CHAPMANVILLE - After two straight losses to open the season, the Chapmanville Regional High School football team doesn't want to go 0-3.
But it will be a tough task in the Tigers' home opener on Friday night as Chapmanville (0-2 overall and 0-2 in the Cardinal Conference) hosts Winfield (1-1, 1-0) in the annual Chapmanville Hall of Fame Game.
Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. at Chapmanville's Tiger Stadium.
The Tigers are coming off last week's 48-7 loss at No. 5-ranked Poca in which Dots' all-state running back Ethan Payne rushed for 304 yards on just 12 carries and scored five touchdowns. Chapmanville must do better than that this week against a Winfield team which is known for its brand of offense.
The Generals beat Herbert Hoover 28-21 last week in their Cardinal Conference opener. Winfield lost 55-20 at Class AAA Hurricane in the season opener.
It doesn't get any easier for the Tigers.
"We've been in this position before in previous years," Chapmanville coach Rob Dial said. "For us to get ourselves from out behind the 8-ball we have to continue to work and get better. We have to remember that we are still a young team and we are still playing a lot of fresh faces. With each snap and each game we're going to get better as the season goes on. We believe we made some improvements from Week 1 to Week 2. It didn't appear in the score but on film we saw some good things. We played a really good team in Poca last week. They have a great running back and he's as good a player as we will see."
Winfield, coached by Craig Snyder, is seen as a work in progress.
"We are tinkering with different things, trying to see what best fits our personnel and especially our offensive line. We want to make sure we can move the ball effectively," Snyder told the Charleston Gazette-Mail.
The Generals, a 4-6 team last year, are led by quarterback Nick Vance and running back John Covert. Winfield runs a multiple set offense and can use tight formations with misdirection plays or can also spread it out.
Vance, who is one of three captains on the team, has the tools to run a spread offense, after finishing last season with 1,161 yards passing - 525 of which came in Winfield's final game against Mingo Central last season.
However, Vance also brings a rushing threat to a spread offense. His first experience at Winfield came as a wingback before he moved to quarterback last season. Vance rushed for 544 yards last year.
Covert, a bruising type running back at 215 pounds, ran for 1,184 yards last season and reached the end zone 16 times. Covert plays Iron Man and is also a starter at linebacker on the defensive side of the ball.
Winfield, however, has just one starter on the offensive and defensive lines in Kadin Jarrouj.
"They are balanced offensively," Dial said. "And a balanced team and cause you problems because you have to be ready for both the run and the pass. Nick Vance is a very impressive quarterback. He had a good sophomore season prior to getting hurt. Last year he was hurt on and off throughout the course of the season but this year he looks to be 100% healthy. He's a dynamic player and is a very dangerous run/pass threat. Winfield will go wide with four receivers on one snap and then they will be in what they call their Ram set where they will be really tight and do direct snaps to one of two players. Covert is also a very good running back. It's a thundering and lightning pair in the backfield. Winfield is good on both sides of the ball."
Snyder said the Cardinal Conference is very good again this year.
"The coaching in the Cardinal Conference is so good," Snyder said. "You have to stick to what you're good at, but also look at your personnel. There is no week off in conference. To be good and consistent in the Cardinal Conference means bringing your 'A' game every week because if you think you get an easy game in the conference, you're wrong. You just don't."
Waylon Hensley had a big night for Chapmanville last week at Poca, catching nine passes for 154 yards and a touchdown. QB Chase Berry was 13 of 21 passing for 168 yards and one score.
Josh Bumgarner ran with the ball 12 times for 43 yards.
On defense, Caleb Whitt led the way with five tackles and two assists. Bumgarner had five solos and one assist.
Dial said Berry got a bit banged up last week.
"He was able to get back into the game in the second half," Dial said. "He was sort of limited with what he could do. We're going to look to see where he's at this week. We had some bumps and bruises but for the most part we should be fairly healthy. We also hope to get Lance Scott back in the next week or two and that's certainly going to help us on the defensive side of the ball."
Winfield leads 17-3 in the all-time series with Chapmanville but have dropped three out of the last five meetings, including last year's 21-12 setback to the Tigers.
Paul Adkins is the sports editor of the Logan Banner. Follow him on Twitter @PAdkinsBanner or email him at email@example.com.
Chapmanville vs. Winfield Football Series
(Winfield leads 17-3):
2018: Chapmanville 21, Winfield 12
2017: Winfield 50, Chapmanville 19
2016: Winfield 34, Chapmanville 23
2008: Chapmanville 17, Winfield 12
2007: Chapmanville 13, Winfield 10
2003: Winfield 35, Chapmanville 24
2002: Winfield 30, Chapmanville 6
1986: Winfield 23, Chapmanville 21
1975: Winfield 26, Chapmanville 12
1974: Winfield 55, Chapmanville 0
1961: Winfield 33, Chapmanville 0
1960: Winfield 26, Chapmanville 7
1959: Winfield 20, Chapmanville 0
1958: Winfield 41, Chapmanville 19
1957: Winfield 26, Chapmanville 7
1956: Winfield 31, Chapmanville 6
1953: Winfield 40, Chapmanville 12
1952: Winfield 33, Chapmanville 6
1951: Winfield 20, Chapmanville 0
1950: Winfield 26, Chapmanville 6