Radford High School will enter Three Rivers District play this Friday night looking for its first win of the season.
A 0-4 mark is not how the Bobcats like to start the year, and now they will face district newcomer Alleghany who fell last week 34-14 to Cave Spring. Alleghany is 1-2 overall.
Eastern Montgomery will also be looking for its first win of the season with visiting Bland. Auburn slipped by Eastern last week and face a stubborn George Wythe team. Christiansburg receives a well-deserved week off after a tight loss to Abingdon to also be winless on the year.
But the game of the week that will have the entire state watching will be in Blacksburg as the defending 3A state champs will face the defending 4A state champion in the 2017 version Salem Spartans.
Both teams are 3-1 this season and three and four in the region 4D standings. Salem trails E.C. Glass (3-0 and 26.667 points) and William Byrd (4-0, 23 points). The Spartans have 22.75 points to Blacksburg’s 22.
In the past, Blacksburg didn’t have to worry about meeting Salem in the playoffs because of the difference in classifications. That all changed this year as Blacksburg was bumped to 4A because of an increase in enrollment.
So, this could be the first of two for these football giants with the teams meeting again in the regional playoffs. Pulaski County is lurking in regional points as the Cougars also have 22 points.
But all eyes will be fixed on the Blacksburg-Salem showdown. The winner could be in the catbird seat for another state title.
Games this week:
Salem (3-1) at Blacksburg (3-1)
Last week for Salem: Won 27-0 over Northside. De’Angelo Ramsey finished with 141 yards rushing on 11 carries with a 58-yard touchdown run late in the fourth quarter. Salem finished with 239 yards rushing and 155 passing.
Last week for Blacksburg: Beat Richlands 25-17. Cole Beck rushed 21 times for 94 yards.
Scouting report on Salem: The Spartans are averaging 31.8 points per game compared to Blacksburg’s 38. Salem has five state championships including the past two years. Last season, Salem was 13-1 and 14-0 in 2015. Salem has 94 players on the active roster as Coach Stephen Magenbauer is in his 14th season at the school with an overall mark of 149-21. This year, he returns six starters on both sides of the ball.
Players to watch: wide receiver Viante Tucker (5-10, 178), running back De’Angelo Ramsey (6-0, 214), running back Luke Owen (5-9, 186) and quarterback Jack Gladden (6-1, 182).
Radio Broadcast: 105.3 FM.
Bland (2-1) at Eastern Montgomery (0-4)
Last week for Bland: Two weeks ago, beat Northwood 53-24. QB Jake Watters rushed for 275 yards on 18 carries as Bland totaled 578 yards of offense.
Last week for Eastern Montgomery: Lost to Auburn 15-14.
Bland scouting report: Harris Hart is in his 13th season at the helm with a 48-76 mark. Last season, Bland finished 4-6. Jake Watters is only a sophomore, but has completed 40-plus percent of his passes for the past two seasons.
Players to watch for Bland: Quarterback Jake Watters (6-2, 190), running back Ethan Cook (5-10, 170) and lineman David Coe (6-0, 220).
Radio Broadcast: None.
George Wythe (2-2) at Auburn (2-2)
Last week for George Wythe: Beat Chilhowie 24-21. Deacon Beamer had three touchdowns in the win on 13 of 30 for 208 yards. Reid Skeens had two touchdown receptions.
Last week for Auburn: Beat Eastern Montgomery 15-14. Triston Perry rushed 11 times for 69 yards and a touchdown. Payson Kelly also threw a 76-yard bomb to Cameron Chestnut for another score. The Mustangs gave up 247 yards on the ground in the win.
Scouting report on GW: Brandon Harner has a 33-8 mark in four seasons at the school including 12-1 last year losing in the Group 1A state semis. QB Beamers threw for 20 touchdowns last season and is on pace to do the same this year.
Players to watch for GW: Quarterback Deacon Beamer (6-3, 227), running back Landon Thompson (6-2, 212), and receiver Reid Skeens (6-4, 188). The team boasts 15 players over 200 pounds and an offensive line that averages 245 pounds.
Radio Broadcast: 95.3 FM.
Alleghany County (1-2) at Radford (0-4)
Last week for Radford: Lost to Gretna 15-8. Radford’s Justice Marshall returned a punt 26 yards for a touchdown.
Last week for Alleghany: Lost to Cave Spring 34-14.
Scouting report for Alleghany: Last year, team finished 4-7. It’s their first year in the Three Rivers District. Gave up 231 points last season in five losses. This is a rebuilding year for Alleghany since they only return five starters on the offensive side of the ball. Offensive lineman Justin Hall (6-3, 300) anchors a front five that averages close to 270 pounds. Alleghany has been outscored 102 to 50 this season.
Players to watch: Running back Rick Lanaham (5-10, 195), quarterback Zach Humphries (5-8, 190) and receiver Lamar Samuel (6-2, 180). Lanaham has rushed for 150 yards this season.
Radio Broadcast: 101.7 FM.