For the third time in the past six years Lord Botetourt will play Abingdon in the Region 3D football playoffs. The Cavaliers are hoping this one turns out like the other two as they prepare to host the Falcons at 7 p.m. Friday in Daleville.
Botetourt handled Abingdon in the 2018 region semifinals, 63-27, in a game played at William Byrd’s Patterson Stadium. In 2015, LB hosted Abingdon in Daleville in the region final and took a 39-28 win on the way to a trip to the state final.
These are memorable games for LB coach Jamie Harless, who was a standout player at Abingdon during his high school days. Like the last two times, Harless figures to have a lot of friends sitting on the other side of the field at Cavalier Stadium Saturday.
“I know a lot of people there and have family there,” he said. “But this is just another game we have to win.”
The Falcons come in at 6-0 with wins over Gate City, Central, Lee, Union, John S. Battle and Carroll County in last week’s Region 3D quarterfinal. They haven’t been scored upon in the last two weeks, winning 35-0 over Battle and 42-0 over Carroll. For the season they’ve outscored their opponents 252 to 36.
Meanwhile, LB has put up some impressive numbers as well. With last week’s 55-0 whitewashing of Christiansburg the Cavaliers have outscored their six opponents 335 to 38. Only William Byrd, with 13 points, has scored in double digits against the Cavaliers.
Botetourt handled Christiansburg rather easily last Saturday in Daleville as the Cavaliers led 35-0 at the half and the Demons didn’t have a first down or plus yardage at that point. The Cavs scored two first period touchdowns on sideline throws to Zach Horton, who scored from nine and 17 yards out.
In the second quarter Dylan Wade, taking full-time ball carrying duties from sidelined Hunter Rice, scored on two short runs and Kyle Arnholt scored on a 65-yard touchdown pass from Sammy Peery. With the clock running, LB scored three more times in the second half on a 20-yard run by Wade, a 28-yard fumble recovery return by Peery and a five-yard run by KJ Bratton.
Wade finished with 116 yards rushing on 13 carries while Bratton had 53 yards on six attempts and Evan Overbay had 49 yards on six tries. Rice, LB’s stud back, ran the first two plays of the game and gained 18 yards before injuring his knee on the second carry. He continued to play defense through the first half but sat out the second half and is questionable for Friday. For the season Rice has 923 rushing yards and 21 touchdowns and he’s also a key player on the defensive side of the ball.
Likewise, LB receiver Arnholt suffered an injury late in the first half and watched the second half from the sidelines. He’s also questionable for this week after catching five passes for 130 yards against Christiansburg. Arnholt has 21 receptions, including nine for touchdowns, this season. He’s also an important player in the defensive secondary.
Peery was 13 for 16 passing for 245 yards against the Demons as Horton added eight receptions for 73 yards and Cameron Orange had one catch for 42.
The win gave LB a 7-0 overall record, counting a forfeit win over Northside. The winner of the Botetourt-Abingdon game will host the winner of the Region 3C game the following Saturday, April 24. The Region 3C game will match 6-1 Heritage against 5-1 Liberty Christian Academy at Liberty University’s Williams Stadium this Friday night.