foremost looked to control the ball, grind out the clock, shorten the game and use its ground game to wear down the Wildcats.
With Chapmanville’s offensive line getting a good push up front in the trenches, Tigers’ running back Tristan Browning was able to run for 172 yards on 27 carries, including three touchdown runs of 9, 21 and 30 yards.
With the Tigers’ driving down the turf that kept Logan’s defense on the field and kept the Wildcats’ high-powered offense, led by freshman quarterback David Early off the field.
Secondly, Chapmanville’s game plan looked for its defense to put the pressure on Early and keep the strong-armed QB from beating them deep.
Early was held to 9 of 18 passing for 90 yards with one touchdown and one interception. He came into the night with 900 yards passing. Logan was limited to just 221 yards of total offense, including 18 rushes for 121 yards.
CRHS had 380 yards of total offense, including 267 yards on the ground on 44 carries.
Chapmanville won its third straight game and vaulted back into the Class AA playoff race as the Tigers improved to 3-2 overall and 3-2 in the Cardinal Conference. With the top 16 teams advancing to the playoffs at season’s end, the Tigers had entered the night ranked 25th in the state and on the outside looking in.
Logan dropped to 3-2, 1-1.
“It gives us a chance to make the playoffs,” Dial said. “That’s what we want to do. We’re looking at the big picture. This season is like 10 sprints but in reality it’s a marathon. We have to see where we are at after game 10 and hopefully we can get the Tigers into the playoffs.”
Chapmanville also thrwarted Logan’s attempt to win the county championship and derailed one of the Cats’ season goals. Logan had opened the season with a 48-13 victory over Man.
Now the Tigers can win the county title with a victory over the Hillbillies at home on Oct. 7. A Man win and its a three-way split.
Chapmanville beat Logan for the third straight time and evened the all-time series 8-8 with the Cats.
Coach Dial said he couldn’t be any prouder of his team. The Tigers had opened the season with a pair of heartbreaking conference losses to Sissonville (22-15) and Herbert Hoover (13-12).
Now, the Tigers are on a roll.
“We give credit to our players for executing a great game plan,” Dial said. “Coach (Bo) Berry, Coach (Lee) Jones and Coach (James) Barker and all of our coaches did a great job on both sides of the ball. The credit also goes to Logan. They played a phenomenal game. It was a hard fought game,” Dial said. “The score was nowhere indicative as close as the game was throughout. We just kind of got the momentum in the second half and pulled away.”
With the game tied 8-8 at halftime, the Tigers made their move in the third quarter.
Chapmanville went on a 9-play, 82-yard drive, culminating on Browning’s 21-yard touchdown run at the 7:26 mark of the third to go on top for good. Dylan Smith was stopped short of the goal line on a fake PAT play but the Tigers led 14-8.
It proved to be the winning score.
The drive was aided by a questionable defensive pass interference call on Logan on a third-and-eight at the Logan 36. That gave the Tigers a first-and-10 at the 21. Browning scored on the following play.
“He was a workhorse,” Dial said of Browning, who pounded the ball between the tackles all night long, keeping drives alive. “He’s a guy that always gets positive yards. He lowers the shoulder pads and moves forward. As he continues to play in this offense he gets more and more comfortable. He gets in the lanes and he just is going to get better and better.”
The CRHS defense then held Logan to two three-and-out punts.
The Tigers took over on the LHS 30 after a short punt and two plays later were in the end zone again with Smith’s 10-yard touchdown run. Smith took the handoff and went to the middle, then bounced outside, fumbling the ball inside the 10. He then picked it up off the turf and dove to the pylon for a score. QB Adam Vance then tossed to Smith on the 2-point conversion as CRHS led 22-8 with 58.3 ticks left.
“Offensively, we are a spread team,” Dial said. “But we also have a funny way of being able to control the ball. We can also morph back in and run with the ball in the I-formation. I’m real proud of them.”
