The Lord Botetourt football team bounced back from a season-opening loss by going bear huntin’ last week. In Blacksburg, the Cavaliers brought home a big prize as they manhandled the host Bruins, 42-6, on a rare Thursday night game.
“I saw several bright spots, but we’re still looking for an identity,” said Cavalier coach Jamie Harless. “We’re still trying to figure a lot of things out.”
The Cavaliers led 35-0 and had the clock running continuously before Blacksburg scored in the fourth quarter. LB led 7-0 after the first quarter on a 17 yard TD pass from KJ Bratton to Caleb Lang. It was 21-0 at the half following a 15 yard TD pass from Bratton to Blake Lovern and a 97-yard interception return for a TD by Joey Isaacs.
The Cavaliers put it away in the third quarter, as Bratton scored on runs of 28 and 43 yards. Lang ran back a kickoff 88 yards for the final score after Blacksburg had returned a fumble 73 yards for their only score of the game.
Bratton finished with 236 yards of offense. He ran for 158 yards and two scores and was three for four passing, with two of the completions going for touchdowns. Jakari Nicely had 56 yards rushing on nine carries.
Hayden Martin had two receptions for LB for 44 yards, while Lang, Lovern, and Gunner Givens had one catch each. Lang had 200 return yards, with 131 on two kickoff returns and 69 more on two punt returns. Bryson Harvey was perfect on six extra point kicks.
With the win, the Cavaliers evened their record at 1-1, and they’ll have their hands full this week with Riverheads coming to town for a 7 pm Friday night game. The Gladiators are 2-0 after a 55-14 opening night win over Waynesboro and a 49-0 pasting of Parry McCluer last week.
Riverheads is a Class 1 school, the smallest in the state of Virginia. However, they’re a very good one. They’ve won the last five Class 1 state championships and have appeared in six straight championship games. After losing to Galax, 7-6, in the 2015 final, they won five in a row with championship game wins over Sussex Central, Chilhowie two years in a row, then Galax the past two seasons, including a 65-29 win in the abbreviated spring season.
The Gladiators come to Daleville riding a 38 game winning streak dating back to the third week of 2018. They’re truly one of the top programs in the state, with a 144-14 overall record in the past 12 seasons and two games this fall. The last time they lost more than two games in a season was 2008. Robert Castro has been the coach at Riverheads since 1996.
“They do a great job of figuring out what they need to do to be successful,” said Harless. “They run double tight ends and double wings and come right at you. Some people think it’s boring, but they win.”
It will be interesting to see how a successful Class 1 team does against a Class 3 team that has been very successful under Harless.
“I know we’ll get their best shot,” said Harless. “We get everyone’s best shot.”