The Lord Botetourt football team raced to a 35-7 lead by the half and defeated Hidden Valley in the first round of the Virginia High School League Region 3D playoffs last week. The Cavaliers took a 44-7 win in Daleville on a game played on Thursday to avoid inclement weather.
With the win Lord Botetourt will play host to Bassett this week, the fourth seed in the eight-team tournament. The Bengals defeated fifth-seeded Cave Spring in a thriller, 34-28, in Bassett last week.
“They’re a spread offense team with good size and their kids play hard,” said LB coach Jamie Harless of the Bengals. “They remind me a lot of William Fleming, only not as fast.”
Bassett is 8-3 on the season. After losing their first two games to Class 6 Franklin County and a strong Liberty Christian team, the Bengals ripped off nine wins in a row from September 9 to October 28, including a 50-43 win over Class 4 GW-Danville. The streak came to an end the last week of the regular season when the Bengals lost to Martinsville, the second ranked team in Region 2C, by a 17-10 score.
Lord Botetourt has now won 10 games in a row after a season-opening loss to E.C. Glass, the top-seeded team in Region 4D. The Cavaliers are the top seed in 3D and they had little trouble eliminating Hidden Valley, the eighth seed who ended the season with a 3-8 record.
The heavily favored Cavaliers used quarterback Jakari Nicely sparingly against a porous Titan defense. Nicely, usually the focal part of the LB rushing attack, carried the ball just once for 10 yards. Tristan Overbay was the workhorse against Hidden Valley, rushing 23 times for 150 yards and three touchdowns. Zion Woody had 17 carries for 90 yards and a score and Cade Lang had 59 yards rushing on just four attempts, including one TD run. LB had 408 yards rushing as a team against the Titans.
The win was LB’s 100th in the past 10 years and a win this week would give the Cavs an average of over 10 wins a season during that time. High school teams are only guaranteed 10 games at the start of the season, but LB has made the playoffs all 10 of those years, and all 11 seasons in which Harless has been head coach.
The win over Hidden Valley was LB’s 20th playoff win under Harless, who took over a program that had only won one prior playoff game. That was in 1984 when LB beat Laurel Park, 9-7, and Laurel Park has not even been a school since 2003.
LB was 1-7 in playoff games prior to Harless, who is now 20-10 in the post-season in his 11 seasons. Of course, you have to keep in mind a lot more teams make the playoffs in 2022 than they did years ago, but the record speaks for itself.
In the other Region 3D semifinal this week, third-seeded Christiansburg will host seventh-seeded Staunton River. Christiansburg hammered Abingdon last week, 35-7, and Staunton River upset second-seeded Magna Vista, 35-21. In Region 3C, Turner Ashby is at top-seeded Liberty Christian, and in a battle for bragging rights in the Lynchburg area second-seeded Heritage hosts third-seeded Brookville.
With no storms in the forecast Lord Botetourt’s game is back to Friday this week, with a kickoff time of 7 p.m.