It’s two years later and two different teams, but make no mistake about it. Revenge is sweet.
The Lord Botetourt football team earned a spot in the Class 3, Region D final with a 42-14 pounding of Magna Vista in Daleville last Friday night. The Warriors were the ones who beat LB in the state championship game in 2015.
The win put LB in the regional final, or state quarterfinal, for the second time in three years. The Cavaliers seem to be hitting on all cylinders at the best time of the season to be doing so.
“We’ve been pretty good the past three weeks,” said LB coach Jamie Harless. “We’ve gotten over some illness and the kids are feeling pretty good right now.”
Botetourt broke last week’s game wide game open in the third quarter after leading just 14-7 at the half. Hunter Rice scored a first quarter TD on an eight-yard run for a 7-0 lead, then Preston Martin hit Dylan Crawford with a 12-yard TD pass in the second quarter. The Warriors answered with a TD on a short run to pull to within seven at the half.
LB took over in the third quarter, with Rice doing the damage. Hunter scored on a one-yard run, then broke a 24-yard TD run to give the Cavs a 28-7 lead after three quarters. He scored on a 33-yard run in the fourth period, and Ethan Clower finished off the scoring with a short run to make it 42-7 after the sixth successful point after by Trey Rice. The Warriors scored a late, meaningless, TD with the clock running continuously by that point.
“When we scored on the opening drive of the second half, I think that really broke their spirit,” said Harless.
Hunter Rice, a freshman, finished with 173 yards rushing on 30 carries, scoring four touchdowns in the process. James-Ryan Salvi had 29 yards rushing and Clower had 17.
Martin had a good night passing, hitting on eight of 11 for 129 yards. Crawford had four receptions for 95 yards and a score, Lee Kreider had two catches for 15 yards and Jake Dewease and Clower had one catch each.
The game was marred by a plethora of penalties. Botetourt was penalized 19 times and Magna Vista about as much.
“It really broke the flow of the game,” said Harless. “Let’s just say there were a lot penalties called and leave it at that.”
With the win LB improved to 10-2 on the season and earned the right to play for the Region D championship Friday night at Staunton River.
THIS WEEK’S GAME
This week Lord Botetourt will be traveling to Moneta to play Staunton River in the Class 3, Region D final at 7 p.m. Friday. It’s technically the state quarterfinal.
This has all the ingredients to be a good one. Staunton River is 12-0 and the top seed from Region D, while Lord Botetourt is the second seed at 10-2. Staunton River is undefeated, but their closest game of the season was a 21-14 win in Daleville on September 29.
That was a thriller, as LB’s Hunter Rice was stopped just short of the goal line on the last play of the game. Botetourt led most of the first half, but Staunton River rallied to take the lead in the fourth quarter. Botetourt then put on a final drive that was interrupted for over half an hour as a fan was attended to by the rescue squad. That delay came just after Botetourt quarterback Preston Martin was knocked out of the game by an injury with less than a minute on the clock.
Botetourt regrouped when play resumed, but the Eagles managed to stop the drive and get out of town with a win. The Cavaliers are excited to have another shot at the Eagles at this point of the post-season.
“I’d have to think the pressure’s on them,” said LB coach Jamie Harless. “The only two teams who came close to beating them were us and William Byrd. They’re undefeated and everyone expects them to play in the state championship game, so I have to think the pressure’s on them.”
In last week’s regional semifinal both teams had convincing wins. LB beat Magna Vista, 42-14, while Staunton River outlasted Northside, 72-47. Grayson Overstreet, the state’s all-time rushing leader, ran for 376 yards and scored seven touchdowns in that game. He’ll certainly be a focus of the Cavalier defense Friday night.
“You can’t try to tackle him above the waist,” said Harless. “They do well when they bash people with explosive plays, and we can’t let that happen.”
The winner of Friday’s game will play the winner of the Region C semifinal between Brookville and Heritage.
KEY TO THE GAME
“We have to control the ball and limit their amount of snaps. And we have to control the line of scrimmage.”