Tigers hope to win county cat fight
by Paul Adkins
CHAPMANVILLE — What would be a good encore for the Chapmanville Regional High School football team after last week’s come-from-behind 34-33 OT win over the Poca Dots?
Gain some county bragging rights.
And get a lot of computer ratings points.
That’s what’s on the table for the Class AA Tigers (2-2), which come into Friday night’s road game at Class AAA No. 13 Logan (3-1).
Logan, which lost 46-12 last week at Johnson Central (Ky.), won last year’s county clash with Chapmanville to break a four-game losing skid to the Tigers dating back to 2007.
Game time is set for 7:30 p.m. at Logan Stadium.
The last time the Tigers traveled to Logan was in 2010, resulting in a 35-20 victory over the Wildcats.
Last year’s matchup was a knife-edge game, with Logan winning 22-21 in the last minute.
A lot will be at stake for both teams on Friday night.
A Chapmanville win would give the Tigers big points in the WVSSAC Computer Ratings with a victory over a Class AAA school.
It would be another morale booster for the Tigers, which suffered losses this season to current No. 1-ranked Scott and No. 7 Sissonville in Cardinal Conference action.
In the bragging rights arena, a win over Logan would also give the Tigers a shot at winning back the county championship from Logan. CRHS is set to host its other county rival Man on Oct. 5 in its annual homecoming game.
On the flip side, Logan can win the county crown for the second straight season with a victory over Chapmanville on Friday night. The Wildcats already own a 33-0 win over Man in the season opener.
A win by Logan would also put the Wildcats at 4-1, inching themselves closer to the playoffs and erasing last week’s bad memories in the Kentucky Bluegrass.
Chapmanville coach George Barker said it’s a big game for everyone and last week’s emotional victory over the Dots was a big morale booster for his team. Chapmanville trailed 27-7 in the third quarter but rallied to win behind senior running back Dustin Smith, who rushed for nearly 200 yards and scored four touchdowns — three rushing and one via receiving.
“We’re back to full strength,” Barker said. “We’re excited about playing the Triple-A Wildcats. We hope that we can compete with them. It’s an opportunity for us. We’re just happy to be able to play and be in this situation.”
Being only 12 miles apart, Chapmanville and Logan are, of course, no strangers to each other and are natural rivals. However, rather surprisingly, the county football series did not start until 2001. Logan holds a 6-5 all-time series edge over the Tigers but Chapmanville was won four out of the last five.
In order to win another one over Logan, the Tigers must find a way to neutralize the Wildcats’ talented skilled position players, including quarterback Chris Marcum, Khaleel Reynolds, Worm Street, Tyler Vernatter, Brant Williams, C.J. Williams and others.
“They have a really good football team and they are solid all the way around,” Barker said. “They have no weaknesses. They are good on both sides of the ball and have good special teams play. They are good. They have a few strengths but they are just a good team.”
The X-factor for the Tigers is senior running back DaShawn Alexander, who will be making his 2012 season debut on Friday night. With Alexander, Chapmanville now has a triple threat in the backfield behind QB Max Spradlin with Smith and Devin Wiley. Senior Brandon White, last year’s starting quarterback, is also a threat to run in Chapmanville’s “Tiger formation” and can also catch the ball as a receiver.
“Hopefully we can find a way to get him in there,” Barker said of Alexander. “We just have to find a way to move the ball and keep them from having big plays. I think they are a big-play football team. We have to make them play down after down and hope to have a shot at the end.”
Chapmanville is also expected to have the services of senior wide receiver Brady Cox, who did not play last week reportedly due to disciplinary reasons.
“We’re back at full strength and we’re good to go,” Barker said.
Barker, the former coach at Logan, is 4-4 against Coach Gary Mullins and the Wildcats since he started his tenure at Chapmanville in 2004.
Barker is 6-5 all-time in the series as a head coach counting the wins in the 2001 and 2002 games when he was on the other side of the field.
Mullins, Logan’s head coach since 2004, replaced Barker as the Wildcats’ mentor after Barker left for Chapmanville. Mullins had served as an assistant coach under Barker at Logan before getting his promotion.
Herbert Hoover……..0-4 0-3
Friday, Sept. 21 games:
Chapmanville at Logan, 7:30 p.m.
Wayne at Sissonville, 7:30 p.m.
Scott at Poca, 7:30 p.m.
Tolsia at Tug Valley, 7:30 p.m.
Man at Mingo Central, 7:30 p.m.
Lewis County at Herbert Hoover, 7:30 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 14 results:
Chapmanville 34, Poca 33, OT
Wayne 84, Ravenswood 42
Scott 27, Sissonville 18
Tolsia 46, Herbert Hoover 7
Mingo Central 37, Westside 24 (Saturday)
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