Chesapeake unravels in red zone
CHESAPEAKE, Ohio -- The Chesapeake Panthers played every game on the road in 2012 while a new home stadium was built.
The Panthers opened their facility Friday night against Oak Hill, but the team still found itself in hostile territory, at least where the red zone is concerned.
The Panthers were 0-for-6 in red zone trips, including 0-for-3 inside the 10-yard line, Friday night, allowing Oak Hill to nurse a 6-0 lead for three quarters, then put the game away in the fourth for a 14-0 win.
The Oaks scored on a 19-yard pass from Garrin Stiltner to Elijah Starr at 8:20 in the first quarter to go up by six. The extra point kick went wide right.
On the ensuing kickoff, Chesapeake's Casey McComas returned the ball 44 yards to put the Panthers on the Oaks' 30-yard-line.
After a brief drive, Chesapeake found itself gambling on a fourth-and-six on Oak Hill's 16.
Quarterback Austin Stone found Andrew Saunders in the end zone, but the touchdown was negated by a 15-yard chop block penalty. Chesapeake would try and convert a fourth-and-21, but an incompletion resulted in a turnover on downs.
That scenario would play itself out time and again for the Panthers all night.
But the Panthers finally looked destined to tie or take the lead in the fourth quarter when defensive lineman Austin Carpenter stripped Oak Hill running back Willy Harris of the ball, and returned the fumble 22 yards to the Oak Hill 2-yard-line.
On first and goal, the Panthers were stuffed for no gain. On the next play, a false start backed Chesapeake up five yards. On the play after that, the Panthers were nailed for another 10 yards on a holding penalty.
The drive eventually resulted in a turnover on downs after Chesapeake was unable to convert on a fourth-and-goal from the 20-yard-line.
"There's nothing else to say except that we lost our poise and didn't execute when we got down there," Panthers head coach Andy Clark said. "You can't expect to win football games like that. You're not going to beat anybody playing like that."
Not being able to punch the ball in from the two after the defense had made a big play was especially frustrating.
"The defense played their butts off tonight," Clark said. "We held them under 200 yards, which is a pretty good night, except when you're under 200 yards, too."
After turning the ball over on downs with more than six minutes to go, Harris broke a 42-yard run for the Oaks to get into Panthers territory.
The Oaks were able to work the clock until facing a fourth-and-goal from the Chesapeake five.
Oak Hill went for it, and Stiltner looked to be stopped in the backfield, but escaped and scampered into the end zone with 1:19 left on the clock. Harris churned up the middle for a two-point conversion to set the score at 14-0.
Stone threw an interception on Chesapeake's next drive, and the Oaks took a couple of knees to run the clock out.
"We have to get back to work," Clark said. "We know we can play better than we did tonight and we put ourselves in situations to have a chance to win, we just did ourselves in. Those are fixable things, to me. But we have to get to work and fix them right now, because things don't get any easier from here."
Chesapeake next hosts defending back-to-back West Virginia Class AA state champs Wayne on Sept. 6.
OAK HILL 6 0 0 8 -- 14
CHESAPEAKE 0 0 0 0 -- 0
O -- Starr 19 pass from Stiltner (Kick failed).
O -- Stiltner 5 run (Harris run).
First downs 11 8
Total yards 200 154
Rushes-Yards 29-160 39-110
Comp-Att-Int 6-9-1 6-14-2
Passing Yards 69 44
Penalties-Yds 2-15 9-65
Fumbles-Lost 3-1 4-0
RUSHING -- Oak Hill: Harris 16-98, Gilland 8-26, Stiltner 2-5, Coy, 1-2. Chesapeake: Meadows 17-76, Brammer, 12-27, Stone 10-7.
PASSING -- Oak Hill: Stiltner 6-9-1, 69 yards, TD. Chesapeake: Stone 6-14-2, 44 yards.
RECEIVING -- Oak Hill: Starr 1-19, TD, Fisher 3-39, C. Burdine 1-7, L. Burdine 1-4. Chesapeake: Saunders 5-41, Meadows 1-3.