The Lord Botetourt football team was able to “survive and advance” last Friday as the Cavaliers held off a scrappy William Byrd football team. The Cavaliers won 28-21 in Daleville.
“They have a vastly improved football team,” said LB coach Jamie Harless, who has owned the Terriers in recent years. “They’ll win several more games and make some noise in the playoffs. They have some tough kids, as usual.”
Byrd took the lead in the first quarter on a 13-yard run by freshman DeShannon Reed, but the Cavs were back on top by halftime as Jakari Nicely finished off drives with a touchdown run of 17 yards and a 15-yard TD pass to Andrew Gilbert. Byrd tied the game in the third period on an 11-yard TD run by quarterback Israel Hairston and that’s how stood after three quarters as the Terriers took advantage of some LB miscues.
“We gave them the ball inside the 20 four times, including a blocked punt and a low snap on a punt,” said Harless. “At times we were more charitable than the Salvation Army.”
Nicely’s two-yard TD run regained the lead for LB at 21-14 early in the third quarter, and the Cavaliers put an insurance score on the board with Nicely’s third touchdown run of the game, this time from 12 yards out. However, Reed ran the kickoff back 98 yards for a touchdown and the Cavs had to kill out the clock to hang on for the win.
Nicely finished with 146 yards rushing on 31 carries, while Tristan Overbay had 38 yards on five attempts and Gilbert had 20 yards on five carries. Nicely was 10 for 15 passing for 150 yards to give him 296 yards of total offense. Gilbert had four catches for 62 yards and Cody McConnaughey had 48 yards on two receptions.
The win was LB’s fifth in a row and the Cavs are now 5-1 overall and 1-0 in Blue Ridge District games. They’ll make the short trip to William Fleming this Friday night to take on the Colonels. Fleming is just 2-4 but they’ve won their last two games by lopsided shutout scores, 48-0 over Harrisonburg and 42-0 over Northside last Friday.
“They have some athletes and they play hard,” said Harless. “If you go in there expecting to roll through you’ll come out with a knot on your head.”
The Cavaliers remained atop the Class 3D football rankings with last Friday’s win. LB has a rating of 23.8 to 22.5 for second place Christiansburg and 22.0 for third place Bassett.