Area high school football teams are now halfway through the season and should have a real understanding of where their team stands.
Blacksburg seems to be in the driver’s seat after a big win over Salem this past weekend, and Eastern Montgomery finally got into the win category with one over Bland County.
Auburn lost a heartbreaker to George Wythe in Mt. Empire District play, and Radford is now 4-1 as they prepare for a Three Rivers District showdown with Giles.
Radford owns a 29-28 record over Giles, who have won seven straight with Radford’s last win coming in 2010. Last year, Giles took a 28-14 win.
Eastern Montgomery will take a week off before jumping headfirst into Pioneer District play.
With Blacksburg’s win, they now lead the Region 4D standings with a Virginia High School rating of 26 points. Jefferson Forest also has 26 points but is one back in the win column.
Pulaski County, who picked up their fourth win of the season, is now third with 23.4 points. E.C. Glass is fourth and William Byrd fifth. Salem falls all the way to eighth with 19.2 points, slightly ahead of Carroll County in ninth. Amherst County holds down the 10th spot.
Giles (3-2) at Radford (4-1)
Last week: P.J. Prioleau rushed for 224 yards, two touchdowns and threw for another as Radford downed Alleghany 45-7. Jaylin Taylor added a touchdown on the ground and threw the air. Trace Shepherd also had two TD receptions.
Giles slipped by Floyd 24-21 on a late field goal.
Scouting report: Despite fewer numbers this season, Giles poses problems with its single-wing offense. Jeff Williams is in his 11th season with a 91-29 mark. Last season, the Spartans finished 9-3, losing in the second round of the Region 2C playoffs. The team only returns four starters on both sides of the ball but has won 74 games in the past seven seasons. That also includes a Class 2 state title. Running back Chaston Radcliffe (5’10, 180, sophomore) has seen the bulk of the carries this season. Kip Green (6’4, 280) leads the way offensive line that averages 275 pounds. The size also stacks up in a five-man front on defense.
Broadcast: 101.7 FM.
Salem (2-3) at Christiansburg (1-3)
Last week: Christiansburg sat out the week with an open date.
Salem lost its third game in a row—something that has not happened in over 15 years—to Blacksburg.
Scouting report: Nick Gladden (6’2, 186, senior) returns at quarterback, while tight end Avery Close (6-5, 225, senior) has added weight and remains reliable target to hall in catches. Persinger (5’11, 170, junior) will carry the load from the backfield. On the defensive side of the ball, the team will rely on linebackers Bobby Pinello (6’2, 240) and Chandler Sutphin (6’1, 181). Nose guard Glenn Compton (6’0, 257) will be a run stopper. The school has won three straight state titles.
Broadcast: 100.7 FM.
Patrick Henry (3-1) at Blacksburg (5-0)
Last week: Blacksburg shocked Salem 24-21 as QB Grant Johnston was 11 of 18 for 224 yards and three touchdowns and connected with six different receivers in the win.
PH downed Albemarle County 48-31 in a rare Thursday night game. The Patriots have been outscored 134 to 111 this season. QB Roy Gunn scored three times and rushed for 54 yards. He also completed 11 of 24 passes for 111 yards.
Scouting report: Alan Fiddler brings a 48-28 record to the field after seven seasons. The Patriots finished 6-5 last season, losing in the Region 5D first round. Defense seems to be a question as the team has given up an average of 35 points per game over the past two seasons. Running back Jalen Cook (5’11, 200, junior) transferred from Northside and gives the team a one-two punch with quarterback Roy Gunn (5’11, 185, sophomore) in a spread offense.
Charlie Boxley (6’5, 275, senior) has been called one of the premier linemen in southwest Virginia. He had eight sacks last season on the defensive side of the ball. Tackle Rashawn Poindexter (6’1, 240) also causes some matchup up problems.
Broadcast: Broadcast: 97.1/93.1 FM, 810 AM.
Ft. Chiswell (2-2) at Auburn (3-2)
Last week: George Wythe rallied to beat Auburn 34-17. Payson Kelley had 60 yards on 18 carries with a touchdown. Also, Will Kelley rushed for two scores, and Carter Brockman kicked two field goals.
Ft. Chiswell had a night off but is coming off a 45-21 win two weeks ago over Rural Retreat. They have a common opponent in GW who beat Ft. Chiswell 6-2. The Pioneers have outscored opponents 73 to 68.
Scouting report: Josh Wingate takes over as coach just two months before the season was set to start. Last year, the Pioneers were 7-4 and lost in the opening round of the Region 2C playoffs.
The school has had only one losing season in 10 years. The Fort is strong on the ground and will depend on senior QB Brody Crockett (5’10, 200) to find yardage with his legs. Running back Tyler Jakubiak (5-11, 200, senior) is also a load to bring down.
Tight end Aaron Crawford (6’2, 210) provides some size to throw to on the outside. Also look for Logan Newman (6’0, 200) to pull in a few for the visitors.
Across the line, Billy Shrewsberry (6’1, 200), John Gregory (5’10, 250) and Ethan Woods (5’10, 210) provides some big bodies to run behind.
On defense, Crawford had 67 tackles last season, and Newman picked off four interceptions.