CHAPMANVILLE — Last week’s 40-32 upset loss at home to Tolsia has put the Chapmanville Regional High School football team’s backs against the wall.
It’s not a very envious situation at all for the Tigers, which are in danger of seeing its streaks of six straight winning seasons and five straight playoff appearances come to an end.
Facing a 4-4 overall record, Chapmanville must find a way to upset Class AA No. 1-ranked Wayne (8-0) on Friday night at home in order to stay in the playoff race.
Then next week, Chapmanville would need an upset victory on the road at Class AAA Point Pleasant.
It’s a very difficult task to say the least.
However, the Tigers are still clinging to hope as Chapmanville is scheduled to host the Wayne Poineers on Friday night.
Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. at Tiger Stadium.
Wayne, the defending Class AA state champions and top-ranked team in both the state and the Cardinal Conference, has simply steamrolled its opponents all season.
The Pioneers pounded on the Poca Dots last week, 56-22, after cruising to a 43-7 halftime edge and then letting the reserves play. It’s a scenario Wayne has repeated all season long.
Wayne’s offensive production has been unmatched this fall as the Pioneers have scored 42 points or better in all — repeat all — of their games.
The biggest explosion was on Sept. 14 when the Pioneers went to Ravenswood and blitzed the Red Devils 84-42 to break a school record for most points scored in a single game.
No, they weren’t playing basketball and it wasn’t an Arena Football League game between the Arizona Rattlers and the Tampa Bay Storm.
The closest anyone has come to Wayne this season was Scott, which was blown out by 41 points, 47-6, on Oct. 5 in Madison.
Wayne opened the season with a 58-12 victory over Chesapeake, Ohio, then crushed Herbert Hoover, 46-7. After the Ravenswood smackdown, the Pioneers then blanked Sissonville (42-0), spanked Mingo Central (53-14) and beat the Skyhawks. On Oct. 12, county rival Tolsia was another victim as the Rebels were whitewashed, 49-6, by Wayne in a rematch of the 2006 Class AA state championship game which was won by the Pioneers.
So are the Tigers — or anyone for that matter maybe outside of Bridgeport, or maybe Bluefield or Keyser — ready to take on the Pioneers in West Virginia’s Double-A class?
Chapmanville, which has lost all eight meetings with Wayne dating back to 2000, will get a shot at the Pioneers this week.
“I’ve seen a lot of things on both ends of the spectrum,” Chapmanville coach George Barker said. “Wayne is coming to our place and that could make a difference. We just have to prepare like we would for anybody else. If they are 40 points better than us they are 40 points better than us. We’ll see what we get. This is our senior’s last game here on this field. I think they will give us a little special effort. Maybe we’ll have some magic and things will go our way.”
Most of the games between Chapmanville and Wayne have been blowouts, including last year’s 52-26 victory by the Pioneers at Wayne. The Tigers trailed 46-0 at halftime in last year’s matchup and ended up outscoring the Pioneers 26-6 in the second half to make the final score more respectable.
But there have been some close calls as well.
In 2010, Chapmanville lost at home only 16-14 to Wayne and had a chance to win it with a 30-yard field goal attempt in the game’s final minute. The Tigers, though, had a bad snap back to the holder and the kicker was never able to get a legitimate boot at the cross bar.
In the 2008 meeting, also at Chapmanville, the Pioneers didn’t exactly run wild on the Tigers as Wayne escaped Tiger Stadium with a narrow 25-13 victory in a game where Chapmanville had its chances and things were much closer than the final 12-point margin indicated.
Back in 2006 in the “Mud Bowl” at Chapmanville, the Pioneers blanked the Tigers 26-0 on a rainy, wet and muddy night at Tiger Stadium.
Wayne was led in last week’s Poca game by senior running back Brandon Spurlock, who ran for 201 yards on just nine carries and scored three touchdowns.
Dwight Blankenship also helped carry the load with a 53-yard interception return for a touchdown.
Once again, the Pioneers were able to break the 50-point mark.
“With a lot of (the starters) you hold your breath when you’re up 50 points you don’t want to get anybody hurt, but we’ve also got the responsibility of making our team as good as we can,” Wayne coach Tom Harmon told the Huntington Herald Dispatch. “We walk that tight wire at times.”
The Pioneers were also led last week by Mason Hodge, who scored a pair of touchdowns on runs of 15 and 55 in his only two touches.
Wayne, currently riding a state-best 17-game winning streak, ended up with 546 yards of total offense. Fours were wild for the Pioneers which had 44 rushes for exactly 444 yards against the Dots. Poca ended up rushing for 263 yards — much of it against Wayne reserve players in the second half. A total of 14 different players carried the football for Wayne.
Chapmanville is coming off the shootout loss to Tolsia last week at home.
Last 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.
Senior quarterback Brandon White put the Tigers on top with a 34-yard touchdown run to make it 7-0. Senior running back Dustin Smith added a 2-yard TD run, a 10-yard score and a 70-yard interception return for a third touchdown, which made it a two-point game at the half. DaShawn Alexander added a 1-yard TD run for the Tigers.
Coach Barker indicated last week that this might be his last season as the Chapmanville football coach. Barker, who was hired to be the school’s new athletic director a couple of months ago and replaced Danny Godby, returned to his alma mater Chapmanville in 2004 after coaching several years at Logan High School.
Under Barker, the Tigers have turned it around, enjoying six straight winning seasons since 2006, winning four playoff games and advancing to the Class AA state semifinals last year before falling short of Wheeling with a 33-13 setback at Point Pleasant in the Final Four round.
Barker, 60, said he hasn’t yet made up his mind.
“I’ll make a decision after the season,” Barker said. “I’m at the age now where that is always a possibility. I’ll just wait and see what happens. I’m kind of leaning that direction in making a change. I’ll be making a formal announcement if I do.”
Series since 2000:
2011: Wayne 52, Chapmanville 26
2010: Wayne 16, Chapmanville 14
2009: Wayne 42, Chapmanville 17
2008: Wayne 25, Chapmanville 13
2007: Wayne 41, Chapmanville 17
2006: Wayne 26, Chapmanville 0
2005: Wayne 55, Chapmanville 22
2004: Wayne 44, Chapmanville 20
Cardinal Conference Football Standings
TEAM W-L CONF
Wayne…………………. 8-0 6-0
Scott…………………….. 7-1 5-1
Mingo Central………….. 4-4 1-1
Sissonville……………… 4-4 2-3
Chapmanville………… 4-4 2-3
Tolsia…………………… 4-5 3-4
Poca……………………. 2-6 0-4
Herbert Hoover………… 1-8 1-5
Friday, Oct. 19 results:
Tolsia 40, Chapmanville 32
Logan 28, Mingo Central 16
Wayne 56, Poca 22
Sissonville 72, Sherman 12
Roane County 40, Herbert Hoover 14
Scott — Bye week
Friday, Oct. 26 games:
Wayne at Chapmanville, 7:30 p.m.
Robert C. Byrd at Scott, 7:30 p.m.
Mingo Central at Nicholas County, 7:30 p.m.
Sissonville at Poca, 7:30 p.m.
Tolsia — Open date
Herbert Hoover — Open date