The James River football team fell to 0-3 against Three Rivers District competition when the Knights dropped a 42-14 game to Alleghany last Friday in Low Moor.
The Knights got off to a great start, as they scored on their first possession for the third game in a row. This time Coulter Hodges ran 60 yards for the score and River had an early 6-0 lead, as a two-point conversion attempt failed.
Alleghany came right and put a long drive together to take the lead, kicking the extra point. The Knights’ defense had trouble getting off the field.
“They had two third-and-longs and two fourth downs and we couldn’t stop them,” said River coach Jake Phillips. “We had them fourth and 14 and got called for a personal foul on a facemask penalty. That was tough.”
Alleghany increased the lead early in the second quarter but River answered with a 22- yard Hodges to River Clonch touchdown pass, but again the conversion attempt failed. The Mountaineers made it 20-12 and had the ball with under five minutes to go, but Dylan McAllister had an interception on the Alleghany 25-yard line for the Knights and they had a chance to tie or at least make it close by the half. However, the Knights couldn’t get it in and Alleghany led 20-12 at the half.
The Mountaineers scored on their first possession of the second half, and won going away. Alleghany scored 22 third quarter points and River managed on a safety.
“It seems like the breaks aren’t going our way,” said Phillips. “But that’s no excuse. You have to create your own breaks.”
River finished with 147 rushing yards with Hodges picking up 119 on 17 carries. Coulter was 12 for 23 passing for 108 yards. Clonch caught seven for 71 yards, Michael Taylor had two catches and Darrius Cheatwood, Michael Hays and Daniel Holter had one reception each.
On defense Holter had 13 total tackles, followed by Luke Peay with a dozen, Hays with eight and Logan Williamson with seven.
Now 2-5, the Knights will try to turn things around Friday night with a home game against Radford.
THIS WEEK’S GAME/RADFORD AT JR
The James River football team will try to snap a four-game losing streak and pick up their first district win of the season when they host Radford in Springwood Friday night.
Radford comes in at 1-6 and the Bobcats are coming off their bye week. They’re led by running back Elijah Duncan and utility man P.J. Prioleau, who is the son of former Virginia Tech and NFL player Pierson Prioleau.
“They have some very good athletes,” said River coach Jake Phillips. “They’re not very big but they’re quick and they play hard.”
The Bobcats won’t have a big size advantage over James River, which is unusual.
“They’re the only team we’ll play all year who we match up pretty well with in size,” said Phillips. “We’ll have as much size as they do, and that’s unusual.”
River and Radford are tied for 11th in the Region 2C rankings with exactly the same rating at 13.57143. The loser this week will likely have no chance of making the playoffs but the winner will retain some hope. River will finish with Floyd County, the fifth ranked team, and Carroll County, who is a 4A school, so the Knights would have a chance to pick up some points if they can win out.
KEY TO THE GAME
“We need to match their intensity and make more big play,” said Phillips