Panthers take command in OVC race

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 29, 2004

CHESAPEAKE - Coach Phil Davis didn't want his Chesapeake Panthers

to play any kid games with the Coal Grove Hornets. They were too dangerous.

Davis was concerned that the Hornets' time-consuming style of play wouldn't allow his team enough time to score, so the Panthers didn't play the keep-away game and went on to post a key 48-13 Ohio Valley Conference win Friday night over Coal Grove.

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Chesapeake is now 6-2 overall and leads the league at 3-0. Coal Grove fell to 5-3 and 2-1.

"It's a great win. I was scared to death because I knew they could take the ball and hide from you. We hadn't been in a real physical game with someone running right at you since Symmes Valley," Davis said. "The kids responded well."

By avoiding Coal Grove's hide-and-seek offense, the Panthers racked up 448 total yards with the balance Davis wanted from his team. Quarterback Caleb McComas was 8 of 10 for 238 yards and two touchdowns while the running game generated 210 yards led by Kersten Harris with 57 yards on five attempts.

The defense limited Coal Grove to 131 yards on the ground as Justin Hyland finished below his average of carries and yards with 18 attempts for 106 yards. Eric Davidson was 3 of 9 passing for 89 yards and a score.

"I was pleased with our execution on offense, and our defense played really well," David said. "Except for one run, we shut them down on every run they had. The defense did exactly what we wanted them to do."

Chesapeake took a 7-0 lead on a 3-yard run by Jackson Caynor with 8:34 left in the first quarter. Cody Methax kicked the first of six conversions.

Keith Marcum had a 5-yard touchdown run just before the end of the quarter and the lead was 14-0.

Coal Grove went to the air to cut the deficit in half.

Davidson hit Brian Massie on a 44-yard touchdown pass. Nick Bazell kicked the point after and it was 14-7 with 2:30 in the half.

But Chesapeake put together a quick scoring drive. McComas dropped back in shotgun formation and picked out Jeff Thornburg in the five-wide formation for a 14-yard scoring strike with one second on the clock. Methax's kick put the lead at 21-7.

"Their score at the half was big. Taking it in on fourth down was big," Hornets coach Dave Lucas said.

The Panthers used an 8-yard touchdown run by Harris and a 1-yard plunge by Mark Roby to stretch their lead to 35-7 after three quarters. McComas hit Dustin O'Brien with a 42-yard fade route early in the fourth quarter to put the game out of reach.

"Our kids made some great catches, Thornburg in particular. McComas threw the ball pretty well and he put the ball where only we could catch it," Davis said.

Hyland had a 4-yard TD run for the Hornets second score and Chesapeake reserve Terry Brown ran 47 yards for a touchdown to cap the scoring.

The win was not only big for the Panthers as they seek a fifth OVC title in the past six seasons, but it provided a big boost toward a postseason playoff spot. Chesapeake plays at Rock Hill next Friday and finishes at home with River Valley.

"There are still two games to go. I saw where Rock Hill got 40 against Fairland. That's impressive," Davis said."We needed the game for playoff points, too."

Coal Grove0706-13


First Quarter

Ch - Jackson Caynor 3 run (Cody Methax kick) 8:34

Ch - Keith Marcum 5 run (Cody Methax kick)


Second Quarter

CG - Brian Massie 44 pass from Eric Davidson (Nick Bazell kick) 2:30

Ch - Jeff Thornburg 14 pass from Caleb McComas (Cody Methax kick)


Third Quarter

Ch - Kersten Harris 8 run (Cody Methax kick) 6:56

Ch - Mark Roby 1 run (Cody Methax kick) 2:03

Fourth Quarter

Ch - Dustin O'Brien 42 pass from Caleb McComas (Cody Methax kick)


CG - Justin Hyland 4 run (run failed) 10:45

Ch - Terry Brown 47 run (pass failed) 2:43



First downs614


Passing yards89238

Total yards220448






Individual Leaders

RUSHING - Coal Grove: Justin Hyland 18-106, Brian Massie 4-9, Tyler Sexton 1-1, Justin Allen 2-7, B.J. Harbolt 2-8; Chesapeake: Caleb McComas 4-minus 14, Mark Roby 7-34, Keith Marcum 10-41, Jackson Caynor 5-28, Kersten Harris 5-57, Cody Methax 2-7, Tyler Brown 3-47.

PASSING - Coal Grove: Eric Davidson 3-9-2

89; Chesapeake: Caleb McComas 8-10-1


RECEIVING - Coal Grove: Brian Massie 1-44, Gary Moore 1-28, Patrick Roush 1-17; Chesapeake: Jeff Thornburg 4-126, Dustin O'Brien 4-105, Jackson Caynor 1-7.