The Lord Botetourt Cavaliers have yet to win a state championship in football, but in the past two weeks, they’ve beaten a couple schools that have done so. The Cavaliers defeated Appomattox County last Friday, 35-3, a week after stopping Riverheads from tying a state record for consecutive wins.
With the wins over Appomattox and Riverheads, the Cavaliers have beaten two teams that have won a combined 11 state championships since 2015. Riverheads has won the last six in a row in Class 1, and Appomattox has won five in the past seven years in Class 2.
Appomattox had a short-lived lead when the Raiders visited Daleville last Friday. The Raiders’ Mario Rubio kicked a 30-yard field goal with 1:01 left in the first quarter, and the visitors led 3-0 at that point.
LB answered with 8:15 remaining in the half. Jakari Nicely found Kendal Howard open in the right flat, and the big tight end rumbled in for an 11-yard catch and carry TD, and Dean Webb’s extra point made it 7-3. The score remained 7-3 at the half. LB held the Raiders on downs at the Botetourt 20 with a minute to go until intermission.
Botetourt took the game over in the second half. Nicely scored the first of his three rushing TDs with a 49-yard burst just two and a half minutes into the second half. LB made it 21-3 when Jakari scored on a nine-yard run with 44 seconds remaining in the quarter. The Cavaliers had things under control with a 21-3 lead after three quarters and the big red defense repeatedly stopping the Raiders.
Nicely’s third touchdown came on an eight-yard run with 6:21 to go, and Zion Woody finished off the night with a 45-yard run for a score. Webb converted all five of his extra-point attempts.
“It took us a while to adjust to some different things they did that we didn’t see in the film,” said LB coach Jamie Harless. “One thing we had to adjust to was six guys cutting our legs out, but we just stayed the course.”
Botetourt’s rushing attack wore the visitors down as LB ran for 401 yards on the night. Nicely had 218 stripes on 28 carries, and Woody, seeing extended time after Tristan Overbay went out with an injury, had 132 yards on 11 carries. LB threw only two passes for the entire game, completing one to Howard for the touchdown.
LB is now 3-1 on the season following their big win. The Cavaliers have won three in a row after opening the season with a loss to EC Glass. They’re back home this week to host Princeton, West Virginia, in the first-ever meeting between the two schools. The Cavaliers were scheduled to play at Princeton last year, but COVID struck the week the game was scheduled, and the two schools couldn’t decide on a makeup date, so it was not played.
Princeton, a school just beyond the Virginia border, is undefeated after three games. The Tigers have beaten Lincoln County(53-8), Bluefield(28-7), and Oak Hill(20-7) to open the season. They were off last week, so they’ll be well-rested for their trip to Daleville Friday night.
“It will be a challenge,” said Harless, who is looking to win his 100th game as head coach at Lord Botetourt. “They have a big quarterback, a lineman who Tech is recruiting, and some good skill kids.”