Chancellor head coach Jeff Drugatz insists he's spent his time coaching two different teams this season.
One of those squads turned in an uneven performance in a 48-31 loss to James Monroe two weeks ago that eliminated it from Region 4B playoff contention.
The other one rolled to three consecutive wins during the middle of the campaign and pushed unbeaten King George to the brink in a narrow 19-14 defeat.
Much to Drugatz's delight, the latter of the two showed up for much of Friday night's regular-season finale against Eastern View.
Senior quarterback Trevin Edwards passed for 179 yards and a touchdown and rushed for 174 yards and two more scores, leading the host Chargers to a 37-22 victory over the Cyclones.
The win means Chancellor (4-2) will finish the year with a winning record for the first time since 2016. Meanwhile, Eastern View (3-3) wrapped up its worst campaign since 2012, when it went 4-6.
The Chargers will visit Brooke Point next Friday in a postseason bowl game as part of the Virginia High School League's "Championships +1" format for the current athletic year. The bowl game clause allows teams that don't qualify for the playoffs to schedule one final contest with another non-qualifier, and it was put in place due to the length of the season being only 60% of what it typically would be due to the COVID-10 pandemic.
"I hate to say it, but I've got two teams here sometimes," Drugatz said. "Sometimes we lack focus, just like we did in our loss to JM. Fortunately, we were able to get a spark early on tonight and that carried us the rest of the way."
Chancellor needed a spark after the Cyclones scored touchdowns on each of their first two possessions, taking a 14-0 lead with less than five minutes elapsed in the game.
Enter Edwards, a four-year starter for the Chargers. He capped a seven-play, 63-yard drive with a 15-yard scoring run to cut it to 14-7 with 4:22 remaining in the first quarter, giving his team a much-needed shot of adrenaline.
On Chancellor's next possession, he marched the Chargers from their own 10-yard line to the Eastern View 10, setting up a 27-yard field goal by Baylor Gallagher that made it 14-10 less than a minute into the second period. The biggest play of the march came when he connected with younger brother Brycen Edwards on a 62-yard pass to the Cyclones' 14.
After Eastern View's Raq Lawson lost a fumble on the ensuing drive, Trevin Edwards raced 37 yards for the go-ahead score, putting the hosts ahead 16-14 midway through the stanza and opening the floodgates.
"We didn't have a good practice [Thursday]," Trevin Edwards said. "That carried over into the first few minutes of the game, but I was determined to get us going one way or another."
The Edwards-to-Edwards connection would strike again with 1:11 to go in the first half, a 13-yard touchdown that sent Chancellor to intermission with a 23-14 advantage.
"We usually have at least one connection per game," Trevin said of his on-field relationship with Brycen, a junior. "I love throwing to him."
Trevin finished 11-for-18 passing, while Brycen hauled in three receptions for 93 yards and also contributed a 1-yard scoring plunge that gave the Chargers a 37-14 edge midway through the fourth quarter.
Chancellor's other touchdown came courtesy of a 51-yard scamper by Aydin Woolfolk in the third period. The sophomore tailback took a handoff on sweep off right tackle before cutting back across the field to the left sideline and outracing multiple Eastern View defenders to the pylon.
Woolfolk had 97 yards rushing on 10 carries.
While the Chargers won't be in next week's regional playoffs, Drugatz said he was proud of how they finished Friday's contest—and their season.
"They're just a hard-working group of kids that never gave up on each other, even after losing that game two weeks ago," he remarked. "I'm proud of all of them, and I look forward to coaching this group one more time next week."
Lawson led the Cyclones with 135 yards and a score on 23 attempts. The junior, who is normally a tailback but started at quarterback on Friday night, also threw a 43-yard touchdown pass to senior Josh Logan on Eastern View's second play from scrimmage that provided the visitors with a quick 7-0 lead just over a minute into the contest.
The Cyclones' second score came on a 3-yard dive by senior Mikey Keen with 7:09 remaining in the opening frame.
Eastern View went quiet after that, only finding the end zone again on Lawson's 9-yard dash with 14.7 seconds left in the game.
"You can't get up by two scores on somebody like we did and then let them score 37 unanswered points on you," said Cyclones head coach Greg Hatfield, whose squad lost its last three contests following a 3-0 start. "We'll learn from this though, and before you know it August will be here and we'll be ready for a new season."
EV—Josh Logan 43 pass from Raq Lawson (Greg Bradley kick).
EV—Mikey Keen 3 run (Bradley kick).
Ch—Trevin Edwards 15 run (Baylor Gallagher kick).
Ch—Gallagher 27 field goal.
Ch—Trevin Edwards 37 run (kick blocked).
Ch—Brycen Edwards 13 pass from Trevin Edwards (Gallagher kick).
Ch—Aydin Woolfolk 51 run (Gallagher kick).
Ch—Brycen Edwards 1 run (Gallagher kick).
EV—Lawson 9 run (Lawson run).
RUSHING: Eastern View—Raq Lawson 23-135, TD; Mikey Keen 10-47, TD; Jayden Williams 3-14; Josh Logan 2-13; Caden Huseby 1-10; Team 1-6. Chancellor—Trevin Edwards 17-174, 2 TDs; Aydin Woolfolk 10-97, TD; Brycen Edwards 5-19, TD; Team 1-(-2).
PASSING: Eastern View—Raq Lawson 7-16-0, 93 yards, TD; Caden Huseby 0-1-0. Chancellor—Trevin Edwards 11-18-0, 179 yards, TD.
RECEIVING: Eastern View—Josh Logan 4-78, TD; Daniel Taylor 2-8; Kevin Berg 1-7. Chancellor—Brycen Edwards 3-93, TD; Quan Johnson 3-39; Kodi Cochran 2-20; Jarod Washington 1-10; Tyler Maddox 1-9; Michael Matthews Canty 1-8.