With two of their best players on the sideline, it was “next man up” for Lord Botetourt in last Friday’s football game with Bluefield. The next men up did just fine as LB took a 20-14 win in Bluefield.
LB was already missing standout running back and defender Hunter Rice when the game started, and during the contest quarterback Evan Eller went down with a knee injury. Eller returned after the first time he went down, but after another hit on the knee he finished the game on crutches as James-Ryan Salvi took over fulltime duty at quarterback. Eller’s injury was diagnosed as a bone bruise.
Botetourt junior Kyle Arnholt ended up catching two touchdown passes, one from each quarterback. He opened the scoring with a 35-yard TD reception from Eller in the first quarter, then scored what proved to be the winning touchdown with a 37-yard reception from Salvi in the third quarter. The game was tied at 14-14 at the time.
The second catch was a thing of beauty. The Bluefield defender appeared to have good position on Arnholt, but the 6’3” Cavalier went high and took it right away before racing to the end zone.
“It was an unbelievable catch,” said LB coach Jamie Harless. “He picked it right off his (defender) fingertips, and that took a tremendous amount of concentration. And then he made a great run after the catch. It was a big time play.”
Botetourt was able to negate the Beavers’ celebrated passing attack. Bluefield completed just 15 of 28 passes while LB held the visitors to 54 yards rushing.
“They couldn’t run the ball against us and we neutralized their passing game,” said Harless.
Both Bluefield touchdowns came on TD passes from Carson Deeb to Jahiem House in the second quarter. That gave the Beavers a 14-7 halftime lead, but LB shut out the Beavers in the second half as Dylan Wade scored on a three-yard run to tie it, setting up Arnholt’s heroics.
Eller finished as LB’s leading rusher despite his early departure, finishing with 70 yards on eight carriers. Wade had 68 yards on 25 carries.
Eller completed both passes he attempted for 10 yards while Salvi was six of 12 for 159. Arnholt had six catches for 106 yards and two TDs. Xavier Stephens had two catches for 10 yards.
With the win the Cavaliers remained undefeated after three games as they prepare to host William Campbell in a Homecoming Game this Friday.