MAN — Since the county rivalry between Man and Chapmanville resumed in 2000 the Hillbillies and Tigers have had an interesting series.
Man dominated the first six years between 2000-05 — winning all meetings — and jumped on top of Chapmanville 6-0 in the recent series.
Then came the Chapmanville surge as the Tigers have won the last six games with the Billies to even it up 6-6.
The rubber game is scheduled for Friday night at Chapmanville’s Tiger Stadium. Game time is set for 7:30 p.m. It will also be the annual Chapmanville Regional High School homecoming game.
Both teams are in need of a win to stay in the state playoff hunt.
Class A Man (2-4) snapped a three-game losing skid with last week’s 48-13 homecoming victory over the winless Fayetteville Pirates.
Chapmanville (3-3) kept itself in the Class AA playoff chase with a 19-6 victory at James Monroe.
Man coach Harvey Arms said the Tigers will be a challenge for his team.
“They are a good team,” Arms said. “They have some good running backs and their quarterback is coming back from last year. They lost some of their players up front but they are still good. They are 3-3 and they play in a tough conference — the Cardinal Conference.”
The Billies are searching for their first win over the Tigers since 2005 when Man won 28-14 over Chapmanville at home. The series with Chapmanville dates back to the 1950s and Man has been the dominant team over the Tigers when looking at the big picture.
Chapmanville, however, has had the upperhand of late, blowing out the Billies the last two years, including a 61-14 win last year at Man and a 55-26 victory over the Billies at home in 2010.
The 2009 contest was one of the best in the recent series as the Tigers escaped Man with a 16-14 win over the Billies at a muddy George A. Queen Memorial Stadium in Man. It was only one of two losses in the ‘09 campaign for Man, which went on to play in the Class A state championship game against Weirton Madonna at the Super Six in Wheeling.
Man’s widest margin of victory was in 2004 when the Billies trounced the Tigers 48-20 at Chapmanville.
Arms said it’s been a good rivalry over the years with the Tigers.
“There have been gaps in the series when we haven’t played but when I was in school we played Chapmanville all the time,” he said. “It’s been a long-standing series with them and it’s always been competitive. When you are in this game talent is going to cycle sometimes. Sometimes we’re up and sometimes they are up. You just have to go out and practice and work and hope for the best.”
Last week against Fayetteville, Man’s defense held the Pirates to just 58 yards of total offense for the game and only four first downs, while pitching a shutout. Both of Fayetteville’s touchdowns came on fumble returns.
The Billies’ offense, however, was able to kick it in gear with 472 yards of total offense, including 448 on the ground, led by Braden Griffin and Tracy Jones, who each went over the 100-yard mark and scored two touchdowns. Noah Maynard just missed the century mark with 95 yards rushing and one score.
Man scored 21 unanswered points in the first period of play and never looked back.
Griffin finished with 111 yards rushing on 18 carries and two scores. Jones had four rushes for 101 yards and two touchdowns. Neil Mullins had 12 totes for 55 yards and two scores. Quarterback John Thomas Keffer was 2-for-9 in the air for 24 yards but had six of his passes dropped — two of which would have went for touchdowns.
Arms said it was good to get back on track last week.
“It was big for us. It gave us another win and it was our homecoming,” Arms said. “The kids really played well, so it was good for us. We felt like we blocked well and ran well last week. It was a good effort for us. Hopefully we can continue that for the rest of the season. It could be a big difference for us if we can.”
Chapmanville was led last week by senior running back DaShawn Alexander, who had 108 yards on 11 carries and scored on a 63-yard touchdown.
Brandon White was 4-for-6 passing for 52 yards and a touchdown. Max Spradlin was 2-for-3 passing for 74 yards.
Dustin Smith added 23 rushes for 70 yards. Wide receiver Brady Cox had three catches for 77 yards.
Matt Chapman had seven tackles, two assists and an interception on defense. Austin Watts had six solos, four assists and a sack. Matthew Dingess had six tackles and one assist for the Tigers.
Arms said Chapmanville has a good backfield with the rotation of Smith, Alexander and Wiley.
“We’ve had some trouble with some good backs this season,” Arms said. “They have good speed and quickness.”
Following the game with Chapmanville, Man closes out the season with three games — Oct. 12 at home against Roane County, Oct. 19 at Pocahontas County and Oct. 26 at home against Tug Valley. The Billies’ bye week is Nov. 2 in the final week of the season, which means Man will close out the season early unless it is able to reach the Class A playoffs.
“I really don’t think it makes much difference where your bye week is. We’ve had it both ways,” Arms said. “After you start to play you get into a routine with practices. I think I prefer to play 10 straight games myself.”
2011: Chapmanville 61, Man 14
2010: Chapmanville 55, Man 26
2009: Chapmanville 16, Man 14
2008: Chapmanville 21, Man 3
2007: Chapmanville 40, Man 12
2006: Chapmanville 8, Man 0
2005: Man 28, Chapmanville 14
2004: Man 48, Chapmanville 20
2003: Man 20, Chapmanville 12
2002: Man 12, Chapmanville 8
2001: Man 13, Chapmanville 12
2000: Man 38, Chapmanville 19