Week 10 NRV Game

Week 10 NRV Game 664 444 SWVA High School Sports

The Crunch NRV Area didn’t have a team qualify for the state finals. Below is the Salem vs Lake Taylor, and the Lord Botetourt vs Lafayette State Finals

Salem defense keeps Lake Taylor’s run game in check to get 4A State Championship win

Lake Taylor H.S., Norfolk, Va. – In the 2021 spring football season there have been a lot of firsts, but Salem bringing home a 4A state championship isn’t one of them. The Spartans did get it done on Lake Taylor’s turf, their opponent. Home field mattered not in this one though, as Coach Don Holter’s Spartans came back from a 6-0 halftime deficit to win Salem’s 10th State Championship in the last 26 years. The Salem defense was a big part of the story for the Spartans as they throttled the Titans high powered, run game and forced them to the air in the second half. Salem Coach Don Holter beamed about his Spartans post game, “We talk about it every week, every day. Focus and discipline, which allows you to focus in all three aspects of the game (offense, defense, and special teams) with great physicality… and our guys did that today.” Lake Taylor scored a touchdown late and got the two pointer to make it a one score game but their attempted onside kick was thwarted. DB 6 Jayden McDonald and his twin brother DB 9 Jorden McDonald led the way on defense. Jayden was in on 11 tackles. Jorden had a big interception in the end zone in the first half. DB 8 Chase Greer and LB 7 Noah Collins added 7 tackles each, and DL 73 Stacy Williams had 6 stops with a sack and 1 1/2 TFLs. On offense, RB 42 Zavione Wood rushed for 220 yards and 3TDs on 20carries. QB 10 DaRon Wilson hit WR 11 Chauncey Logan on a 67 yard TD pass in the third quarter to give the Spartans the lead for good. “They (the Spartans) got after Lake Taylor today, and it showed,” said Holter.

Salem’s defense swarms around Lake Taylor QB 2 Jeff Foster for a sack

First Quarter – This state final matched up two very capable teams in the 4A finals. Both were capable of scoring a lot of points, and both had the ability to shut down other team’s offenses.

Titan QB recovers his own fumble as Spartan DE 32 Ky’Juan Waller closes in

It stands to reason that the game would end up in the twenty’s, and a touchdown apart. Salem and Coach Holter knew their charge if they were going to win this game,“Obviously you’ve got to stop Lake Taylor’s veer option, make #2 (QB Jeff Foster) beat you throwing the ball.” Salem forced the Titans into passing late game and Lake Taylor showed how dynamic they could be, but it wasn’t enough on this day.

Salem DL 73 Stacy Williams gets up and into the passing lane on a throw by Titan QB 2 Foster

The contest started with Salem kicking the ball to the Titans. The teams traded punts as the two clubs measured each other. The first break of the game would go Lake Taylor’s way. Salem attempted a fake punt on their own forty. RB 42 Wood came open on the right hash but P/WR/DB 11 Chauncey Logan’s pass was short and fell incomplete. Coach Holter took the responsibilty for that call. “That (fake) punt that we had has been awfully good to us… came up a few inches short (on the pass). That’s on me. Some (coaches) are more conservative. I like to be a little more aggressive…that’s me. The defense stepped up big, held them to three points. That was the difference in the ball game.” Salem’s defense stepped on the quick change opportunity. Lake Taylor picked up two first downs down to the ten, but the Spartans defense stiffened.

Second Quarter – RB 8 Tarreon Washington-Jacobs picked up six to the four, but on second down DT 73 Stacy Williams stopped Titan FB 4 Chuck Fisher for a two yard loss. Third down saw QB 2 Jeff Foster throw an incompletion and Lake Taylor was forced to kick the field goal. The 28-yarder by Foster gave the Titans at 3-0 lead at the 10:12 mark.

Lake Taylor gets on the board first with a 28-yard FG by Foster

After Lake Taylor’s defense forced a three and out, the home team was at it again. The Titan’s drove the ball from their own forty-three to the Spartan eighteen. On second and ten, QB 2 Foster tried to work the ball into a receiver at the goal line but the playmaker, Salem DB 2 Shawn Collins deflected the pass and DB 9 Jorden McDonald worked behind the tip and picked it off. Then “number 9” smartly stepped out of bounds in the end zone to give the Spartans the ball at the twenty.

(Moving Right to Left) Salem DB’s 2 Shawn Collins and 9 Jorden McDonald combine for a breakup and an Interception

Lake Taylor continued to stymie Salem’s offense and forced another punt with two and a half minutes to halftime. Taylor worked the ball back down to the fourteen with :37 left, but after an incompletion,

LT’s Foster adds the Titan’s second FG of the day from 31 yards out just before halftime

Foster kicked his second field goal for the 6-0 lead at the break. The boot covered 31 yards.

