Chapin Outlasts Tough Airport Squad, 29-17, In Regular Season Finale
Eagles Claim At least Share of Region Title, Will Host Playoff Opener
Chapin, SC (James Bowers) - The game got off to an impressive start for the Chapin Eagles. The offense rumbled down the field on its opening possession, capping the march with a 1-yard Kareem Bowers touchdown to go up 7-0. Neither team could find any more points during the opening stanza however, and in the second quarter Airport QB Brandon Caughman found WR Omari Melidorfor a 21 yard score, evening things at 7.
Chapin quickly answered with another touchdown drive, when QB LaRob Gordon found WR Xzavion Gordon from 39 yards out to put the home Eagles back in front 14-7. Airport coughed up the football on its next series, and Sailor Chason added a 29 yard field goal on the resultant Chapin possession to make it a ten-point game, 17-7.
Airport was not deterred and quickly marched up the field, enabling Brandon Caughman to find WR Trevahn Robinson for a 22-yard touchdown, cutting the Chapin lead to 17-14 with only 12 seconds left in the first half.
The second half began with some punt trading, but a nifty Airport drive ended with placekicker Paxton Brooks hitting a 23-yard field goal to tie things at 17. Chapin’s next drive was salvaged by a lengthy Xzavion Gordon reception on third down, and concluded with a 1 yard Kareem Bowers TD run to give the lead back to the Eagles, 23-17. Sailor Chason’s PAT, however, was blocked. It was at this point that Chapin’s defense hunkered down.
Though Airport managed some lengthy drives; including one that went deep into the red zone near the end of the game, they never again scored. Chapin’s offense padded the lead with a 28 yard touchdown from RB Mark Shealy in the 4th quarter to put the score at 29-17. A two-point conversion attempt failed, as LaRob Gordon’s pass was deflected.
After Chapin forced a turnover on downs with less than a minute left, the Eagles offense closed their night in victory formation. It was the final regular season home football game for Chapin’s senior players.
“Overall, it was a tough win over a good program," Eagles Coach Justin Gentry said. “The defense struggled a little bit with Airport’s passing game, but we’ve got a week to go back to the drawing board and prepare for the playoffs."
Gentry was complimentary of Xzavian Gordon, who had 7 receptions for 142 yards, leading the Eagles. RB Mark Shealy had 12 carries for 78 yards and a touchdown, and the Chapin running game also profited from Kareem Bowers’ 58 yards and touchdown.
QB LaRob Gordon completed 12 of his 20 passes for 213 yards and a touchdown. Kirk Burnett’s Eagles put up a very tough fight. QB Brandon Caughman was 24/37 passing for 340 yards and two touchdowns. The receivers were the other stars of Airport’s effort. Trevhan Robinson had 138 yards and a touchdown on six receptions. Nanders Lawrence caught six passes for 72 yards. Omari Melidor caught only two passes, but had 49 yards and a touchdown for Airport.
Both teams will take part in the first round of AAAA playoffs on November 3. They will learn their opponents during the week. Chapin will host their playoff opener, while Airport will be the visitor in their first postseason game.