CHAPMANVILLE — The Chapmanville Regional High School football team hopes its 2012 season isn’t spiraling out of control.
Last week’s 40-21 loss at rival Scott dropped the Tigers below the .500 mark at 1-2 overall and 1-2 in the Cardinal Conference.
Chapmanville hopes to stop the bleeding and get its season back on track with a win over Poca on Friday night. Chapmanville is set to host the Dots, which stand at 2-1 overall and 0-0 in the conference heading into the 7:30 p.m. clash at Tiger Stadium.
It will also be the annual Hall of Fame Game for Chapmanville as CRHS is set to induct its newest class — Jim Hicks, Aaron Amburgey, Aaron Kelly and Christopher Sam Mullins — this week.
The Dots are coming off last week’s 20-7 win at home over Putnam County Class A rival Buffalo.
Poca won 48-34 over Class AAA Nitro in the opener and then lost 27-7 to Nicholas County in Week 2.
Chapmanville coach George Barker said his team must find a way to win and even its record on the season at 2-2 instead of further falling into a hole at 1-3.
“This may be a pivital week for us,” Barker said. “If you remember about three years ago when we had Todd Terry, we were 1-2, we were in the same boat and we went to Poca. We rallied back and had a mircale play at the end of the game that kind of turned our season around for us. We have to have a supreme effort and play a total game. Last week, we just couldn’t get it all in sync defensively. We have to get in sync and eliminate the turnovers. We made some errors with the four turnovers in the first half but still stayed within a touchdown.”
Chapmanville has had success against the Dots and lead the all-time series 4-1 since joining the Cardinal Conference in 2007. The Tigers have won the last four meetings, including last year’s 36-13 road victory. The last time the two teams met at Chapmanville the Tigers won a monumental 69-66 shootout over the Dots in 2010. In the game, CRHS running back Jake Robinson rushed for a school record 408 yards and scored seven touchdowns. Then Poca quarterback Jason Cuffee passed for 456 yards and the two teams combined for more than 1,100 yards of total offense.
Poca beat Buffalo last week with an old-school, smash mouth game.
The two teams were tied 7-7 at the half before the Dots pulled away with a pair of second-half scores.
“The momentum shifted in the second half,” Poca coach Bob Lemley told the Charleston Gazette. “They had it the first half, but with their turnovers it went back our way. When (Buffalo quarterback Levi) Jordan cramped up there, it gave us a little boost and might have been the key in the game. Our quarterback Jake Payne threw a few bad passes in the first half that kind of hurt us, but we count on him and we stuck with him. Once the front line started blocking, we opened holes and we could go from there.”
Poca was led last week by T.T. Loudin, who finished with 121 yards rushing on 27 carries. He gave the Dots the lead for good with a 2-yard TD run in the third quarter. Quarterback Jake Payne then added a 1-yard plunge to seal the deal.
Payne was held to just 31 yards passing and was intercepted twice.
“They are one of those typical Poca teams,” Barker said. “They are well diversified in their formations. They use a lot of trickery. Their quarterback throws the ball real well. I understand that he’s a pitcher on the baseball team. Their running back is pretty good. He’s got real good speed and is shifty. They do a lot of things offensively. But with the offenses that we’ve seen so far in the first three weeks it ought to get us ready to see what we’re going to see against them. We just have to line up and play.”
The Tigers trailed just 21-14 at the half last week but committed four costly turnovers. Chapmanville went ahead 7-0 with 42 seconds left in the first quarter as Dustin Smith scored on a 2-yard touchdown run. Dustin Conley added the extra point kick.
Scott tied it 7-7 with Cameron Loftis’ 3-yard touchdown run with 9:13 left until the half. The Skyhawks then took the lead for good at 14-7 with Tristan Crone’s 5-yard TD run at the 6:58 mark.
Scott soon made it 21-7 with a 1-yard touchdown run by Crone.
Chapmanville then pulled to within 21-14 at the intermission as quarterback Max Spradlin passed a 17-yard touchdown pass to Brandon White on the last play of the half.
In the second half, however, it was all Skyhawks.
Smith led the Chapmanville offense with 13 carries for 89 yards. Wiley had 10 rushes for 42 yards and had one catch for six more yards. Spradlin was 11-for-20 passing for 110 yards and two picks. Zac Casto had three catches for 50 yards.
Trevor Payne, a senior defensive back, led Chapmanville on the other side of the ball with 15 solo tackles and one assist. Austin Watts was right behind with 10 solo tackles and three assists.
“He was flying around and making plays,” Barker said of Payne. “He probably played his best game defensively. We need him to pick it up and keep on going. He’s a four-year player for us. We have to get more games like this out of the rest of them. If we can get some consistency I think that we’ll be OK. That’s the big key for us.”
Barker said hall of fame week is always exciting around the school.
“Sometimes, though, I think that we leave the kids out of it (during hall of fame week),” Barker said. “They need to take a good look at what’s going on around them because they are all possible inductees in the future. It’s an exciting time, so I hope that we can include the kids in the activities.”
Barker joked about how long he’s been around in coaching.
“I went to school with one of the inductees’ daddies, so that tells you how old that I am,” he quipped. “Me and Junior Amburgey were teammates in high school.”
On a side note, Barker said DaShawn Alexander will most likely suit up for next week’s clash at county rival Logan on Sept. 21. Alexander, a transfer last season from St. Albans, was declared eligible to play a couple of weeks ago but is still finishing up his mandated 14 practices.
“It doesn’t look like it’s going to be this week,” Barker said. “It’s going to be next week. He’s working hard and getting ready to play. He’s done a lot of running and lifting. He’s in great shape. He just has to get the green light to go.”
Chapmanville vs. Poca
series since 2000:
2011: Chapmanville 36, Poca 13
2010: Chapmanville 69, Poca 66
2009: Chapmanville 30, Poca 26
2008: Chapmanville 28, Poca 12
2007: Poca 28, Chapmanville 14