Tigers lose 40-32 shootout to Tolsia Rebels
by Jerry Fekete
and Paul Adkins
CHAPMANVILLE — The Tolsia Rebels rolled into Chapmanville’s Tiger Stadium on Friday night and came away with a 40-32 upset win over the Chapmanville Regional High School football team.
The loss dropped Class AA No. 18 Chapmanville to 4-4 overall and 2-3 in the Cardinal Conference.
With two games left against Class AA No. 1-ranked and defending state champion Wayne (8-0) and Class 3A No. 12 Point Pleasant (6-2), the Tigers have a very steep climb to make it to their sixth straight trip to the playoffs.
Tolsia improved to 4-5, 3-4 with the win. It was the first win by the Rebels over the Tigers since 2005. Chapmanville had won the last three meetings since Tolsia rejoined the Cardinal Conference and routed the Rebels the last two times.
Friday night’s contest was a game of two halves in which 66 points were put up on the scoreboard in the first two quarters as Tolsia held a slim 34-32 lead at the intermission.
Only one touchdown was scored in the entire second half as the Rebels’ defense was able to shut down the Tigers the rest of the way.
Chapmanville also killed itself as the Tigers turned the ball over six times.
“We couldn’t make a play when we needed it and made the wrong play in critical times, but we still had our opportunities,” Tigers’ coach George Barker said. Barker indicated that it might be his last season at the Chapmanville helm as he may be retiring.
The Tigers got on the board first on their opening possession, marching 62 yards in just three plays and capped off by a 43-yard touchdown run by quarterback Brandon White. Dustin Conley booted the extra point and the Tigers led 7-0 with 10:57 showing on the first quarter clock.
It didn’t take the Rebels long to answer with a touchdown of their own. The Rebels scored just 55 seconds later at the 10:02 mark on a 55-yard sprint to pay dirt by Dawson Presley. Tyler Schroud kicked the point after to knot the game up at 7-7.
Chapmanville then took the lead back at 13-7 with 5:13 left in the first quarter on a 2-yard TD run by Dustin Smith. The PAT was blocked but the Tigers led 13-7.
The see-saw battle continued as the Rebels regained the lead at 15-13 at the 1:35 mark of the first quarter as southpaw quarterback Dakota Robertson tossed a 34-yard TD strike to Terry Davis and Tolsia then added the conversion with Presley’s run.
The Rebels then capitalized on a Chapmanville fumble and reached the end zone again just 30 seconds later to make it 22-13 on a 22-yard touchdown pass from Robertson to Morgan Williamson. Shroud’s extra point kick was good.
Tolsia’s defense then forced Chapmanville into a three-and-out.
Chapmanville, though, was not able to get the punt off in a special teams disaster as the long snap was high, giving the Rebels the ball at the Tiger 37-yard line.
Only three plays later, Tolsia was across the goal line again as Robertson fired a 20-yard TD pass to Williamson to make it 28-13 after the failed conversion with 9:39 left until halftime.
Chapmanville battled back.
The Tigers went on a 55-yard, 10-play drive, culminating with Smith’s 10-yard touchdown run. The PAT failed but Chapmanville was within 28-19.
Tolsia then kept its high octane offense fueled by driving 80 yards in just six plays as Presley raced in from 4 yards out with 5:22 left until the half. Shroud’s kick was good, giving the Rebels a 34-19 lead.
But once again, the Tigers came roaring back — this time driving 56 yards to pay dirt as DaShawn Alexander plunged in for a 1-yard touchdown with 4:02 to play. The PAT failed as CRHS pulled to within 34-25 in this wild first half of football.
Tolsia got the ball back on its own 15-yard line but later made a critical mistake with just four seconds left as Smith picked off a Robertson pass and took it to the house for a 70-yard touchdown. Conley’s kick was good and the Tigers went into the locker room down just 34-32.
The second half was completely different.
Instead of offensive fireworks it was a defensive struggle as both teams played a scoreless third.
Early in the fourth, the Tigers got the ball at midfield but the Rebels forced Chapmanville into a punt. Conley was able to pin Tolsia on its own 5-yard line after a nice punt.
Chapmanville then forced the Rebels to punt the ball away but a crucial roughing the kicker flag on the Tigers gave Tolsia a first-and-10 at the 35. Chapmanville, though, forced Tolsia into another punt.
The Tigers could do no better on their next possession and had to punt the ball away again as Tolsia took over on its own 49-yard line.
Presley then got the Rebels jump-started with a big 44-yard run to the Tiger 4, setting up the only second half score. Then on next play from scrimmage Presley bulled in for the TD to give the Rebels a 40-32 lead they would not relinquish.
Chapmanville made one last stand, driving all the way to the Tolsia 35, but ended up coughing up the pigskin.
The Rebels, though, could not milk the rest of the time off the clock and had to punt with 2:12 left.
Chapmanville took over again at its own 33 and moved the ball down field thanks to a 25-yard pass to Brady Cox. But four straight incomplete passes turned the ball over to the Rebels, which were able to run the rest of the time down to preserve the victory.
Chapmanville returns to action next week at home against Wayne — a team it has not beaten in decades.
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