It will be a bit of a family affair on Friday at The Cage when Chapin travels to take on unbeaten Brookland-Cayce in one of the top football games on the Week 3 Midlands slate.
Veteran quarterback Matt Charpia leads Chapin against the surprising Bearcats of coach Rusty Charpia.
Yes, they are related.
“We’re cousins on my dad’s side,” Matt said. “We see each other from time to time, but not as much as when I was younger and saw him at family reunions and things. But the only thing that matters to me is playing well and winning the game.”
The first Charpia family feud was last season when Matt and his brother Barrett helped the Eagles to a 21-14 win.
Barrett Charpia, Matt’s favorite target last season, has graduated, but the three-year starter has become a more complete quarterback since developing chemistry with a new, more balanced receiving corps.
“Barrett was great because he was the guy who I trusted the most to catch the ball, and he was always in my face to tell me things I had to do even if I didn’t want to hear it,” he said.
“This year, we have a number of electric receivers that pretty much catch anything they can get to. It also helps that the game has slowed down for me through all the repetitions in practice and my time on the field all these years. We’re really confident in our ability to move the ball on offense.”
Charpia is the leading passer in the Midlands in the early going, hitting 41 of 59 throws for 624 yards and five touchdowns with one interception. He also has three scoring runs. Chris White (11-255-1), Alex Young (6-155-2) are his new big-play receivers.
“We really believed that this season was going to be Matt’s time to shine, and he’s delivered so far,” Chapin coach Justin Gentry said. “He’s matured to the point where he is calm enough to survey all the options that are in front of him.”
Charpia had a good showing in a season-opening loss to Batesburg-Leesville, but was off the charts in last week’s upset of Class 3A 10th-ranked Swansea when he connected on 14 of 19 passes for 342 yards and three touchdowns in addition to one scoring run.
Chapin (1-1) must deal with quarterback Zeke Walker and a revamped Brookland-Cayce offense that has produced 123 points and is averaging 388.3 yards per game in three games.
Walker has adapted well to B-C’s new shotgun version of the double wing. The oft injured senior is 21-for-34 passing for 347 yards and five touchdowns and rushed for 109 yards and four scores.
“B-C is more of a run-first team now,” Gentry said. “Walker is maybe the best athlete we’ll face this season. He’s a threat basically until the ball leaves his hand. We had a very close game with them last year, and they are a better, more confidence team now.”