MAN — A whole lot more will be on the line on Friday night than just bragging rights when Chapmanville and Man play each other in the regular season finale at Chapmanville’s Tiger Stadium.
The county championship is on the line for one in the 7:30 p.m. clash.
Most importantly for Man, the Hillbillies are fighting for a Class AA playoff spot.
After two straight losses to Point Pleasant (7-0) and last week at Tug Valley (20-12) the Billies (7-2) are in need of a win over the Tigers (5-4) to reach the post-season.
It’s real simple.
A win and the Billies are in.
A loss doesn’t necessarily eliminate Man from the postseason but Man would need some help in order to qualify in the competitive Double-A field.
A win and Man finishes anywhere from 11 to 13, more than likely 12, depending on the outcome of other games that could have an impact on bonus points while a loss and some help would place the Hillbillies at 16 possibly, according to Man statistician Bill Lusk.
Anyway you shake it, Man would be traveling for a first-round playoff game.
Just three weeks ago, Man was undefeated at 7-0, ranked as high as No. 5 in the state and hoping to possibly nail down a home playoff game.
Those days are gone, however.
Chapmanville also has a lot of play for with the above mentioned county championship at stake.
Both teams defeated Logan earlier in the season setting up Friday night’s scenario.
Also for the Tigers, a winning season is on the line. Chapmnville would close out at 6-4 with a win over Man. CRHS was 5-5 last year, 6-4 in 2017 and 5-5 in 2016 under head coach Rob Dial.
Man is searching for its first playoff berth since back-to-back Class A appearances in 2014 and 2015.
“There’s plenty of things for us to play for,” Arms said. “It’s some good opportunities for us. We’re also trying to keep a great season going. It would be a lot better for us and for memories in the off-season if we can finish with a win instead of finishing with three straight losses.”
Arms said his team is taking the all or nothing attitude for the game.
“If we lost I don’t know if we’d make the playoffs,” he said. “Double-A is very competitive.”
Coach Dial and the Tigers also know the significance of the game.
“This is the biggest football game in Logan County this season,” Dial said. “The county championship is on the line. That’s something that we value and something that we have importance in. I’m sure Man does as well.”
Last year, all three teams tied for the county title with identical 1-1 marks. Logan beat Man 20-14, but lost to Chapmanville, 26-8. Man then beat Chapmanville 16-14 in the finale.
Prior to that, the Tigers won the previous four county titles. Man last won the county championship in 2004.
Since 2001 when all the county teams started playing each other Chapmanville has eight county titles, Logan has six and Man one. There’s been three ties.
Finishing above .500 would also be big for the Tigers which have played another tough season of Cardinal Conference football.
“For us, a winning season is on the line. If we can get this we’ll have a 6-4 record and would close out with six wins out of the last seven,” Dial said. “With the start that we had and with the way we played in the second half of the season I’m just so proud of our guys. We have to make sure that we go out and give a really great effort against a really good football team.”
Chapmanville is led by senior quarterback Chase Berry. He’s completed 113 of 168 passes on the season for 1,127 yards with 13 touchdowns and three interceptions. He’s also been Chapmanville’s top rusher and has a shot at breaking over 1,000 yards. He’s got 153 carries for 881 yards and eight touchdowns.
“They have an experienced quarterback and he’s been with them a few years,” Arms said of Berry. “He plays well. They’ve got some size. They’ve improved a lot and have won some ballgames. Their talent came around and they started to play better together. Every game is a tough game and this one is a big one for us too. We have to play well.”
Berry received a Division II offer recently from West Virginia State University and has had an all-state type of season.
“Chase is deserving of those accolades,” Dial said. “He’s been one of our main leaders, not just this season, but throughout the course of his career. He’s a very smart and intelligent young man who is very athletic and is a threat with the run or the pass. West Virginia State has recognized that he is capable of playing at the next level at the quarterback position and we are very excited and happy for Chase. He’ll tell you that some of the success that he’s had is due to the players catching the ball and blocking for him.
“We have young kids in this community that look up to him. There’s not a better role model in this school than Chase Berry. We’ve been very blessed and fortunate to have had him on our football team.”
Dial said the Billies have had a good season.
