HUNTINGTON — Tradition dictates that football teams improve the most from their first game to their second.
That’s true of Chesapeake’s defense and South Point’s offense. The Panthers and Pointers will try to put all their units together when they meet at 7 p.m. Friday at Alumni Stadium in a battle of teams that have begun the season 0-2 overall and in the Ohio Valley Conference.
Chesapeake opened at Fairland and quickly fell behind 28-0 before rallying within 28-13. The Panthers led 10-7 last week at Rock Hill before succumbing 14-10. South Point opened with a 41-0 loss at Gallia Academy in a game that was stopped before halftime because of lightning. The Pointers lost 31-14 to Portsmouth last week.
South Point features a strong passing game led by quarterback Malik Pegram, who completed 12 of 20 passes for 229 yards and two touchdowns, with two interceptions against Portsmouth. Pegram is 16 for 30 for 293 yards. Pegram’s favorite target is Cody Brandt, who has five catches for 108 yards.
“Brandt is an excellent receiver,” South Point coach Chris Davis said.
The Pointers’ ability to throw could be a concern for Chesapeake, which gave up 201 yards passing and two touchdowns to Fairland.
South Point, though, can’t be considered the favorite by any means. The Pointers haven’t won an OVC game since beating Fairland 32-8 in 2015. That’s a league losing streak of 34 consecutive games.
Chesapeake has played six quarters of strong defense, shutting out Fairland in the second half and giving up 14 points last week. That South Point has rushed for a mere 7 yards in two games bodes well for the Panthers.
Chesapeake coach Todd Knipp said his young secondary is improving behind a solid defensive line and strong set of linebackers.
“As a group, we’re getting better every day,” Knipp said.
Knipp, though, is seeking improvement from the Panthers offense, which rushed for 106 yards on 42 attempts and passed for 45 yards last week. Against Fairland, Chesapeake ran for 143 yards on 42 attempts and passed for 60.