Chaplin, Titans gallop past Mustangs in Central Piedmont 4-A rout

Published 3:30 pm Saturday, September 23, 2023

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By Jay Spivey

For the Clemmons Courier

What was billed as two 3-1 teams Friday night at Deaton-Thompson Stadium in a Central Piedmont 4-A showdown turned out to be a bust.

Caman Chaplin rushed for 253 yards on nine carries and four touchdowns, all in the first quarter, as West Forsyth pummeled Parkland 56-9.

“The O-line and the wide receivers blocked,” Chaplin said. “They blocked their man, and they were just free. It was me running one-on-one, and I won, so the O-line, wide receivers – they did their job. They blocked the people, and I just did what I did.”

That’s an understatement. On his nine carries, several of them, he was either barely touched or not touched at all.
“They’ve got some athletes over there I was very concerned about,” said Coach Kevin Wallace of West Forsyth (4-1, 2-0). “I like our team. I like what we have. I felt we could do some good things. (I didn’t) like the way we practiced this week, and that concerned me a little bit.

“But we came out, and we did what we’re supposed to. I mean, we’ve got to clean up some things. I mean, there were some issues that we have to clean up for next week (home against Glenn), but I like where we’re at. I like how we played. I like how our kids responded.”

It was a different story from Parkland (3-2, 0-2). Parkland won its first three nonconference games against Lexington, Atkins and Winston-Prep. However, it lost to Glenn last week in its conference opener. And Parkland ran into a buzzsaw in West Forsyth.

“Really good football team.” Coach Derrick Sharpe of Parkland said of West Forsyth. “Coach Wallace does a great job. They’re really big up front, both offensively and defensively. They’re fundamentally sound. They’re probably one of the top programs in the conference this year. They’re a really good football team.”

The Titans finished with 404 yards rushing on 39 carries, and they finished with 474 total yards. The Mustangs finished with 56 yards rushing on 24 carries and 177 yards total after quarterback Rocky Horton finished 11-of-26 passing, a touchdown, and two interceptions for 121 yards.

“I thought we had a couple run schemes that suited (Chaplin) well, that were varied, and that’s how they aligned,” Wallace said. “So, I thought those went big. I’m pretty sure all four of his touchdowns were on the same run scheme.

“They executed well up front. You know, we’ve got a great O-line to go with and complement him.”

It didn’t take long for Chaplin to score. Just 43 seconds into the game he scored on a 66-yard touchdown run. Brian Wyatt added a two-point conversion pass from quarterback Bert Rice to extend the lead to 8-0.

The Mustangs fumbled it on the next possession, and the Titans recovered at the Mustangs’ 29. On the first play, Jordan Stephens caught a 29-yard touchdown pass from Rice to push the lead to 14-0 with 10:57 left in the first quarter, but Rice’s two-point conversion pass failed.

Parkland fumbled again on the next possession, and West Forsyth recovered. West Forsyth capitalized and scored three plays later after Chaplin scored on a 1-yard run with 9:20 left in the first quarter to make it 20-0. Darell Paige added a two-point conversion pass from Rice to push the lead to 22-0.

“Through it all, we stayed together,” Sharpe said. “You know, we weren’t pointing fingers. We made a lot of mistakes, both offensively and defensively. Coming into the game, we had some key players down. We were missing two of our inside linebackers (and) a key defensive lineman. So, we had to play a lot of young kids.

“We knew it was going to be a tough task for us (Friday night). But our kids are tough. They’re resilient. We’ll bounce back off this. West is that program that we’re trying to reach their standard. You know, so I love our guys, and I think we’ll be better because of (Friday night).”

The barrage kept coming after Chaplin broke loose for an 89-yard touchdown run with 7:56 to go in the first quarter, and Kostas Dupuy added the point-after touchdown kick to push the lead to 29-0.

“I just had to be patient as per usual,” Chaplin said. “I had to be a little bit more patient with the front they run, but the O-line picked it, they figured it out, and hey, I just did what I did.”

The Titans watched film on the Mustangs throughout the week, but nobody knew what to expect.

“It’s football,” Chaplin said. “It’s probably one of the hardest sports to know what people are going to do, so we still had to come out here and play our hardest, and we did that.”

The Mustangs finally scored after Francisco Rojas kicked a 32-yard field goal with 2:38 left in the first quarter after a 14-play drive to trim the lead to 29-3.

The Titans scored again with 1:16 left after Chaplin scored his fourth and final touchdown of the night on a 10-yard run to help extend the lead to 36-3. It was also his final rushing attempt of the night.

“We jumped on them early,” Wallace said. “We felt like the longest quarter I’ve ever coached. I’m proud we’re on this side of it.”

Paige added to the lead with a 20-yard touchdown pass from Rice to help extend the lead to 44-3 with 8:56 left in the second quarter.

Rice was 4-of-6 passing for 70 yards.

TJ Fergus scored for the Titans with 7:51 left in the first quarter to help extend the lead to 50-3. However, Ryan Gordon of the Mustangs scored on a 27-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Rocky Horton with 4:49 left in the second quarter to make it 50-9.

Even though a running clock is supposed to start in the second half at any point when a team is up by 42 points or more, both Wallace and Sharpe came to a mutual agreement to start the running clock at the beginning of the third quarter despite the deficit only being 41 points.

“We’re already thin – 28, 30 football players,” Sharpe said. “So, I wanted to save our kids a little bit. Coach Wallace granted us that, and I really appreciate that.”

Rylan Santos scored the final touchdown for the Titans on a 4-yard run with 6:20 to go in the third quarter to make it 56-9.

“We didn’t need to overlook them. We just needed to make our statement. This is our statement year,” Chaplin said. “We need to keep making a statement. That’s it.”