Chapin pulled off a miracle on Friday at Memorial Stadium, rallying from a 19-3 deficit with 12 minutes left to score 19 unanswered points en route to a 22-19 win.
Not only did the verdict ruin Dreher’s homecoming celebration, it secured a home date for the Eagles (4-5, 3-1) in the first round of the state playoffs as the No. 2 seed in Region 4-3A.
The Blue Devils (7-2, 2-2) let a showdown for the region championship with A.C. Flora next week slip away.
“I’m just about speechless,” Chapin coach Justin Gentry said. “I have to give the kids all the credit because they stayed the course when there were not a lot of positive things happening. We’ve been a second-half team all season, but this was something else.”
Gentry made a switch at quarterback at halftime, replacing senior Barrett Charpia with younger brother Matt Charpia. Both Charpia boys responded to the challenge. Matt showed poise under pressure and threw for 107 yards and one touchdown. Barrett had four catches for 100 yards and two scores.
Barrett hauled in a 30-yard pass from his brother on the second play of the fourth quarter, and grabbed a 31-yard scoring heave by fellow receiver Alex Young with 9:04 left.
“Getting that first touchdown changed the momentum around completely,” Barrett Charpia said. “It got us going on offense and defense. I had no problem with going to receiver. It’s where I’d rather play anyway, and Matt has the stronger arm.”
Chapin thought it had squandered its last chance after failing to cash in an interception by Carter White. The Eagles turned the ball over on downs at midfield with 2:35 left. Dreher, however, botched a punt snap with a loss of 11 yards, giving the ball back to Chapin at the Blue Devils’ 28 with 1:06 on the clock.
The Charpia brothers hooked up one last time for a 26-yard gain on third-and-10. Two players later, fullback Robie Lopez powered in from a yard out with 33 seconds remaining.
Dreher’s desperation pass into the end zone on the last play fell incomplete.
“We’ve been living on the edge for a couple of weeks because of self-inflicted wounds and it caught up with us tonight,” Dreher coach Josh Stepp said. “We’ll find out what kind of character we have when we get back to work on Monday.”
Hakim Frazier was in line to be the player of the game for his efforts in the first three quarters. The senior had one touchdown run, one touchdown pass and one scoring catch before things went awry.
The Blue Devils will make the playoff cut, but are relegated to an opener on the road as a third or fourth seed.
C – FG Zach McCall 22, 10:35
D – Isaiah Drayton 6 pass from Hakim Frazier (kick failed), 8:07
D – Frazier 1 run (Wesley Mousseau kick), 2:21
D – Frazier 21 pass from Howard Henderson (kick failed), 7:25
C – Barrett 30 pass from Matt Charpia (kick failed), 11:43
C – B. Charpia 31 pass from Alex Young (pass failed). 9:04
C – Robie Lopez 1 run (McCall kick). 0:33