Chapmanville visits Pioneers with postseason implications
WAYNE — When the Chapmanville High School football team hits the field Friday at Wayne it will be the “Battle of the 18s.”
The Tigers and Pioneers both have 4-2 records and are tied for 18th in Class AA this week in the WVSSAC ratings, with 6.67 ratings points each.
At the moment, both are out of the playoff picture, as the top 16 teams in the state in each of the three classifications qualify for the playoffs beginning Nov. 9. Therefore, the outcome of the game is likely to impact both teams’ postseason chances.
The game is part of the weekly Friday Night Rivals series televised and streamed on WCHS-TV. Chapmanville head coach Rob Dial said the broadcast is great for the program, but hopes it’s not a distraction.
“When you play a game with playoff implications, such as this one, distractions are easy to creep in,” Dial said. “Our players have done a really good job up until this point of minimizing the distractions and staying focused.”
Wayne is known for its punishing ground game, but it has taken more to the air this season with the passing of quarterback Gunner Harmon.
That could be another headache for the Tigers.
“Years ago, when you were on defense you would say, ‘Wayne’s going to run with the ball 90 percent of the time,’” Dial said. “This season that’s not true. They have diversified to the point that they are pretty much a 50/50 run/pass team.
“The last two or three weeks their quarterback has been very accurate with the football,” Dial added. “He also gets rid of the football very quickly. He’s not going to sit back there and hold the ball to give us a chance to put pressure on him or even get a sack on him. He’s throwing it on time. They also have some very good receivers who are quick and athletic.
“Wayne is a very well-coached football team. (Head coach) Tommy Harmon always plays to the strengths of his team every year.”
Dial said it’s imperative that Chapmanville’s secondary plays well.
CHAPMANVILLE (4-2) at WAYNE (4-2)
TV: Suddenlink (Comcast 133, Suddenlink 125, Time Warner 305).