Often times it’s the offenses which get all of the glory and all of the headlines.
But it’s a football team’s defense that often wins the games.
That was evident last week as Chapmanville won 29-8 at county rival Logan, holding the Wildcats and their high-octane offense to just 221 total yards.
Chapmanville, 3-2 overall and 3-2 in the Cardinal Conference, hopes it continues this Friday night as the Tigers travel to play at Nitro (1-3, 1-2).
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
CRHS coach Rob Dial said several players, especially on the defensive side of the ball, stepped up for the Tigers in the Logan game.
Two of those gameballs went to cornerbacks CJ Dalton and Dillon Renniger.
“Several players really upped their game last week,” Dial said. “Two of those were our two cornerbacks CJ Dalton and Dillon Renniger. We played a high-powered offense last week against Logan and those two guys played phenomenal. They worked hard in the off-season and they have worked hard this season as the games have went on. I was really proud of their play.”
With Logan trailing and trying to rally late it was Renniger who intercepted a David Early pass in the end zone, killing the Wildcats’ comeback bid.
“CJ Dalton made a great play in the fourth quarter on a deep pass when it was a two score ballgame,” Dial said. “Braxton Goff was able to catch the ball along the sidelines and CJ was able to knock the ball out of his hands as he was coming down with it. That was really a big momentum swing for us. A play or two later, Dillon Renniger went up and intercepted a pass on a jump ball in the end zone. Dillon is only about 5-9 but he jumped up and caught the ball on the high point. I’m really happy with those two guys.”
First meeting with Nitro
Chapmanville and Nitro will meet for the first time on the football field on Friday night.
“It’s a first for me,” Dial said. “I don’t even remember ever seeing a football game there at all at Nitro High School so we’re excited about it.
Nitro joined the Cardinal Conference this fall along with Logan and Winfield.
Nitro was a charter member of the 3A Mountain State Athletic Conference.
Chapmanville and Nitro had played each other in the past in baseball in the days when Chapmanville graduate Steve Pritchard was the head coach at Nitro High School.
Friday night will also be Nitro’s Homecoming Game.
Nitro, located on the Kanawha/Putnam county line, has a population of 7,178 as of the 2010 census.
Nitro, led by quarterback J.R. House, won the 1998 Class AAA state football championship. He went on to play for several Major League Baseball teams.
Nitro is also home to former MLB player Lew Burdette and country music singer Kathy Mattea.
Actor Clark Gable also worked at an industrial plant in Nitro in 1918.
Special special teams
Coach Dial said Chapmanville’s special teams also contributed to the win over Logan.
“Our special teams is continuing to get better,” Dial said. “Our special teams coach Larry Dingess works very hard with those guys at the beginning of practice. He works with them about once a week on on-side kicks and he also works with them on the longsnapping, punts and kicks, all the little details that you often over look unless something bad happens. I was real happy with our special teams on Friday night. We were solid.”
Dial said all three phases of the game came together against Logan.
Punter Austin Butcher was also able to pin the Wildcats deep during the game with a 51-yard punt.
“We were around midfield at we got a good snap from our freshman snapper Josh Bumgarner and Austin Butcher punted the ball 51 yards and we got a great roll and pinned them inside the 10-yard line,” Dial said. “Our defense then forces a three-and-out and they had to punt the ball out of their own end zone. We got enough pressure on the punter to where it’s not a great punt and we downed the ball on the 39-yard line. A couple of plays later, Dylan Smith punches that ball into the end zone for us and it puts up by three scores. That was a tremendous difference for us. That really helped us win that ballgame. That was a great example how all three phases of the game — special teams, defense and offense — was able to make an impact all there together.”
Bye week for Logan
It’s an off week this week for Logan (3-2).
The Wildcats will hit the road on Oct. 7 at Class AAA John Marshall (0-5).
It will be a very long trip for the Cats to the northern panhandle.
“It’s about four and a half hours,” Logan coach Gary Mullins said. “I know that they graduated a bunch of starters on both sides of the ball. But they are a northern football team and northern football is always good. Those teams are always hard to beat. No matter what their record is we know that they are going to be a tough team to beat that’s for sure.”
Mullins said his team is in good shape injury-wise.
“As far as I know I think that we’re OK,” Mullins said. “You get beat up some after five games. We’re just going to try to get some rest for some of those guys and make sure that we’re as healthy as we can going into John Marshall. We’re going to run some and just try to stay in shape and keep healthy for next Friday.”
All games this week involving Cardinal Conference teams are league matchups, including the Chapmanville at Nitro game on Friday.
In one conference game, Class AA No. 5-ranked Mingo Central (4-0, 2-0) plays at Wayne (1-3, 0-2) in a South Division clash on Friday. The Miners are first place in the South, while Wayne is in last place.
Sissonville (3-1, 3-1) travels to Winfield (3-1, 3-0) on Friday in a North Division battle. Both teams are in a three-way tie for the No. 9 spot in the state in this week’s SSAC rankings.
Herbert Hoover (3-1, 3-1) hosts winless Poca (0-5, 0-4) in Friday’s other game. The Dots are on a 33-game losing skid dating back to 2013 and will be the heavy underdogs against the Huskies.
Logan and Scott are idle this week.
Team CONF ALL PF PA
Mingo Central 2-0 4-0 212 61
Chapmanville 3-2 3-2 150 81
Logan 1-1 3-2 169 107
Scott 1-4 1-4 101 143
Wayne 0-2 1-3 100 108
Team CONF ALL PF PA
Winfield 3-0 3-1 123 118
Sissonville 3-1 3-1 122 97
Herbert Hoover 3-1 3-1 118 78
Nitro 1-2 1-3 44 152
Poca 0-4 0-5 58 215
Friday, September 30 games:
*Chapmanville at Nitro, 7 p.m.
*Mingo Central at Wayne, 7:30 p.m.
*Sissonville at Winfield, 7:30 p.m.
*Poca at Herbert Hoover, 7:30 p.m.
Logan — OPEN DATE
Scott — OPEN DATE
*Cardinal Conference game
Friday, September 23 results:
Chapmanville 29, Logan 8
Mingo Central 60, Nitro 6
Scott 38, Poca 14
Winfield 23, Wayne 22
Herbert Hoover — OPEN DATE
Sissonville — OPEN DATE
(Paul Adkins is the Sports Editor of the Logan Banner. He can be reached by email at email@example.com or on Twitter @PAdkinsBanner).