Revenge is best served on a roll, and with chips.
The Lord Botetourt football team is back on a roll, and the Cavaliers got a big helping of revenge last Friday night with a 26-22 win over the Bruins in Blacksburg, the team that knocked them out of the Group 3A playoffs last season. The Bruins beat LB in Daleville in the first round of the playoffs, 56-34, and went on to win the state championship.
That loss has been simmering in Daleville since last November, and the Cavaliers went to Blacksburg with a chip on their shoulder last Friday night. They left it there.
“That chip is gone,” said LB coach Jamie Harless. “We should have beat them last year, that was what was so upsetting. I knew we were going to win Friday night. We went down there expecting to win.”
Most of the scoring was in the first half. LB took a 7-0 lead when Preston Martin ran for a 15-yard TD. Blacksburg answered and converted a two-pointer for an 8-7 lead but LB’s Hunter Rice bulled his way for a one yard run and a 14-8 advantage. Trey Rice kicked both extra points.
The Bruins retook the lead, 15-14 on a 38-yard TD pass from Grant Johnston to Cole Beck. LB answered with a 10-yard run by Evan Eller, who came in at quarterback after Martin was injured. Johnston then hit Tiquest Terry for a 53-yard hookup and the Bruins held a 22-21 lead after a wild first half.
The second half would be much different. Botetourt’s defense hunkered down and held the Bruins scoreless after intermission. Meanwhile, the defense also was responsible for the go-ahead points. Blacksburg was called for a holding penalty in the end zone, resulting in a safety and two points for LB to give the Cavaliers a 23-22 lead.
“It wasn’t a hold, it was a tackle,” said Harless. “Noah may have killed the quarterback without that hold.”
Botetourt’s Noah Overstreet was bearing down on Johnston when the hold occurred. It was the turning point of the game as the Cavs took a lead in the fourth they would not relinquish, shutting out the Bruins in the second half. Trey Rice kicked a 32-yard field goal for some insurance and a final score of 26-22.
“That game erased a lot of things we’ve been dealing with,” said Harless. “We played Botetourt football. We lined up and ran the ball and the whole defense played well. We held Beck to 59 yards on 18 carries.”
The Cavaliers finished with 313 yards on the ground, including 169 yards on 37 carries by Hunter Rice. Eller had 72 yards on 18 carries, Martin had 50 on four carries and Ethan Clower had 22 yards on five attempts.
Martin completed two of three passes for 92 yards, hitting Jake Dewease once for a big 71-yard gain and Clower once for 21. Eller did not attempt a pass after coming in at quarterback.
With the win LB stays undefeated at 2-0 and will look to make it three in a row this week at home against Western Albemarle.
THIS WEEK’S GAME
This Friday the Cavaliers will be back home to take on Western Albemarle. The Warriors are 1-0 after defeating Broadway in their opener. They had a bye last week.
Western Albemarle is a Group 3A school in the Jefferson District. The Warriors were 4-6 in the regular season last year but made the 3A playoffs, where they were hammered by Staunton River, 87-40.
“They’re very athletic, similar to Blacksburg but not quite as fast,” said LB coach Jamie Harless. “They could win six to eight games this year.”
The Warriors run the spread with some triple option. They’re coached by Ed Redmond.
“He’s a good coach and as fine a man as you’ll see,” said Harless.
Meanwhile, the Cavaliers will be looking to go to 3-0 on the season. Quarterback Preston Martin was knocked out of the game last week but Harless expects him to return. If not, Evan Eller played well in relief against Blacksburg last week.
Look for LB to go 3-0 with a win Friday.