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Chesy sets sights on unbeaten season

The last time the Chesapeake Panthers enjoyed a 10-0 season was 1961.

Wednesday, October 27, 1999

The last time the Chesapeake Panthers enjoyed a 10-0 season was 1961. As of now, the Panthers are one win away from matching that perfection and wrapping up their second straight outright Ohio Valley Conference title.

"The kids are excited about it. We’ve been looking at that for a while," Chesapeake coach Phil Davis said. "We told the kids at the beginning of the year that you can’t win them all unless you win the first one. Now we’re down to the last game and we told them you can’t go 10-0 if you don’t win the last one."

Standing in the Panthers way of a perfect season are the Coal Grove Hornets, a team that has dominated Chesapeake in the past. But Coal Grove is only 1-8 this season, breaking into the win column last week with a 31-0 victory over the Fairland Dragons.

The two teams play annually for the Little Brown Jug trophy. Coal Grove has controlled the Jug most seasons, but Chesapeake won the award last season when it beat the Hornets 21-6.

"This is a pretty big game for us," said Davis. "We finally got the jug back last year and I don’t know if we’ve ever defended it."

The Panthers haven’t had a close game all season, outscoring their opponents 405-69. Quarterback Andy Clark, wide receiver Robby Isaacs, running backs Josh Waugh and Jeremy Estep, and tight end Matt White are the key elements in the offense.

But Hornets coach Nick Miller said the Panthers are more than just speedy skilled players.

"Their line is good enough to create seams for their backs. It’s underrated. And once they get a seam, their skilled people just make big plays," said Miller.

"But they do have an explosive offense. They’ve just got so many people who can hurt you. We know we will have to play an almost flawless game. We have to slow the game down and not get into a shooting match."

While Chesapeake (9-0, 3-0) utilizes an array of weapons, the Hornets (1-8,1-2) have built their offense around junior halfback Jason Adams who has carried 193 times for 1,153 yards (6.0 yards per carry) and has scored 10 touchdowns.

"He’s a good back," said Davis. "He’s the main guy on offense, but he still gets the job done."

Even though Chesapeake is a lopsided favorite, Davis remains concerned about having to play the Hornets.

"They have history on their side," said Davis. "They should be up. They’re coming off a good week. Nothing would be better for them than knocking us off. We can’t get caught up looking ahead. They have nothing to lose."

Chesapeake also needs a win to keep their hopes alive of a postseason home playoff game. The Panthers are second this week in Region 19 of Division V, but they could be passed the final week by Johnstown Northridge, Monroe Central , Lucasville Valley, and/or Baltimore Liberty Union. If the Panthers fall to fifth or sixth place, they’ll play the fourth or third place team, probably at Liberty Union or Lucasville Valley.