The Lord Botetourt football team ventured into the belly of the beast last week and emerged with one of the biggest wins in the history of the program. Botetourt defeated Bluefield High School of West Virginia, 17-3, in Bluefield.
The win snapped Bluefield’s 20-game winning streak, which included a 2A state championship in 2017. The Beavers are loaded again and they were shocked by the way Botetourt man-handled them in the trenches.
“Our kids played football the way it’s supposed to be played,” said LB coach Jamie Harless. “They have more speed than NASCAR, but our execution and technique matched their talent. They have something like eight kids who had DII offers or better, and a corner back that’s the number one prospect in the nation at that position and the number seven prospect overall. But Hunter Rice outran him.”
The Cavaliers scored the only points they would need on their very first play from scrimmage, as Rice raced 71 yards for a touchdown. His brother, Trey Rice, kicked the extra point and it was 7-0 LB.
The Beavers answered with a field goal, but Botetourt put 10 more points on the board in the second quarter as Evan Eller had a TD run and Trey Rice kicked a 28-yard field goal. That made it 17-3 at the half and the second half was scoreless, as the Cavaliers kept the Beavers from scoring a touchdown.
“Someone told me that was just the second time in 20 years they were held under a touchdown,” said Harless. “That had to be one of Botetourt’s best wins in school history. They’ve won 11 state titles, so that was a historic win for us.”
Hunter Rice finished with 198 yards rushing on 31 carries while Eller had 78 yards on 17 attempts. Preston Martin ran seven times for 23 yards and was two for four passing for 24, hitting Eller both times.
“There were several college coaches at the game, and that can only help our kids,” said Harless.
The win lifted LB to 5-2 on the season with a big home game against Northside this week.
THIS WEEK’S GAME
Northside at Lord Botetourt
Round two comes up this week as Lord Botetourt plays host to Northside in a 7 p.m. game in Daleville Friday night. If it’s as good as the first meeting, you won’t want to miss it.
Botetourt plays Northside twice during the regular season this year and the first meeting was at Northside on September 21. The host Vikings took a 27-24 win as they tied the game late, then turned an interception into a last second field goal to stun the Cavaliers.
It was the closest thing Northside has had to a loss in a season that is 8-0 to date for the Vikings. They were the top ranked team in Region 3D coming into the week, but the new rankings were yet to come out due to games that were postponed by weather last Friday night. Botetourt was the second ranked team, and LB’s win over previously undefeated Bluefield won’t hurt the Cavaliers’ point total. Botetourt has two losses to none for the Vikings, so it’s hard to say if an LB win would allow them to pass Northside. Also, both teams still have to play once-beaten William Byrd and those games could have an impact on the rankings.
“That was a huge win for us last week, as I fully expect Bluefield to finish 9-1,” said Botetourt coach Jamie Harless. “I don’t want to get into the math, my only concern right now is for us to get better.”
The Cavaliers come into Friday night healthier than the first meeting, when first-string quarterback Preston Martin was coming off an injury. He’s had two games and a bye week since that time to get back up to speed. Meade Mayo is also healthier than the first meeting.
“We’re healthier, and we didn’t execute as well as we could the first time against them,” said Harless. “They have a very talented team, but we’re looking forward to another opportunity to play them.”
There’s a chance this won’t be the last time, as both could meet in the playoffs if they continue to win. This should be a good one Friday night with a huge crowd. There’s not only a lot on the line, these two teams don’t care