Coal Grove crushes Chesapeake, takes OVC control
COAL GROVE, Ohio -- Coal Grove gained the inside track to a second consecutive Ohio Valley Conference football title on Friday.
The Coal Grove offense didn't let the Chesapeake defense off the field in the first half, then made the Panthers pay for every mistake they made in the second, as the Hornets defeated their rival, 46-14.
Coal Grove, 5-3 overall, is 4-0 atop the OVC. Chesapeake slipped to 4-5 overall and 4-1 in the conference.
"I thought it was a great team effort -- a great effort by our defense," Coal Grove coach Dave Lucas said. "Chesapeake is a good offensive team, and our defense shut them down."
Chesapeake converted a mere three first downs and manufactured only 60 yards in the first half, while Coal Grove chewed up clock and turf.
The Panthers looked as though they might jump to an early advantage, sending a high squib on the opening kickoff that the Hornets didn't handle on the rain-soaked turf at LeMaster Stadium. The Panthers proceeded to move the ball down to the Coal Grove 23, but then went four and out, allowing the Hornets to work a bruising, three yards and a splash of rain drive that was capped with quarterback Alex Bare hitting Sean Paulus for a 16-yard score. A two-point run put the Hornets up 8-0 with 53 seconds remaining in the first quarter.
That score stood until halftime, and it again appeared the Panthers might have some momentum as Bare was picked off throwing for the end zone on the final play of the second quarter.
But Chesapeake fumbled on its opening possession of the third quarter, and the Panthers were on their way to a meltdown.
The Hornets converted that turnover into a touchdown, then Bare picked off Chesapeake quarterback Caleb Lindsey on the next possession, taking the ball 45 yards for another score.
Bare suffered a leg injury on the return, and was replaced by Jesse Rigsby, who tossed two touchdown passes to Conor Markins, both on fourth downs, before the night was done.
"That didn't surprise me," Lucas said. "It probably surprised a few people, but not me. That kid is a good player."
Lucas said Bare suffered a bruise, and was held out of the rest of the game as a precaution.
Perhaps the game's defining moment came when Chesapeake failed to punch the ball in from the 1-yard line and fumbled to the Hornets on fourth-and-goal early in the fourth quarter.
"That was our defense stepping up and playing the way we like them to play," Lucas said.
The Hornets next play South Point, and will claim the OVC title with a win. Chesapeake closes its season next Friday at Rock Hill.
CHESAPEAKE 0 0 8 6 -- 14
COAL GROVE 8 0 14 24 -- 46
CG -- Paulus 16 pass from Bare (Murphy run)
CG -- Hogsten 3 run (run failed)
CG -- Bare 45 interception return (Estep pass from Bare)
C -- Jacob Collins 53 run (Jones run)
CG -- Markins 10 pass from Rigsby (Hogsten run)
CG -- Markins 11 pass from Rigsby (Hogsten run)
C -- Thompson 14 run (run failed)
CG - Estep 4 run (Murphy run)
Total yards 175 274
First downs 7 19
Rushes-yards 22-175 56-315
Comp-Att-Int 0-5-1 4-5-1
Passing yards 0 47
Penalties-Yds 4-38 5-35
Fumbles-Lost 3-3 1-0
RUSHING -- CHES: Collins, 6-86, Jones, 9-63, Thompson, 2-16, Clagg, 3-4, Lindsey, 2-4; Walters, 2-6. CG: Hogsten, 19-98, TD; Estep, 14-50, TD; Gunther, 9-56; Bare, 12-44; Murphy, 4-20.
PASSING -- CHES: Lindsey 0-4-1; Jones 0-1-0. CG: Bare 2-3-1, 26 yards; Rigsby, 2-2-0, 21 yards.
RECEIVING -- CG: Markins, 2-21, Paulus, 1-16, Murphy, 1-10.