The Lord Botetourt football team will have three weeks to turn things around after losing to Appomattox last Friday. LB’s game is cancelled for this week and the Cavaliers’ scheduled bye is next week, October 1.
Lord Botetourt was originally scheduled to play Princeton of West Virginia this week, but that game was postponed due to COVID concerns. The Cavaliers then replaced that game with a game against Bluefield, W.Va., on October 1. However, that didn’t work out for different reasons and LB coach Jamie Harless decided to go with nine games and use the next two weeks to work on some things and get better for the district part of the schedule.
“Circumstances just didn’t work out and we have plenty of things we need to work on,” said Harless. “They’ll just divide our points by nine instead of 10 and it won’t be a big deal.”
The Cavaliers fell to 1-3 with a 35-14 loss at Appomattox last Friday. It’s the first time since 2011 that LB has three losses before the end of September and the first time since Harless has been coach. It was the second week in a row the Cavaliers lost to a defending state champion, as the Raiders won the Class 2 title in the spring and LB lost to defending Class 1 state champ Riverheads the week prior. Salem, the Class 4 defending state champ, lost its game to Blacksburg this week and offered to play the Cavaliers, but Botetourt wasn’t interested in a third straight game against a spring champion.
“If anyone else calls, we decided we’re just going to go with nine games,” said LB athletic director Chuck Pound.
The game with Appomattox was closer than the score indicated. Appomattox led just 7-0 at the half and Botetourt trailed just 21-14 late in the third quarter and the Cavs were driving. However, the drive stalled and the Raiders scored twice down the stretch to put it away.
“They big played us a couple times,” said Harless. “They have a lot of athletes and that (Jonathan) Pennix kid is phenomenal. It’s no knock on our kids. They have a really good football team and will probably win the 2A championship again.”
Pennix rushed for 114 yards against LB and scored on an 86-yard touchdown play. The “big play” has been an Achilles heel for the Cavaliers this year and Appomattox scored on a 48-yard run in addition to the long pass play to Pennix.
Joey Isaacs scored both TDs for the Cavs. He had a 46-yard run in the third quarter to cut the lead to 14-7. Then, when Appomattox answered with the long TD pass, Joey ran the kickoff back 90 yards for a score. It was the third time this season Isaacs ran a kickoff back for a TD and the fourth time an LB player has taken a kickoff to the house, as Cade Lang did it against Blacksburg. Botetourt has returned a kickoff for a touchdown in all four games this season.
Isaacs finished with 105 yards rushing on just six carries. Jakari Nicely had 55 yards on 18 carries and KJ Bratton had 26 yards on 10 attempts. Botetourt had just 34 yards through the air.
Botetourt is now finished with the non-district portion of the schedule and the Cavaliers will finish with five straight games against Blue Ridge opponents, beginning with a trip to William Byrd on October 8.