“Man has already had a good season with seven wins,” he said. “They’ve done it with home grown talent. In today’s world of transfers Man doesn’t have anyone who is playing for them that isn’t from the Man school system. They grew up playing in the Midget Leagues up there and coach Tootie Carter has coached them in middle school. This is a good group that coach Arms has and they are playing well.”
Dial said Man runs a program the right way.
“We really have a lot of respect for coach Arms and the Man football program,” he said. “Traditionally, they’ve had a lot of winning seasons and playoff seasons. This year, they are the smallest Double-A football team in the state and here they have a chance to be in the Double-A playoffs.”
Man is led by quarterback Caleb Milton who has completed 48 of 99 passes on the season for 977 yards with eight touchdowns and five interceptions.
The Billies have a very balanced rushing attack. Zack Frye has 487 yards on the season on 61 carries and six touchdowns. Freshman Josh Moody has rushed 53 times for 452 yards and nine touchdowns. Cam Frye has 46 attempts for 377 yards and two scores. Nick Plumley has 200 yards and five TDs and Dylan Morris has another 132 yards and a score.
“They run the ball well and they are very physical,” Dial said. “They are a defense first kind of team and have a ball control type of offense. They are not going to beat themselves. It’s a typical Man football team. They get better throughout the course of the season. Now they’ve had two bumps in the road with the last two games that they’ve played but they are still a good football team. I think that it will be an excellent football game. It may be a little bit cold but if we can play up to our capabilities we can make this a very exciting football game.”
Quentin Moody and Sam Milton are Man’s top receivers. Moody has 12 catches for 364 yards and four TDs on the season, while Milton has 12 grabs for 327 yards and two scores. Cam Frye has 12 grabs as well for 149 yards and a touchdown.
Chapmanville fullback Josh Bumgarner has rushed for 484 yards on 97 carries and six touchdowns.
Waylon Hensley is the Tigers’ top wide receiver with 45 catches for 625 yards and five touchdowns. Freshman Brody Dalton has reeled in 42 catches for 434 yards and three scores. Jacob Mullins has 13 grabs for 120 yards and a touchdown. Jaxson Turner has 23 catches for 110 yards and two touchdowns.
It will be cold on Friday with game time temperatures in the 30s for Chapmanville’s Senior Night contest.
“The big thing is our ability to put the cold and the weather conditions out of our mind and just go play ball,” Arms said.
Chapmanville is coming off a 49-14 loss at home to Mingo Central. The Tigers trailed just 28-14 to the heavily favored Miners at halftime before the high-powered Miner offense kicked it into gear in the second half.
“We had a lot of positives,” Dial said. “We played a lot of young guys. We had a few guys hurt so we had to play a lot of freshmen and sophomores. They got some Friday night reps and they played well in the circumstances that they were in.”
Caleb Whitt is Chapmanville’s leading tackler with 64 stops on the season.
Josh Atwood has 61 total tackles with two fumble recoveries. Bumgarner has 62 tackles, two fumble recoveries and two interceptions.
Turner has 42 tackles, while Evn Plumley has 43 stops, two sacks and a caused fumble.
Alex Freeman has 33 tackles, while Turner Hensley has 25 tackles and three interceptions.
Colby Collins has 47 tackles, a sack and a caused fumble. Nate Walsh has 43 tackles and three sacks. David Peluso has 36 tackles, two fumble recoveries and two picks.
Elijah Stollins has 38 tackles and a sack.
Kicker Xavier Trump is 13 of 16 in extra point kicks. Berry, also the CRHS punter, is averaging 32.8 yards per boot.
Erick Grimmett is Man’s leading tackler with 74 stops and an interception on the season. Zack Frye has 62 tackles, two picks, a sack and a pass breakup. Brock Muncy has 57 tackles, a fumble recovery, a sack and a pick. Sam Milton has 53 tackles, a blocked punt, an interception and 4.5 sacks.
Man went into last week’s action ranked No. 9 in the state. Man leads 29-14-1 over Chapmanville in the all-time series that dates back to 1956.
The Tigers have won four of the last five meetings, including four in a row from 2014-17.
Paul Adkins is the Sports Editor of the Logan Banner. Follow him on Twitter @PAdkinsBanner or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.