By Marty Gordon
The high school football season is quickly coming to a close with just three weeks left to the postseason, and there are several things we have learned this go around.
Auburn should finish the season despite not doing so for the past three. The school did not finish a game earlier in the season because of injuries and the lack of numbers, but since then has worked its way through the schedule and is on pace to finish the 2023 season. The question remains what the future holds for a school that has tallied a large amount of state titles in every sport except football.
The Auburn situation is at number five. The future could hold lots of questions about eight-on-eight football as Auburn is not the only school in the state of Virginia fighting the numbers game. The good thing is that middle school and recreation programs have shown there are younger numbers interested in football.
The number 4 mark proves offense is not a premium in the area. Several teams have scored over 60 points this season, while at least twice locals topped the 70 point mark.
At number 3, Christiansburg’s Tanner Evans was shocking the world until a season-ending knee injury two weeks ago. Evans will finish with 1,193 yards on the ground on 117 carries with 22 scores. He was on pace for 1,800 yards depending how deep the Blue Demons finished in the postseason. Evans also threw for 787 yards on 50 of 84 attempts with 11 touchdowns.
At number 2, we have learned Radford quarterback Landon Clark is the real deal. After a junior season for the record books, he has continued it this season.
Clark has combined for over 2,000 yards on offense and is connected to 40 touchdowns. This includes throwing for over 1,700 yards and rushing for another 650. He should pass the 2,000-yard mark in the next week.
He has proven he can throw and run the ball, while playing a tough defensive back.
The top spot is nothing new, but more along a dominating program as Radford High School is proving they are one of the best programs in the southwest Virginia. This season, the Bobcats have taken the next step and is one of the top ones in the state of Virginia.
Radford is 27-6 since Michael Crist took over the program three years ago. Crist was 8-4 the first year and finished 10-2 last season. So far this year, the team is 9-0 and should finish the regular season unbeaten.
They have dominated the competition this season, outscoring opponents 417 to 81. A future playoff game with defending state champ, Riverheads, could be in the cards as a final four matchup for the ages.