Chapin’s march in the Class 4A playoffs will continue.
The Eagles dominated North Myrtle Beach 38-7 on Friday night at Cecil Woolbright Stadium to move to the state semifinals for the first time since 1985. Chapin will host Hartsville, a 35-20 winner over Orangeburg-Wilkinson, next Friday night.
“There aren’t words for it,” Chapin coach Justin Gentry said. “It’s been over 30 years since we’ve been in this spot, and I couldn’t be more proud of this team.”
It was a masterful performance by the Chapin defense against a North Myrtle Beach team that was averaging 37.9 points per game and had not scored less than 23 in any game this season. They limited the Chiefs to 295 total yards and made an early goal-line stand.
Leading 14-0 in the first quarter, the Chiefs (11-2) drove to the Eagles 3-yard line, but came away empty when a fourth down pass fell incomplete in the end zone.
“It was important,” Gentry said. “Our guys came out ready to play. We had a lackadaisical second quarter, but we’re happy the way we played against a well-coached, great football team.”
While the defense was setting the tone, the Chapin offense came out firing early. The Eagles scored twice in the first four minutes – an 8-yard Cooper Bemis run and a wide receiver pass from Kale Rhame to Xzavion Gordon from 46 yards.
Chapin (11-2) finished with 482 yards total offense. Bemis and Trad Beatty alternated at quarterback, and struggled at times in the first half, but combined to throw for 212 yards – 108 by Beatty and 104 by Bemis. Beatty threw for two touchdowns and Bemis ran for one. Beatty added 113 yards rushing.
North Myrtle Beach trailed 21-7 at the half, but received the second-half kickoff. On the third play, Will Kroske snagged a fumble out of the air to set the Eagles up at the Chiefs’ 32-yard line. Four plays later, Case Barber scored from 5 yards with 9:13 remaining in the third quarter.
Xzavion Gordon: The junior wide receiver finished with 103 yards on five catches and two touchdowns – 46 and 8 yards.
Will Kroske: His fumble recovery early in the second half was the dagger in a defensive effort that Gentry called the best since he’s been at Chapin.
31: Number of years since Chapin has advanced to the state semifinals
30: Points scored below the Chiefs’ season average
THEY SAID IT
“We pressed upon our guys that they have to get better. The defense has taken that to heart. That team puts a lot of points on the board, and our kids were up to the challenge.” – Gentry
“It means so much. It’s been over 30 years since we’ve been in this situation. Just the fact that we’re in contention means the world.” – Kroske
“They played well, we played very poorly, simple as that. We did some things uncharacteristic, and we got beat by a very good football team.” – NMB coach Blair Hardin
HOW THEY SCORED
C – Cooper Bemis 6 run (Scott Samson kick) 9:48
C – Xzavion Gordon 46 pass from Kale Rhame (Samson kick) 8:33
NMB – Cullin Mitchell 16 pass from Case McClendon (Andrew Smith kick) 0:00
C – Gordon 8 pass from Trad Beatty (Samson kick) 9:52
C – Case Barber 5 run (Samson kick) 9:13
C – Cole Owens 63 pass from Beatty (Samson kick) 5:40
C – Samson 40 FG 3:51
Rushing: NMB: Kered Glass 16-51, T.J. Gore 11-79, Tyler Gore 2-17, Cason McClendon 3-3. C: Mark Shealy 9-63, Trad Beatty 10-113, Cooper Bemis 6-33, Case Barber 5-21.
Passing: NMB: McClendon 11-31-1-170 C: Bemis 7-20-0-104, Beatty 5-8-0-108, Kale Rhame 1-1-0-46.
Receiving: NMB: Dondre Thompson 5-62, Xavier Clarida 3-41, Class 1-35, Cullin Mitchell 1-16. C: Xzavion Gordon 5-103, Cole Owens 4-110, Will Register 3-35, Kale Rhame 1-10.