It was Homecoming in Springwood last weekend and the James River football team did its part with a dominating win over Alleghany on Friday night.
The Knights put 47 points on the board before the Homecoming Queen was crowned, then eased to a 54-7 win over the visiting Mountaineers.
“We played a very complete game,” said River coach Jake Phillips. “We got a good return on the opening kickoff (from Chase Perkey) and just kept rolling.”
While some teams had postponed their games from Friday night due to the Wednesday and Thursday storms, River’s field was in excellent shape.
“It was very good, I was shocked,” said Phillips. “On Thursday we had a pond from the five-yard line to the end zone and there was no way we could have played that day, but on Friday it was good. A little wet, but good. It was the first time we played at home in six weeks and they had put some sand on the field. I think that helped it not turn into mud.”
The field conditions were certainly conducive to the James River offense, as the Knights piled up 281 yards of rushing and 171 passing yards for 452 yards of total offense. Meanwhile, the River defense held Alleghany to just 95 total yards, of which 65 came on a touchdown run that produced the only points for the visitors. River had 17 first downs to three for Alleghany.
This game was over at halftime, as River led 47-7. Four different Knights scored in the first quarter as River Clonch ran a 10-yard TD, Luke Peay had a three-yard run, Coulter Hodges had a two-yard run and Dyllan McAllister ran for a 17-yard score.
In the second quarter, Hodges had two more rushing TDs, of 16 and two yards, sandwiched around a seven-yard run by Clonch as the Knights opened an insurmountable lead by intermission. River scored one TD in the second half, on a 13-yard pass from Hodges to Deacon Paivanas, and then it was a matter of watching the clock run.
Hodges finished with 136 yards rushing and Coulter was also eight for nine passing for 171 yards. Peay rushed for 80 yards and Clonch had 34 yards. Paivanas led the receivers with three catches for 95 yards and Kevin Theimer, Clonch, Daniel Holter, Perkey and McAllister had one catch each.
On defense, Addison McCaleb led River with eight total tackles, followed by Holter and Peay with seven each. Andrew Bridges and McAllister had six each and River had seven tackles for losses, including two by Levi Walker.
With the win the Knights are now 6-1 overall as they head to Radford on Friday for a big Three Rivers District showdown.
THIS WEEK’S GAME
James River at Radford
This Friday the Knights will travel to Radford for a huge Three Rivers District match up against the Bobcats.
Both teams come in at 6-1 and looking to pick up some big points in the Region 2C point rankings. River’s only loss was to Glenvar, the top-ranked team in Region 2C, and Radford’s only loss was to Galax. Radford was second in the rankings coming into this week, as the new standings weren’t out at press time due to games being postponed from last Friday.
River was fifth in the region coming into the week, and the top four teams get first round home games. The Knights can move into one of those spots with a win over Radford.
“This is a huge game for points,” said River coach Jacob Phillips. “The winning team could end up first or second in the region, and our region is stacked.”
Radford has been rolling. The Bobcats last two wins were a 53-20 win over Floyd on October 5 and a 38-0 shutout of Giles on September 28. Radford was off last week, giving the Bobcats two weeks to prepare for River.
“They’re a little undersized, but they fly around the football,” said Phillips. “They want to get the ball to number seven (P.J. Prioleau) and they bank on the big play.”
This should be a good one, with lots of spoils going to the winner.