CHAPMANVILLE – For the last several years the Herbert Hoover High School football team has languished near the bottom of the Cardinal Conference and the statewide Class AA ratings.
Chapmanville Regional has enjoyed success against the downtrodden Huskies, going 4-2 since the series began in 2006, including a pair of wins the last couple of seasons to the tune of 33-19 and 27-7.
But as they say in the Cardinal Conference, there are no gimmies.
There are no bad teams.
Herbert Hoover certainly proved that point last week at home as the Huskies rallied to beat Scott 40-35 in last week’s season opener.
The final score was a bit of a surprise given the Huskies were just 1-9 last year and 3-17 over the last three seasons and Scott was a playoff quarterfinalist.
Hoover, though, had to do it the hard way, rallying from a 29-13 halftime deficit to beat the Skyhawks.
Chapmanville lost its season opener last week, falling 40-22 to Sissonville in another conference clash.
The Tigers (0-1, 0-1) will most likely be in for another typical Cardinal Conference dogfight on Friday night as Chapmanville heads to the Charleston and Kanawha Valley outskirts hamlet of Falling Rock to take on Herbert Hoover (1-0, 1-0). Game time is set for 7:30 p.m. at Herbert Hoover High School’s Joe Cowley Field.
Chapmanville got into a 21-0 hole last week against Sissonville and trailed 40-6 before scoring a pair of late touchdowns and two-point conversions. The Tigers managed just five first-quarter yards and six total plays last week as Sissonville chewed up the clock with long sustained drives.
The Tigers will be looking for improvement and a better start against the Huskies. Last week against Sissonville, the Indians had a key fourth down conversion which led to their first score. Sissonville then reached the end zone twice more in the first half. Chapmanville drove inside the 10-yard line on one first half possession but came up empty-handed.
“High school kids are emotional and they came up with that big fourth down play early in the ballgame and I think that made us go flat,” Chapmanville coach George Barker said. “We couldn’t get them to recover. I thought that we played a little bit better in the second half and toward the end of the game we got emotional and finally started to play. We have to have a team effort. If we do that we do pretty good. Us coming up empty when they had a two touchdown lead was also a key to the game. We were getting some momentum but we couldn’t get it in there. But I thought they (Sissonville) played well. But they say the most improvement from a football team is from Week 1 to Week 2 and we hope that is true.”
Chapmanville was led last week by sophomore quarterback Alex Berry, who completed 14-of-21 passes for 134 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions in his first varsity start. Both scores went to senior wide receiver Zac Casto, who had four grabs for 52 yards.
On the ground, Devin Wiley had 17 rushes for 63 yards. The workhorse was Paul Workman, who had 12 carries for 60 yards and a TD. Senior wideout Brady Cox also had five catches for 35 yards.
Matt Dingess led the defense with nine solo tackles and one assist. Casto had eight solos and three assists, while Nate Ramey finished with six tackles and three assisted stops.
The catalyst for the Huskies in the opener was Shaun Dotson, who led a rousing second-half comeback by scoring two of his four touchdowns on the night in the fourth quarter.
Dotson, a 5-foot-6, 172-pound junior, finished with 165 yards rushing on 31 carries. He also reeled in three passes for 104 more yards, including a 52-yard bomb from senior QB Brenden Holbrook. Dotson scored from 4 and 10 yards out in the span of four minutes, turning a 29-26 deficit to a 40-29 lead with two minutes left.
Barker said Dotson is very good.
“We need to know where he is,” Barker said. “They have good skilled people. There again, they are another Cardinal Conference foe and they are going to be pretty good. Every week is going to be a test and we have to be ready for it. This league is good. The Tolsia-Wayne game last week was something like 7-0 at halftime, so you’d better be ready to play in this conference. We just need to put one together. They are all big in high school football. They are all playoff games.”
Down 40-29 late, Scott made it interesting with a 32-yard TD pass from Cody Brown to Dylan Dehart to cut the deficit to five points, but Hoover was able to recover the ensuing on-side kick and run out the clock.
Brown was 17-for-30 passing for 256 yards in a losing cause for Scott. He tossed two interceptions and Scott also had another turnover which helped Hoover’s comeback. The Skyhawks were also penalized 11 times for nearly 100 yards. Brown was also sacked three times in the fourth quarter as Hoover began to win the game in the trenches.
Hoover’s defense held Scott’s running attack to 29 rushes for 94 yards. Hoover had 58 carries for 270 yards. Scott outpassed the Huskies 256-137.
Holbrook split time at quarterback with Tyler Americo. Holbrook finished 4-for-7 passing for 114 yards but threw two first-half picks. Both Holbrook and Americo started under center for the Huskies last season after Holbrook was injured in last year’s opener. Americo was 3-for-6 passing for 23 yards for the game and ran nine times for 45 yards and a score.
On defense last week, Hoover was led by Triston Hager, who had two first-half interceptions.
The Huskies outscored Scott 6-0 in the third quarter and 21-6 in the fourth to pull out the win.
Chapmanville was without senior playmaker Jordan Toler last week. He had sustained a concussion two weeks ago in the preseason game at Lincoln County. He could be back in the lineup tonight at Hoover.
“It looks like he’s going to be cleared but it’s a big issue right now in football and high school athletics — the issue of head injuries,” Barker said. “Everyone is on the side of caution. He had a slight concussion in the Lincoln County scrimmage and the doctors elected to hold him out a week. I think on Monday he passed all tests and it looks like he’ll be back with us. Toler is a great skilled kid and he will help us.”
Chapmanville-Herbert Hoover Series
Since 2000 (Chapmanville leads 4-2):
2012: Chapmanville 33, Herbert Hoover 19
2011: Chapmanville 27, Herbert Hoover 7
2010: Herbert Hoover 48, Chapmanville 45
2009: Herbert Hoover 30, Chapmanville 20
2008: Chapmanville 24, Herbert Hoover 0
2007: Chapmanville 40, Herbert Hoover 7 (at Charleston’s Laidley Field)
2013 Chapmanville Regional High School
Football Schedule (0-1):
Aug. 30: *Sissonville, L 22-40
Sept. 6: *at Herbert Hoover, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 13: *Scott, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 20: *at Poca, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 27: Logan, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 4: James Monroe, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 11: at Man, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 18: *Mingo Central, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 25: *at Tolsia, 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 1: *at Wayne, 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 8: OPEN DATE
*Cardinal Conference game