The Lord Botetourt football season came to an end last Friday night with a 41-14 loss to William Byrd in Vinton. It was the second time this season the Terriers have beaten LB, and this one came in the semifinal round of the VHSL Region 3D playoffs.
With the loss, LB ends the season with a 9-3 record, and the only two teams the Cavaliers have lost to are in Region championship games this week. The Cavs opened the season with a 14-7 loss at E.C. Glass, and the Hilltoppers will play Salem in the Region 4D final Friday. The other two losses were to Byrd, and the Terriers will be at Magna Vista for the Region 3D finals.
The Cavaliers were undefeated at home with a 6-0 record in Daleville. They made it to the Region semifinals for the seventh year in a row and they’ve made the playoffs in all 12 years Jamie Harless has been coach. The 9-3 record lifted the LB all-time football record to 334-332, the first time the all-time mark has been over .500 at the end of the season since the 1960s.
Byrd had beaten Botetourt on October 13, 16-0, and last week the Cavaliers were playing without two of their best players, seniors Jakari Nicely and Cade Lang, who were both on the sidelines with knee injuries. Still, the Cavaliers were hoping their big line and solid running attack would be enough to make up the difference.
It wasn’t. Byrd got off to a quick start on a 76-yard TD pass from Israel Hairston to Cooper Minnix. The Cavs fumbled on the next series but stopped the Terriers at midfield to force a punt. LB took over inside their own 10, then Tristan Overbay broke free for an 87-yard run before he was downed at the Byrd six-yard line. Tristan then scored on fourth and goal from the one and Dean Webb’s kick tied the score at 7-7 with 31 seconds remaining in the first quarter.
Byrd regained the lead on a run by Hairston, then went up 21-7 when Hairston broke a long run, then hit Dominic Dulak with a touchdown pass covering 29 yards with 1:25 left in the half.
The Terriers scored on another long pass play for the only points of the third quarter, missing the extra point but leading 27-7. LB cut the lead to 27-14 on a 16-yard TD pass from Sam Grooten to Ben Gilbert, but Hairston scored on a 63-yard run, then picked off a long pass to ice the game for the Terriers before the home team tacked on a late score.
Overbay finished with 121 yards rushing and Zion Woody had 47 on eight carries. Grooten completed 12 passes for 106 yards, including four to Cody McConnaughey for 45 yards.
Botetourt will graduate 15 seniors, including a bunch who will go on to play in college. In their four high school seasons the seniors have been part of a program that has won 36 games and lost 10 while participating in 12 playoff games, three regional championship games, a state championship game and winning three Blue Ridge District titles.