CHAPMANVILLE — Scott High School missed a field goal with less than two minutes in the game and Chapmanville squeaked out a Cardinal Conference win over their county line foe and rival Skyhawks at Tiger Stadium on Friday, 14-13, in the annual CRHS Homecoming Game.
The Tigers and Skyhawks have played one of the longest running (consistent) rivalries in the state, perhaps only eclipsed by the Hatchet Game which pits Ravenswood against Jackson County foe Ripley. The Tigers and Skyhawks go back to 1953 with the series now knotted at 33-33-1.
Chapmanville blew out Scott last year, 48-14 but 2019 would be no easy task for the Chapmanville Tigers, as Scott led for three-and-a-half quarters.
“Look, I’m going to tell you this,” said Tigers coach Rob Dial. “We knew they were going to do some good things and they are a very physical team which is a nod to their coaching staff. We knew this was going to be a fight and we had to slug it out tonight. I think regardless of where your allegiance is, this was a fantastic high school football game.”
Scott opened up the scoring on their first drive as quarterback/receiver/running back Caleb Hughes led the Skyhawks on a methodical drive, highlighted by a textbook 19-yard pass and catch to Caleb Dingess. Scott coughed up the ball in the red zone but Hughes alertly recovered inside th 10-yard line, setting up Ian Gillispie for a 22-yard field goal and Scott led 3-0.
On Chapmanville’s first drive, a Skyhawk sack and a tackle for a loss. Tiger quarterback Chase Berry turned what could have been a 15-yard loss on the sack into a 6-yard setback with an athletic move to avoid traffic on the play.
On Scott’s next drive, another 13-yard Hughes to Dingess connection set up another field goal attempt from Gillispie. Chapmanville’s senior linebacker Josh Bumgarner foiled the effort when he put a mit on the kick at the line of scrimmage as the opening framed wound down. In the second quarter, Hughes galloped to the weak side on a keeper, setting up a first-and-goal for the Skyhawks. With 9:05 to go in the opening half, Dingess plowed into the end zone on an off-tackle play good for a 3-yard TD. Gillispie added the extra point and Scott was in control of the game at 10-0.
Chapmanville came roaring back on their very next drive on the legs of Berry and a 41-yard toss to Waylon Hensley with 6:01 to go in the half.
Two downs later, Berry plowed into the end zone on a short keeper and Xavier Trump chipped in the extra point and Scott still led 10-7 at intermission.
Scott would return to the the third frame without Hughes, as he was sidelined with a knee injury when his leg collided with a Tiger helmet.
“He (Hughes) is dynamic and explosive and when you lose a kid like that you’d better be prepared for plan B,” said Scott Head Coach Shane Griffith. “I felt that juniors Isaac Doss and Michel Clay together did a good job of remaining poised and leading out offense.”
With 4:50 to go in the third quarter, Chapmanville killed a Skyhawk drive when they recovered a Scott fumble on their own 19. Chapmanville in turn, coughed up the ball again near midfield setting Scott up for a short drive led by the legs of Dingess and tough blocking from fullback Dane Messer, creating a pathway for backs including Jeff McCoy.
Hensley played a key role for Chapmanville once again when he picked off a Scott pass in the end zone with 1:25 to go in the third frame. Hensley went up over Skyhawk receivers to nab the attempt.
“This was an old school brawl,” said Griffith after the game. “For people who enjoy smash mouth football, I’m sure this game was one they won’t forget.”
Scott went up 13-7 with 3:40 left in the fourth thanks to a 26-yard field goal from Gillispie.
Chapmanville then put together a drive that was aided by a personal foul from the Skyhawks at midfield when Berry was slung to the ground after the whistle, setting the quarterback up for the play of the game.
From the 17-yard line, Berry scampered to the strong side of the Skyhawk defense and at the 9-yard line, split two defenders and busted through a wall of tacklers at the goal line to hit paydirt. Trump added the extra point to put the Tigers up, 14-13.
Scott had one last chance, which resulted in a field goal attempt that proved tricky on the hold and was barely wide left.
Chapmanville, coming off last week’s 48-25 win at Nitro, are 2-3 overall and 2-3 in the Cardinal Conference. Scott, idle last week, is 0-4, 0-3.
“We feel like we’re gaining some momentum and we look to continue that,” added Dial. “Scott deserved to come out of here without a loss but we deserved to win too and its a shame that it came down to one of us having to lose and I mean that.”
Dial talked about his coaching staff and some halftime adjustments they made defensively.
“We have a good staff here and we made some minor adjustments as they were moving the ball on us early and they came out with a quality game plan and they got after us up front but credit our couching staff but most of all our players for getting physical and leaving it all out on the field tonight.”
Dial spoke about the touchdown run from his quarterback.
“That was pure heart,” he said. “Berry willed himself into the end zone and I’m very proud of his effort on that play. That was special to watch, as a coach.”
Both teams will continue their conference schedule as Chapmanville will travel to Herbert Hoover and Scott will hit the road for Wayne on Oct. 4.
Note: Scott High statistics were not available before print deadline.