Justin Gentry has a good problem to have.
The Chapin football coach has two quarterbacks capable of leading his offense, and he is using them both. The combination of Cooper Bemis and Trad Beatty known as “The Killer Bs” has played a big role for the Eagles down the stretch. They are a win away from the Class 4A lower state championship for the first time since 1985 when they host North Myrtle Beach on Friday.
“Both are playing lights out. Both have keen strengths and they are both good football players,” Gentry said. “It is working for us and both of the players have responded like we wanted them to. I can’t be more proud of the two guys.”
Playing two quarterbacks wasn’t the plan for Chapin when the season began. Beatty was in line to take over for Mr. Football finalist Logan Bailey while Bemis was penciled as the starter at linebacker and would see some time at receiver.
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But Beatty injured his shoulder in the first scrimmage and Bemis was moved to quarterback, a position he played as a freshman. Beatty returned in the second game of the season but reinjured the shoulder two weeks later.
When Beatty returned a month later, Gentry and his coaching staff came up with the plan to play them both. Each quarterback plays two series and then comes out.
Since the move, the Eagles have won six straight games and both QBs have put up big numbers. Last week against Beaufort, Bemis was 17-of-20 passing for 236 yards and two TDs and also rushed for two scores. Beatty was 8-of-15 for 116 yards and two scores.
For the season, Bemis and Beatty have accounted for 36 touchdowns and are close to combining for 3,000 yards passing.
“Wasn’t how the season was planned. I’m thankful of where we are at this point,” Beatty said. “I have all the confidence in Cooper and he feels the same about me. We are supportive of each other like brothers. Cooper and I both understand the role we play. We both want to be the guy, but we are more successful as a team if both of us are in there.”
Beatty and Bemis are the biggest cheerleaders when the other is on the field. And in between possessions, the two quarterbacks are watching film on the sideline and giving each other feedback.
Both quarterbacks present their own match-up problems to opposing defenses. At 6-foot-5 Beatty is the more prototypical passer while Bemis makes more happen outside of the pocket. The duo has shown their mobility with each having a 100-yard rushing game.
“We have our offense clicking right now, whoever is in on offense. That is great to know. Which ever QB is in we are going to put up points,” Bemis said. “It is tough coming out but it is easy when the next QB is going to step up and score points. It’s fun we both have all the confidence in each other.”
Friday’s Midlands games
All Games at
White Knoll at Dutch Fork
Ridge View at at South Aiken
North Myrtle Beach at Chapin
Palmetto at Newberry
Brookland-Cayce at Bluffton
Batesburg- Leesville at Bamberg- Ehrhardt