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Chapman Takes Control Of Region With 53-34 Win Over Newberry To Remain Top Ranked & Undefeated At 9-0

Chapman Takes Control of Region With 53-34 Win Over Newberry To Remain Top Ranked & Undefeated  

By Billy G. Baker

Publisher

Chapman—Running offensive plays mere seconds after the ball was marked gave Chapman’s (9-0) up-tempo offense advantages, led by HSSR Mr. Football candidate Colton Bailey, as the Panthers defeated region rival Newberry 53-34 Thursday night to take command in their highly competitive region.

“I don’t know who the running backs coach is for the Shrine Bowl but he certainly missed out on these two fine running backs tonight who put on a show,” said Chapman head coach Mark Hodge. “I certainly don’t mind sending him a copy of the game tonight so he can watch them play. They were unbelievable as they put on a show tonight.

“Our kids played super tonight and we were playing against one of the best coaches in the state in Phil Strickland, and the way his kids play with such good character we would play them every week if we could. This was just a great football game.

“We make it hard for defenses because against us teams have to cover the full field and we practice a fast paced game in practice,” said Coach Hodge. “Bailey is a remarkable quarterback and he extends plays with his feet a lot. He mixes up plays and keeps defenses guessing. I wouldn’t trade him for nothing.

“They hit us like we have not been hit all year,” said Coach Hodge. “Staying in front of them all game was a real key for us. This game was really fun to watch. Both teams played with confidence tonight and you could see it in the pre-game warm-ups. Both teams respect each other. I am sure we are going to see them again down the road and we want to earn everything we get.”

Coach Strickland said after the game, “We couldn’t stop them and we wanted to control the football and getting behind like we did we tried some things we were just not capable of doing to get back in the game,” he said. “Abrams had a great game but it is hard to play catch up running seven and eight yards a play once you get down like we did. Last year we had a little better defense and we could kept them in the 20’s last year but you see tonight they scored 53 points.

“What this loss does to us tonight is put us on the road in the second round of the playoffs so we could have a tough row to hoe down the road,” said Coach Strickland. “Chapman has all their skill people back and we just couldn’t stop them. The turning point in the game was when we got down there at the six with a first down and their linebacker creased us and made a great play. If we score from the six and go ahead maybe things would have turned out a little different.”        

The game was a battle between top AAA rated Chapman and number three rated Newberry. The highly anticipated region showdown featured great performances by Chapman running back D.J. Twitty and Newberry running back Amir Abrams. Twitty led the Panthers in rushing with 242 net yards on 26 carries  Abrams kept his team in the game for most of the night with a sterling 306 yard rushing performance on 39 carries including four touchdowns on runs of 30, one, 13, and one yards.

With two opposing all-state running backs negating each other for most of the game, Bailey was the clear difference in the game as he checked off to positive plays and used his feet to gain first downs when Newberry came at him with jail-break pursuit.

Bailey accounted for 318 yards of total offense and six touchdowns. He was 15 of 19 passing for 181 yards including three touchdown passes of 12, 9, and 22 yards. He rushed for 137 yards on 15 carries scoring on runs of two, 14, and three yards.

Chapman raced out to 14-0 lead on their first two possessions of the game. On their opening drive they went 66 yards in just five plays with Twitty scoring on a straight ahead 11 yard run at the 10:31 mark.

Chapman recovered a fumble at the 50 on Newberry’s first play from scrimmage and it took the fast moving Panther offense just four plays to reach pay-dirt on a two yard keeper by Bailey at the 9:37 mark. Jake Cothran made both PAT’s.

On Newberry’s second possession of the game they covered 52 yards in just four plays with Abrams breaking numerous tackles from 30 yards out to make the score 14-7 at the 8:18 mark of the first period, Ulises Benitez added the PAT.

Chapman made it 20-7 at the 5:39 mark of the first capping off a 9 play 80 yard drive with a 12 yard pass to Patrick Phongsat. The PAT failed.

Newberry took the ensuing kick-off and marched 78 yards in 11 plays as Twitty accounted for 48 yards on the drive,  scoring an a 8 yard run with 11;30 left in the second period. Bemitez’s PAT cut the deficit to 20-14.

On the ensuing kick-off all-state defensive back Shaundre Miller nearly broke free for a touchdown being tackled at the Newberry 22 by the last defender standing. Two plays later Bailey zigged-zagged his way into the end zone from 14 yards out at the 10:56 mark to give Chapman a 26-14 lead as the PAT failed.

Newberry came back on their next possession taking over at the 48 and marching 52 yards in four plays with Abrams bulling over to score form 13 yards. The PAT failed and the score was now 26-20 with 9:14 to go in the first half.

The turning point in the game came after Newberry recovered a fumble at the Chapman 33 with 7:31 left in the half. Seven plays later Newberry had a first and goal from the six and they looked poised to take the lead. On first down Abrams lost two yards and on second down a bad exchange resulted in a six yard loss back to the 14. Abrams then caught a pass on third down to the seven but quarterback Tyriq Goodman’s fourth down pass was incomplete in the end zone and Chapman took over on downs with 4:22 left in the half.

The Panthers then went on a 93 yard 11 play drive as Bailey scored on a four yard keeper with 33 seconds left in the half to give Chapman momentum and a 33-20 lead at the half.

The defenses for both team stiffened in the second half but big plays still dominated the game. Newberry took the second half kickoff and marched 70 yards in seven plays culminating in a one yard plunge by Abrams with 8:59 left in the third. The PAT made the score 33-27.

On the Panthers first possession of the second half they went 71 yards in 13 plays with Bailey passing for a touchdown to sophomore Noah Twitty with 5:18 left made the score 39-27 after a failed PAT.

Chapman took over on downs near the end of the third period as they went 76 yards on six plays with the good eye of Bailey catching Twitty all alone in the end zone for a score with 11:04 left in the game and the missed PAT put the Panthers up 45-27.

Newberry came back on their next possession and moved from their own 48 down to the Panther 28 but the drive was stopped when Miller added to his school record interception total with a theft in the end zone.

Newberry got on the board for the final time in the game as Abrams scored from one yard out with 2:52 left capping off a 58 yard 10 play drive.

Chapman scored their final touchdown with 2:00 left in the game on a 53 yard burst by Twitty around the left end and the two point conversion gave Chapman a 53-34 victory.    


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