The authority for sports coverage in the Fredericksburg region.
Prep Roundup: Chancellor earns a share of district title
BY TAFT COGHILL JR.
Chancellor football fans stormed their home field.
The Chargers’ players jumped up and down and shouted “BDC,” short for Battlefield District Champions.
And near midfield there was veteran coach Bob Oliver and his wife, Jan, in tears as they shared an embrace just four days after he was released from the hospital following a five-night stay.
The Chargers had just defeated previously unbeaten James Monroe 20–17 in the regular season finale to earn a share of the district championship.
Chancellor (8–2, 6–1 Battlefield) is the No. 2 seed in the Region I, Division 4 playoffs and will have a bye next week. The Yellow Jackets (9–1, 6–1) are the second seed in Region I, Division 3. They have a bye, as well.
“When you beat a quality football team and your team plays hard all night,” Oliver said, “it’s awesome.”
Chancellor senior running back Dominic Kaopua carried the load with 182 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 39 carries.
His 2-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter gave the Chargers a 20–14 lead.
Kaopua rushed for 121 of his yards in the second half as JM’s defense began to wear down.
“The offensive line did a heck of a job,” Kaopua said. “They were wearing that D–line out and had me one-on-one with the linebackers. I took it from there.”
The Yellow Jackets, who led 14–6 at halftime, had a chance to take the lead in the fourth quarter when they drove to the Chancellor 10-yard line.
But after Chargers linebacker Ethan Upperco sacked JM quarterback Jay Scroggins for a 6-yard loss, the Yellow Jackets had to settle for David Dit’s 33-yard field goal.
“It means everything,” Upperco said of the victory. “My dad [Don] used to be the principal at JM. I had to show him I’m not a [wimp].”
The Yellow Jackets didn’t lack toughness either.
Scroggins, who began the season third on the depth chart, passed for 116 yards and two touchdowns, both in the first half.
He connected with Jarmal Bevels on a 1-yard scoring pass to the right corner of the end zone as the first-half clock expired.
Yellow Jackets coach Rich Serbay said he chose to go for the touchdown instead of the field goal because he wasn’t sure how many scoring opportunities his team would get.
“Chancellor’s got a good defense,” Serbay said. “So you’ve got to take every opportunity you can.”
Serbay was left to lament a lost opportunity early in the third quarter.
His team was ahead 14–6 when linebacker Eric Nelson intercepted a pass from Chancellor quarterback Darrin Jackson. Nelson returned the interception 18 yards to the Chargers’ 15-yard line.
But on third down from the 14, the ball was snapped over Scroggins’ head for a loss of 26 yards, forcing a JM punt.
“We had a chance to put a dagger in their heart,” Serbay said.
Instead, the Yellow Jackets continued to make miscues.
They were called for roughing the punter on the next Chancellor possession to keep a drive alive. Kaopua capped the 93-yard march with an 8-yard touchdown run.
“We thought we could pound on JM and that was the game plan,” Oliver said. “You look out there at all that skill and what are you going to do? You aren’t going to throw the football around. We were going to go right at ’em.”
After Kaopua’s second touchdown run, Chris Purvis hauled in a pass from Jackson for the two-point conversion to tie the game at 14 with 2:20 left in the third quarter.
The Chargers’ defense and running game took over the rest of the way, and JM was left frustrated.
Serbay said the loss cost the Yellow Jackets a chance at the No. 1 seed in the region, but that’s not why he was upset following the game.
“The sting is because we didn’t want to share [the district title] with them,” Serbay said. “That’s point blank, simple as heck. But they acted like they won the Super Bowl, so it was a big game for them.”
The victory helped Chancellor gain at least a share of the district title for the third time in the past five years. It also snapped the Yellow Jackets’ 13-game district winning streak, and handed them just their second loss in the past 24 games.
Serbay said the defeat could benefit his team in the long run as it gears up for the postseason.
And after avenging a 49–7 loss to JM a season ago, the Chargers are hoping to make a run, too.
“This feels like the way it should be,” Oliver said. “At Chancellor, we always try to be in contention. Now it’s just a matter of doing something about it.”
James Monroe 7 7 0 3 — 17
Chancellor 0 6 8 6 — 20
JM-B. Johnson 5-yard pass from J. Scroggins (D. Dit kick)
Ch-D. Kaopua 6-yard run (kick failed)
JM-J. Bevels 1-yard pass from J. Scroggins (D. Dit kick)
Ch-D. Kaopua 8-yard run (C. Purvis from D. Jackson)
Ch-D. Kaopua 2-yard run (kick failed)
JM-D. Dit 33-yard field goal
First downs11 17
Rushing yardage27-(-8) 47-197
Passing yardage116 77
Rushing: Chancellor—Dominic Kaopua 39-182, 3 TDs; Jamal Jones 2-6; Nate Garrette 3-4; team team 1-3; Darrin Jackson 2-2. James Monroe—Sean Bates 10-9; Tye Johnson 1-3; Eric Nelson 2-2; Darryl Dyson 1-1; Jay Scroggins 12-3; team 1-(-26).
Passing: Chancellor—Darrin Jackson 6-16-1 77. James Monroe—Jay Scroggins 11-19-0 116, 2 TDs.
Receiving: Chancellor—Tyler Morton 2-40; Chris Holmes 2-27; Brandon Cavalier 1-10; DeAndre Miller 1-(-2). James Monroe—Matt Forjan 2-42; Darryl Dyson 2-27; She’Mar Ellis 3-26; Bryan Johnson 3-20, TD; Jarmal Bevels 1-1, TD.
Taft Coghill Jr.: 540/374-5526