Botetourt football team finishes regular season unbeaten for first time in 58 years

The Lord Botetourt football team completed an undefeated season with a 38-14 win over William Fleming in Daleville last Friday night. With the win the Cavaliers open the Virginia High School League Region 3D playoffs as the No. 1 seed this week, hosting William Byrd on Friday night.

Last week’s win left LB a perfect 10-0 on the year. The last time Lord Botetourt went undefeated for an entire football season was in just the third year of the school, in 1961. John David, who coached the Cavaliers for their first eight years of existence, led the team to a 10-0 record as LB had seven shutouts and allowed just 20 points all year while scoring 284.

Wins that season included a 32-0 win over the William Fleming junior varsity and a 20-0 win over the Virginia School for the Deaf and Blind. Granted it wasn’t as challenging as the schedule LB played this year, but it did include a 12-0 win over James River. The schedule got tougher in future years and LB failed to win a single game in either the 1965 or ’66 seasons.

Botetourt is now 74-22 in the eight seasons Jamie Harless has been coach and the Cavaliers are looking to add five more wins as they open the playoff season this Friday against Byrd. Both teams are members of the Blue Ridge District, and LB also captured the BRD crown with a 5-0 record against district teams, polishing off Fleming to complete the job.

“Jamar (Fleming coach Lovelace) has done a heck of a job over there,” said Harless. “In the past they didn’t seem to be able to maintain their composure, but this year’s team was different. These Fleming kids fought for four quarters and played hard until the end.”

The outcome was never in doubt as LB held a 31-0 lead at the half. Botetourt opened the scoring with a field goal by Terran Baker, followed by an 80-yard interception return by Kyle Arnholt for a 10-0 first quarter lead. Hunter Rice had rushing touchdowns of 49, three and seven yards in the second quarter alone as LB blew the game open. Hunter had a fourth TD on a nine-yard run the fourth quarter as he finished with 239 rushing yards on 25 carries, an average of just under 10 yards per attempt. Dylan Wade had eight carries for 47 yards.

Botetourt was four for 11 passing for 38 yards, as James-Ryan Salvi was three for nine and Rice completed one of two passing attempts. Arnholt had two receptions for 22 yards.

The Cavaliers will now turn their attention to the playoffs as the top seed in Region 3D.

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