Lake Taylor up 6-0 at the half

Third Quarter – Like all good teams will, Salem made some adjustments to start the second half. One big one was on the offensive line. RB 42 Wood credited his Spartan line for opening things up, “(The O-line) They made some adjustments in the second half, just worked, and we just ran with it, and it was there.” Lake Taylor had some success in the first half run blitzing to keep Wood and FB 28 Cam Leftwich at bay early on, but that would change in the second half. Salem and Wood would adjust and make the Titans pay for that in the second half. It took Salem only three plays to take the lead. RB 42 Wood got loose for 66-yards and the score.

Salem RB 42 Zavione Wood opens up the Spartan’s scoring in the third quarter

Ironically, it was Salem’s first pass completion that set up the run. QB 10 DaRon Wilson found WR/DB/P 11 Chauncey Logan on the sidelines for fifteen yards. The completion seemed to slow the ‘pin your ears back’ approach that Lake Taylor had taken up to this point. On the very next play, Wood made them pay. Freshman K 20 Wesley Cross made the all important point after. Lake Taylor, as championship teams do, stormed back. Taking to the air, QB 2 Foster found WR 7 Darious Speight for 47 yards over the middle to the Spartan thirty nine. Three plays later, Foster hit a well defended WR 6 Pierre Royster over the top for the TD. DB 8 Chase Greer had perfect position but the ball just made it over his outstretched hand into Royster’s mitts.

Lake Taylor WR 6 Pierre Royster catches a perfectly thrown pass by QB 2 Foster over excellent coverage by DB 8 Chase Greer

But on the ‘all important’ two point try to tie the game, RB 8 Washington-Jacobs was denied short of the goal line. Lake Taylor had regained the lead but only by a 12-7 margin. Salem DB 2 Shawn Collins said it all in three words, “It was big.” Salem DL 51 Cam Martindale gave a longer answer. “You’ve got to think long term in a game like this. They still had a lot of time left so any points you can stop are big.” Salem answered right back. Again, it took only three plays for the Spartans to change the scoreboard. QB 10 Wilson hit WR/DB/P 11 Chauncey Logan over the middle on a one-man pass route, caught a perfect pass and outran the defender to paydirt.

Salem answers Lake Taylor’s score with a TD pass from QB 10 DaRon Wilson to WR/DB 11 Chauncey Logan for six points

K 20 Cross stroked the point after and Salem led 14-12 with 5:46 left in the quarter. On Lake Taylor’s next drive, the Salem defense stood tall. The Titans again worked the ball deep into Spartan territory, but this time Salem would not relent. On third down, DB 2 Collins broke up the pass. Then on fourth down DE 32 Ky’Juan Waller pressured QB 2 Foster into an errant pass. Salem took over… in the possession and the game.

Fourth Quarter – Alternating runs by RB 42 Wood and FB 28 Leftwich, Salem began to find their rhythm running the ball. Wood picked up seven and eight yards on first and second down. Then Leftwich powered his way for twelve up the middle.

Salem’s Wood scores from 35-yards out

Five plays later, Wood broke off a 35-yard run to extend Salem’s lead to 21-12 with the point after. Salem forced a punt on Taylor’s next drive, and then proceeded to add to their lead.

Wood was the culprit again, finishing off a five play series with a 49-yard scoring run. With 3:46 left in the game, Salem pushed their lead to 28-12.

Wood adds a third touchdown to his 220 yard rushing day

A key to Salem’s win was forcing Lake Taylor into passing the ball to get back into the game. Holter was asked about their switch to the air. “It’s a state championship game. They are going to do whatever they have to do to win the game, just like we were going to do that.” The Titans got it to a one score game with a minute thirty one left on a pass from QB 2 Foster to WR 3 Camauri Hunter as well as the 2 point pass play, but that was as close as they could get.

Lake Taylor WR 2 Camauri Hunter hauls in a late TD pass to make the score closer but it was too little, too late

Salem completes their season 10-0 capturing their 10th State Championship. The first for Coach Holter at the helm. If you’re keeping an historical score between these two great programs, Salem now leads 2-1 in the series, all taking place in state championships.