Dial said his offensive linemen were able to win the battle in the trenches.
“Hunter Adkins, Evan Willis, Timmy Bigley, Seth Whitt and Corey McGraw, along with our tight end Billy Sheppard, really got a great push and really played one of the best full games as far as a full unit goes all year long,” he said. “I can’t brag on them enough.”
Early and the Wildcats tried to get the Logan offense back on track but to no avail.
Chapmanville then put the finishing touches on the win with Browning’s 30-yard TD run with 2:33 left in the game. After Dillon Renniger’s extra point kick it was 29-8 Tigers.
Chapmanville looked to score first in the opening quarter but a goal line stand by the Wildcats kept the Tigers out of the end zone as Smith was stopped at the 1-foot line on a fourth-and-goal at the Logan 2.
Logan then fumbled the ball away but got it back.
Later at the 7:02 mark of the second quarter, Early tossed a bubble screen to Jamal Minter, who then raced down the sideline for a 57-yard touchdown. Early ran in the 2-point conversion as the Cats led 8-0.
Chapmanville then tied it 8-8 on its next drive, marching 85 yards in 12 plays, capped off with Browning’s 9-yard TD run. Vance passed to Sheppard on the 2-point conversion as the score was knotted up with 53.9 ticks left in the opening quarter.
After the game, Dial had praise for Logan and its team and staff. Dial and Logan coach Gary Mullins served on the same coaching staff back in 2014 in the inaugural East-West All-Star Classic at Mingo Central High School. Mullins was the West All-Star coach, leading the team to a 35-0 victory, and Dial was one of the assistants.
“Gary Mullins and his staff are first-class guys,” Dial said. “They will rebound well and they will have a good year.”
Early led Logan’s ground game with 12 rushes for 75 yards. Tyler Browning had two carries for 10 yards. Michael Hall had three rushes for 27 yards. Braxton Goff had one rush for nine yards.
Minter finished with five catches for 72 yards. Braxton Goff snared two passes for 15 yards. Hall had two grabs for three yards.
Vance was 10 of 14 passing for 113 yards and also rushed seven times for 23 yards.
Smith had four carries for 41 yards and four catches for 29 yards. Sheppard had three catches for 57 yards.
Ryan Craddock had six carries for 31 yards.
Brennan Williams reeled in two catches for 12 yards. Austin Butcher also had a catch for 15 yards.
Butcher punted three times for an average of 35.2 yards per boot. Logan punter Chris Watkins also had a 55-yard punt.
The Tigers are scheduled to return to action with this Friday night’s Cardinal Conference game at Nitro (1-3, 1-2). The Nitro Wildcats, a former Class AAA squad, was routed 60-6 on Friday night at home by No. 5-ranked and undefeated Mingo Central.
Game time is set for 7 p.m. at the Nitro High School football field.
It’s the first ever meeting on the gridiron between Chapmanville and Nitro.
“We’ve got to heal up and we have to continue to get better,” Dial said.
Logan observes a bye week this week. The Cats are at 3A John Marshall on Oct. 7.
Logan vs. Chapmanville
All-Time Football Series
(Series tied 8-8)
2016: Chapmanville 29, Logan 8
2015: Chapmanville 43, Logan 26
2014: Chapmanville 48, Logan 42 (OT)
2013: Logan 27, Chapmanville 14
2012: Logan 20, Chapmanville 0
2011: Logan 22, Chapmanville 21
2010: Chapmanville 35, Logan 20
2009: Chapmanville 21, Logan 14
2008: Chapmanville 21, Logan 6
2007: Chapmanville 13, Logan 12
2006: Logan 14, Chapmanville 7
2005: Logan 42, Chapmanville 6
2004: Logan 29, Chapmanville 6
2003: Chapmanville 20, Logan 14
2002: Logan 27, Chapmanville 8
2001: Logan 21, Chapmanville 0
(Paul Adkins is the Sports Editor of the Logan Banner. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @PAdkinsBanner).