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Chesapeake won’t put OVC trophy away yet

Better put a hold on putting the Ohio Valley Conference football championship trophy in the Chesapeake trophy case.

Thursday, October 19, 2000

Better put a hold on putting the Ohio Valley Conference football championship trophy in the Chesapeake trophy case.

At least until Friday night.

Chesapeake’s win over South Point last week left the Panthers as the only unbeaten team in the league at 2-0. But the league title hasn’t been settled just yet.

Entering the picture Friday will be the Coal Grove Hornets, 1-1 in the OVC. If the Hornets should pull off the upset, that would leave Chesapeake, Coal Grove, and South Point all at 2-1 in the league.

Coal Grove (3-4) suffered a 12-0 loss last week at Fairland. Davis was surprised at the outcome, but he doesn’t expect a repeat performance.

"The kids in this league always get up and play hard in league games," Panthers coach Phil Davis said. "It just shows any time two teams play in the league, you better not be flat. I can’t see Coal Grove playing that bad two weeks in a row.

"And (Coal Grove) had some things happen to them. They had a kickoff return for a touchdown called back, and they drove down and fumble at the four. We’re playing for the jug and they have only one league loss."

Hornets coach Nick Miller is very much aware of the importance of the game for his team.

"We can’t win (the league) if we don’t win this game. Two losses won’t win the league," Miller said. "our kids have watched Chesapeake the last two or three years do the things we always did, like win the league, make the playoffs, and keep the traveling trophy (the Little Brown Jug)."

In order for either team to get the needed win, the defenses must contend with two of the premier running backs in the conference: Chesapeake’s Josh Waugh and Coal Grove’s Jason Adams.

Waugh has rushed for 793 yards, scored 96 points, caught 13 passes for 198 yards, had five interceptions and returned two fumbles for touchdowns.

Fullback Zeb Best has 349 yards and quarterback Luke Beach has 423 yards rushing and four touchdowns.

Adams, despite missing two games, had 483 yards rushing and leads the team with six touchdowns. Andy Bryant has rushed for 256 yards.

"We have to find a way to control Adams. We have to control their ground game," said Davis.

Miller said Chesapeake is not the same team that it was last year, but he is still impressed with players like Waugh, Best, Beach, and the interior line.

"They lost some kids, but they’re still a good team," Miller said. "We have to control the ball and keep their offense off the field. We can’t let them jump out on us early. We need to stay close, dictate the tempo, and give ourselves a chance to win."

Since each team can run the ball, the difference may be the passing game where Beach has completed 19-of-38 for 317 yards, an interception, and five touchdowns. Besides Waugh, Josh Dillon has eight receptions for 171 yards and five touchdowns.

Coal Grove is under 100 yards passing for the season, but Davis doesn’t think the Panthers can rule out any passing attack.

"It’s hard to get tendencies on high school teams because everyone is always making changes. It might not be a lot, but we always try to get a new wrinkle on offense and defense. And we think in terms of what (the opponent) can do. It won’t be easy," said Davis.