By Marty Gordon
COVID continues to affect Montgomery County and Radford football teams as they try to fill out a full 2021 fall schedule. Week five brings some interesting contests including one Christiansburg has had circled on the calendar for the past year as they travel to Salem.
Blue Demons Coach Alex Wilkins said Salem is the target for his team. “We have been working toward building a program for the past four years that could compete against them,” Wilkins said. While he wouldn’t say if this is the year for his team to slay the giant, he did believe this team matches up well with the Spartans.
Salem has won the last 10 games with Christiansburg’s last win coming in 2011, a 42-36 shootout. The series dates to 1988 with Salem holding a 35-13 margin. The Spartans took the spring contest 35-13. Their most recent game was two weeks ago thanks again to COVID protocols. They enter this Friday’s contest with a 2-1 record.
Christiansburg did defeat Salem in 2004 in a 36-35 thriller.
In the shortened spring season, Salem finished 10-0 and won the Class 4 championship, but they return only five starters on both sides of the ball this season.
Radford was blown out by Christiansburg 63-0 Friday night and will look to regroup in a Three Rivers District matchup with Alleghany, which is our only home game this Friday.
Eastern Montgomery hosted a late game on Monday after Bland fought a slight delay last week thanks to COVID protocol.
Area top five: 1) Salem, 2) Christiansburg, 3) Glenvar, 4) Giles, 5) Pulaski. Both Narrows and Radford dropped out of the top five.
Games this week:
Christiansburg (4-0) at Salem (2-1)
Last week: Christiansburg dominated a good Radford team enroute to a 63-0 win. Kenyon Johnson-Buchanon rushed for 116 yards on 14 carries and took a break at halftime to be crowned the school’s homecoming king.
Salem had an off week thanks to two cancelations directly connected to their opponent’s COVID problems.
Don Holter is 22-2 in his third season at the helm of the Spartans. Cam Leftwich (5-1, 220) leads the team from his running back position.
Chauncey Logan (6-2, 198) is the team’s top receiver as Daron Wilson takes over at quarterback. Linebackers Jake Massey (6-1, 200) and Noah Collins (6-0, 200) will provide a tough duo to run on.
Prediction: Christiansburg 32, Salem 28.
Blacksburg (0-3) at Patrick Henry (3-1)
Last week: Patrick Henry rallied in the second half to down Northside 29-22. Carmelo Taylor rushed for 126 yards and two touchdowns. The Patriots also passed for 155 yards while limiting Northside to just 14 yards through the air.
Game notes: This game will be first this season for Blacksburg’s Parker Epperley, who had a season-ending knee injury in the short spring schedule.
Prediction: PH 30, Blacksburg 24.
Auburn (0-3) at Ft. Chiswell (0-5)
Last week: Ft. Chiswell ran into a buzz saw in the form of Giles in a 40-21 loss. Ezra Varney rushed 16 times for 159 yards with two touchdowns.
Auburn has been outscored 83-7 this season with its biggest opponent being the lack of numbers on this year’s roster that includes no junior varsity team. The Eagles have already cancelled one game because of the lack of players.
Prediction: Ft. Chiswell 16, Auburn 12.
Alleghany (1-2) at Radford (3-2)
Last week: Radford took it on the chin 63-0 to Christiansburg.
Alleghany had an open date with their last game being two weeks ago in a 48-7 loss to Cave Spring.
Prediction: Radford 28, Alleghany 7.