One team wore red and gray and the other wore orange and white, but at game’s end there was lots of black and blue to go around after Lord Botetourt beat William Byrd in football last Friday. The Cavaliers took a 55-13 win in Daleville in one of the hardest-hitting high school football games you’ll ever see.
“I thought we played really physical,” said LB coach Jamie Harless. “We were aggressive and violent, that’s how we play.”
At times it hurt the Cavaliers, who had a number of personal fouls called against them. Twice, Kyle Arnholt returned punts for apparent touchdowns but penalties for over-aggressive play negated them.
“At times, it hindered us,” said Harless. “But we’re not out there pillow fighting.”
Despite having the two scores called back the Cavs were not lacking for offense, putting 33 points on the board by halftime and scoring in every quarter. Hunter Rice had five more TDs on runs of 66, 35, 23, 6 and 26 yards, with four of the five coming in the first half. Hunter now has 15 touchdowns in just three games, while LB has scored 174 total points.
Rice finished with 255 yards on 19 carries as LB’s rushing attack accounted for 342 yards. Dylan Wade had 52 yards rushing and a score.
Botetourt threw the ball just five times, completing three. Arnholt had two catches for 81 yards, including a 73-yard TD reception from Sammy Peery in the opening moments of the second quarter.
A missed extra point in the first half kept the Cavaliers from earning a running clock by halftime for the third straight game. LB went for two on the final first half score but didn’t convert, leaving the Cavs two points short at 33-0. Byrd then scored the first TD of the second half, but LB answered with TD runs by Rice and Wade to set the clock in constant motion early in the fourth quarter. When Byrd scored a second time Joey Isaacs ran the kickoff back for a TD for the second time in three weeks, and that kept the clock running. Botetourt punted just once as Mikey Rago continues to be one of the best punters around who rarely gets a chance to show it.
With the win Botetourt improved to 3-0 and maintains the lead in the Region 3D rankings. The Cavaliers are a solid 24.6 to 22.0 for second place Carroll County. Byrd remained fourth at 17.3, and if the playoffs were to begin this week the Cavs would host the Terriers again to begin regional play. That would be ironic as the Terriers couldn’t get out of Daleville fast enough last Friday.
This week LB goes to 0-2 Staunton River on Friday night. The Eagles are 10th ranked among the 12 teams in Region 3D and a win over Lord Botetourt would be an upset of major proportions.
Botetourt will finish up the regular season with a Saturday home game against Franklin County on March 27 and a trip to Northside on April 2.