CHAPMANVILLE, W.Va. — After the graduation of three-year starting quarterback Alex Berry the Chapmanville Regional High School football team knew those would be some big shoes to fill.
The Tigers, though, had a capable backup last year in Adam Vance and felt pretty good heading into the season.
Vance has delivered this fall for Class AA No. 10-ranked Chapmanville (5-2 overall and 4-2 in the Cardinal Conference), which plays at No. 4 Mingo Central (6-0, 4-0) on Friday night.
After seven games, Vance, a junior, is leading the Cardinal Conference in passing yards with 1,607. Vance has completed 71.5 percent of his passes as he has connected on 108 of 151 throws. He’s tossed 14 touchdowns and has been picked off four times.
“A big part of that came from his work in the off-season,” said Chapmanville coach Rob Dial, when asked about Vance’s success. “He was in the weight room on a regular basis and had a real good three-week June practice period and played against a lot of good competition. He’s protecting the football and he’s gone out there and played really well for us.
“For us to continue to have success we need good play out of the quarterback position.”
Dial said Vance has shown his leadership as well.
“Adam is a great young man and he’s got a lot of natural leadership abilities,” he said. “He doesn’t play on defense but he’s always cheering on our defense and our special teams and leading from the sidelines. He has a real good grasp of the offense. The offense that we run we place a lot of responsibility and a lot of pressure on our quarterback from a mental standpoint as well as physical. He has to know what all 11 guys have to do.”
Special special teams
Chapmanville’s special teams have played well for the most part this season.
Punter Austin Butcher is averaging 34.9 yards per boot.
Kicker Dillon Renniger is 15 of 18 in extra point kicks.
Freshman long snapper Josh Bumgarner has also played well, Coach Dial said.
“We put in a lot of work on special teams at practice,” Dial said. “We practice it every day. Austin Butcher is a first-year punter for us. Last year, we had Tanner Dillon, who punted, kicked and kicked off. Josh Bumgarner is our first-year snapper and Dillon Renniger is a first-year kicker. We’ve also used Fidelis (Nwafor) on kickoffs and this is the first year that he’s put on the football pads. I’m really happy with the young men who have stepped in there for us on special teams.”
Dial said the Tigers’ kick and punt coverage, however, has been uneven.
“We need to do a better job on covering kicks. We’re not very good on kick coverage,” he said. “We need to improve that. We’ve got some work to do but Coach Dingess and those guys have done a real good job on special teams of getting younger guys and new guys ready to take on important roles for us to be succeessful.”
The season ending ankle injury to freshman Chase Berry in last week’s Man game was like losing three players.
Berry had been getting playing time at outside linebacker but is also the Tigers’ backup quarterback and holder on extra point kicks and field goals.
CRHS has others who can step in at QB if needed.
“We have Sam Craddock who has been our JV quarterback,” Dial said. “We also have some of our older guys too. Austin Butcher can play quarterback. We also have some other guys too that we can put back there if we need to. We’re confident in what we have. We have a Plan B. We’re working on a holder and we are working on that this week. At linebacker, if we have Tristan Browning back that will help us. Losing a guy like Chase is not an easy spot to fill. He has so many diverse roles on this team.
“We’re got a good attitude and we’re looking forward to playing on Friday night.”
Ryan Craddock leads Chapmanville in total tackles with 64 (38 solos and 26 assists). He also has two fumble recoveries and a sack.
Seth Whitt has 56 total tackles and a sack, while Butcher has 47 tackles, three sacks and an interception.
Timmy Bigley has 53 tackles and two sacks. Evan Willis has 44 tackles and two sacks. Alex Oxley has 33 tackles and Billy Shepherd 32 stops, two fumble recoveries and two picks. Renniger has 30 tackles and an interception.
Smith has 41 total tackles, three pics, a sack and two defensive TDs.
CJ Dalton has 27 tackles, Tyler Barcklay 28 and Tristan Browning 24 stops with two sacks and a caused fumble.
Team CONF ALL PF PA
Mingo Central 4-0 6-0 308 81
Chapmanville 4-2 5-2 238 116
Logan 1-1 3-3 175 120
Scott 2-4 2-4 149 163
Wayne 0-4 1-5 120 190
Team CONF ALL PF PA
Sissonville 5-1 5-1 150 123
Winfield 4-1 4-2 239 186
Herbert Hoover 4-2 4-2 185 105
Nitro 1-4 1-5 79 262
Poca 0-6 0-7 78 325
Friday, October 14 games
Logan at Greenbrier East, 7:30 p.m.
*Chapmanville at Mingo Central, 7:30 p.m.
Scott at Tolsia, 7:30 p.m.
*Herbert Hoover at Wayne, 7:30 p.m.
*Sissonville at Nitro, 7:30 p.m.
*Winfield at Poca, 7:30 p.m.
*Cardinal Conference game
Friday, October 7 results
Chapmanville 40, Man 21
John Marshall 13, Logan 6
Mingo Central 62, Poca 20
Scott 48, Wayne 20
Winfield 63, Nitro 21
Sissonville 27, Herbert Hoover 19
(Paul Adkins is the Sports Editor of the Logan Banner. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @PAdkinsBanner).