The common assumption is Chamberlain is down.
Three regular season losses for the first time in three years; an offense alternating between sputter and fantastic. Anything people can latch onto in order to "prove" the Chiefs weaknesses they're more than willing to roll out during conversation.
Not so fast.
According to wide receiver Brandon Williams, the Chiefs aren't down, they're just different.
They're young but experienced. They have a quarterback that not only throws the ball but catches it too. And they seem to have a surplus of players they can plug in at any time.
Chamberlain used all of those attributes Friday, clinching second place in Class 5A, District 8 and an automatic playoff berth.
The Chiefs (6-3) will travel to play Durant, the Class 5A, District 7 winner Friday night in the region quarterfinal. It will be Chamberlain's fifth consecutive playoff appearance, though it didn't come easily.
Wharton (4-5) held the Chiefs in check throughout the first half, taking a 7-6 halftime lead thanks in large part to the rushing of Kejuan Young, who had 92 of his 129 yards in the first two quarters.
Chamberlain tried everything it could to get something started offensively, including having quarterback Sidney Bryant split out and catch three passes for 26 yards. Bryant also rushed 14 times for 98 yards and was back to return kicks.
In the second half, coach Billy Turner switched to mainly a running game, keeping the ball in the hands of Jordan Wilson, who was making his debut at running back along with Bryant and Richard Jacobs.
Those three combined for 179 yards rushing in the second half alone, providing just enough ball control for the Chiefs to eliminate the Wildcats from playoff contention.
"They came out and ran the ball down our throats and kept us off balance in the second half," Wharton coach Melvin Cunningham said.
"We missed some tackles in the second half and when that happens you get big plays. I really felt like we had a great opportunity to win this game."
The win was good, Williams said, but now comes the opportunity for this Chamberlain team to create its own story, something he said he's looking forward to.
"I'm not saying we're down, we're just a different breed," he said.
"The first thing is that we're in the playoffs. Now we plan on making our mark."