Radford secures home field advantage, Christiansburg at home for first round
Radford High School will enter this week’s region 1C playoffs with an unblemished record, thus meaning they will control their own destiny at home for the entire region postseason.
Radford finished atop of the regional points list at 27.4 total. Gretna is second, Glenvar third and Appomattox fourth.
Quarterback Landon Clark leads Radford into the postseason after accounting for over 3,000 yards of total offense. The recent Elon-signee has completed 133 passes on 219 attempts for 2,247 yards with only three interceptions. This includes 28 touchdowns.
But Clark is not one-dimensional as he has also run for 20 scores on 73 carries for 659 yards. He should also be happy to get his number one target, Max Kanipe, back for a playoff run. Kanipe, who had caught 39 passes for 961 yards, suffered a knee injury in week seven and has not played since.
A (3-7) James River will travel to Radford. JR finished 0-7 in the Three Rivers District and lost to Radford 56-0 on Oct. 6.
Their only wins came 41-15 over Parry McCluer, 34-16 over Randolph-Henry, and 13-12 over Buffalo Gap. JR has been outscored 355 to 108 this season.
The Region C postseason does include some more familiar teams for Radford as Glenvar and Floyd both made the playoffs. Floyd is the number seven seed and Glenvar is third.
In their last game of the regular season, James River was shutout 43-0 to Patrick County for its seventh straight loss.
Christiansburg will finish as the number four team in points of the Class 3 Region D and will host a familiar foe in Abingdon.
This past week, Abingdon slid by Lee High 56-43 as Owen Barr rushed for 252 yards on just 16 carries. He scored three touchdowns on the ground and another two on the receiving end. Abingdon (6-4) finished with 562 yards of total offense, while their defense gave up 475 by Lee.
QB Luke Honaker finished the evening six of 11 for 138 yards with three touchdowns. Tyke Thompson added 132 yards on 15 carries.
These two schools met in week number two with Christiansburg rolling to a 45-7 win, but this is a different C-burg team without Tanner Evans, who had 136 yards passing and combined on four scores for the visitors.
Matt Annis also rushed nine times for 107 yards but has missed the past two weeks with a foot injury. He is expected back for this playoff start.
The team’s rushing game was limited to only Jaylin Joplin in the final regular season game in a loss to Salem.
Overall, Annis has rushed 73 times for 607 yards. In the absence of Evans, sophomore Izaiah Cotto has taken over the reins of the offense, rushing 104 times for 761 yards with eight touchdowns.
Joplin has rushed 42 times for 366 yards, meaning the Blue Demons will have rushed this season for over 3,000 yards as a team.
With Evans in the lineup, the play calling was 40 percent passing with 787 yards. Since his season-ending injury, the team has only completed 16 passes for 73 yards. Cotto is five of 16 with an interception.
Christiansburg sat out the week with a bye in the final week of the regular season and enters the playoffs with a 7-3 record with a two-game losing streak (Patrick Henry and Salem).
Some other familiar names could await Christiansburg in the playoffs in the form of Pulaski, William Byrd and Lord Botetourt. Pulaski is the number seven seed. Botetourt is number three. Magna Vista, who finished the regular season beaten, is the Class 3 Region D top seed. Byrd leapfrogged Christiansburg to take the second seed.