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Chesapeake takes charge in OVC race

SOUTH POINT – Big game.

Saturday, October 14, 2000

SOUTH POINT – Big game. Even bigger win. A lot was at stake Friday night as the Chesapeake Panthers and South Point Pointers met in a key Ohio Valley Conference game.

Chesapeake beat the Pointers 33-12 to take over sole possession of first place in the OVC race, and put themselves back into playoff contention in Region 19 of Division V.

"We played pretty well. Playoff-wise, we felt this was a must. League-wise, you’ve just got to win every week. We felt like this was a really big game for us and our kids approached it that way," Chesapeake coach Phil Davis said.

Chesapeake is now 6-2 overall and 2-0 in the OVC. South Point dropped to 2-1 in the league and 5-3 overall, probably extinguishing any of its postseason playoff hopes.

The tempo of the game was set early when South Point drove deep into Chesapeake territory, but the Panthers defense stiffened at the 3-yard line and forced a field goal attempt. The kick missed, and the Panthers responded with a scoring drive that consumed more than nine minutes of the clock.

The long drive dispelled the notion Chesapeake can only score by using quick-strike plays.

"We’re not the quick-strike offense we were last year. But we took advantage of the guys up front. They did a heck of a job for us," said Davis.

The Panthers coach was referring to the offensive line of center Brian Marshall, guards Noah Phillips and Jesse Ansell, and tackles Jason Ellis and Eric Myers. As a result of the Panthers ball-control, the Pointers had only three possessions the second half and seven for the game.

Josh Waugh had another big all-around game, but also emerging into the spotlight was receiver Josh Dillon who had three touchdown catches.

Waugh’s big game included 115 yards rushing and two touchdowns plus two receptions for 15 yards. Quarterback Luke Beach was 5-of-5 for 83 yards and three touchdowns.

Davis said Dillon’s performance couldn’t have come at a more opportune time.

"We were starting to get some penalties that backed us up and (Dillon’s catches) bailed us out," said Davis. "But we were moving the ball on the ground and the play action hurt them. They had to bring people up to stop the run, and (quarterback) Luke (Beach) put the ball on the money every time."

Waugh’s big game included 115 yards rushing and two touchdowns plus two receptions for 15 yards. Quarterback Luke Beach was 5-of-5 for 83 yards and three touchdowns, all to Dillon who caught three passes for 68 yards.

"Waugh really came up big for us. He had some tough yards for us running the ball. And (linebacker) Zeb (Best) played a great game on defense," said Davis.

After holding the Pointers early, the Panthers drove the length of the field to score as Waugh ran 3 yards. The conversion kick was blocked and it was 7-0.

The Pointers got a touchdown to tie the game on a 1-yard run by D. J. Bryant. The score was set up when quarterback Jarrod Smith hit Bryant with a 59-yard pass play.

Smith was 9-of-14 for 182 yards and a touchdown. He is now just two touchdown passes shy of setting a new school record for a single season.

"We lost containment on the quarterback and he hit a long pass. We said going into the game we couldn’t let him get outside the pocket and buy more time," said Davis.

But the Panthers answered with another touchdown drive capped by Waugh’s 19-yard run.

Just before the half, Chesapeake punched in another score as Beach hit Dillon on a 7-yard pass play and the lead was 19-6 at the break.

"That touchdown was real big, but again we had the ball for a long time. After the first drive, they didn’t run for much," said Davis.

South Point finished with just 60 yards rushing on only 12 carries. Pointers coach Brent Terry said the Panthers ball-control and Waugh were the difference.

"We couldn’t get out there on the field and we had problems stopping them," Terry said. "Waugh’s a good football player. He runs hard and fast. We just couldn’t adjust to their speed."

Chesapeake came out the second half and put the game out of reach with its passing game.

After running the ball down the field, Beach hit Dillon for 35 yards and a touchdown. Waugh added the conversion run for a 27-0 lead.

The same game plan worked on the next drive as the Panthers ran deep into Pointer territory and then Beach hooked up with Dillon for a 26-yard scoring pass.

South Point managed another touchdown when Smith found Adam Workman on a 44-yard touchdown pass.

Chesapeake attempts to clinch as least a share of its third straight OVC title next Friday at home against Coal Grove. South Point has a non-league game at unbeaten and Class AA top-ranked Wayne, W.Va.