RB/LB 42 Zavione Wood and Coach Holter horse around after the game

In 2014, Lake Taylor won the first meeting 41-16. The following year Salem took the title in double OT by a count of 17-14. The Titans were led all three years by Coach Hank Sawyer. Lake Taylor finishes their 2021 spring football season 8-1, with only the one blemish. Lake Taylor will be moving to division 3 next year, so these Spartan-Titan battles may be done for awhile, or at least until the two schools line up in school size (Class) again, Coach Holter was glad to get the win but also gracious in his remarks about their opponent. “Great program here at Lake Taylor, Coach Hank Sawyer does a great job and has had a lot of success. Their kids, like ours, play hard. Bottom line is you better be at your best.”                – Cap’n Crunch

Rushing – Salem – Wood 20-225, 3TD, Leftwich 10-36, Team 2-(-2)
Lake Taylor – Fisher 9-31, Washington-Jacobs 7-19, Foster 14-37, Eden 2-6
PassingSalem– Wilson 2/6, 83, TD, Leftwich 0/1  Lake Taylor– Foster 17-29, 266, 2TDs, INT
ReceivingSalem – Collins 4-23, TD, Jayden McDonald 1-9, Leftwich 1-4, Massey 1-19 Lake Taylor – Speights 7-127, Hunter 4-79, TD, Royster 4-41, TD, Fisher 1-10
Kick ReturnsSalem – Collins 3-38, J Jones 1-10
Lake Taylor– Hunter 1-23, Speights 1-2
PuntingSalem – Leftwich 3-35 yd avg
Lake Taylor – Royster 3-32 yd avg

TacklesSalem – Jayden McDonald 11tkls (7 solo/4 assists), Greer 7Tkls (6-1), Noah Collins 7Tkls (3-4), Williams 6Tkls (4-2), sack
Lake Taylor– Royster 9Tkls (8 solos, 1 assist), Stith 7Tkls (4-3), Thompson 5 (1-4), Washington-Jacobs 4Tkls (1-3)

Second Quarter-
• 10:12: Lake Taylor: Foster 28 yd FG (3-0 LT)
• 00:07: Lake Taylor: Foster 31 yd FG (6-0 LT)
Third Quarter-
• 10:55: Salem: Wood 56-yd TD run; Cross PAT good (7-6 S)
• 07:27: Lake Taylor: Royster 21-yd TD pass from Foster; 2ptr failed (12-7 LT)
• 05:46: Salem: Logan 67-yd TD pass from Wilson; Cross PAT good (14-12 S)
Fourth Quarter-
• 08:45: Salem: Wood 34-yd TD run; Cross PAT good (21-12 S)
• 03:46: Salem: Wood 49-yd TD run; Cross PAT good (28-12 S)
• 01:31: Lake Taylor: Hunter 6-yd TD pass from Foster; Hunter 2pt pass from Foster (28-20 S)



Botetourt can’t overcome turnovers, penalties in 3A State Championship loss to Lafayette

Wanner Field, Williamsburg, Va. – The VHSL Class 3 football state championship took place in Williamsburg on May 1st as the Lord Botetourt Cavaliers made the three and a half hour trek to take on the Lafayette Rams on a beautiful day for football. These two juggernauts played a scoreless first quarter and it was Botetourt who drew first blood in the second on a RB 10 Hunter Rice 2-yard TD plunge. Lafayette closed out the half with a 40-yard field goal by Kicker Cannon Newell and Botetourt had a 7-3 lead going into intermission. Both teams scored touchdowns on their first possessions of the second half. QB 8 Luke Hanson hit WR/LB 4 Mike Green on a 28-yard touchdown pass to put the Rams up 10-7. The series was aided by a Botetourt roughing the kicker penalty and a pass interference call. The Cavs answered right back with a 2-yard TD run by RB 22 Dylan Wade. The extra point was no good. In the fourth, Lafayette took advantage of three Lord Botetourt turnovers to score 17 unanswered points and claim a 27-13 state championship title.

First Quarter: Neither team got on the scoreboard in the opening quarter. Lord Botetourt punted on their two possessions, while Lafayette punted on their first drive, but then put together a couple of first downs on their second drive. The Rams decided to go for it on a 4th and 7 at the LB 29 yard line, but the Cavalier defense stood tough and forced a turnover on downs.


Second Quarter: Lord Botetourt’s offense got things going after RB/LB 10 Hunter Rice (21/106, TD) blocked a Lafayette punt with 7:51 left in the quarter.

LB’s Hunter Rice blocks Lafayette punt

Three plays later RB/LB 10 Rice picked up 15 yards on a 3rd and 11 to keep the drive alive and on the next play RB/LB 22 Dylan Wade (16/112, TD) broke off a 26 yard scamper to the Rams’ 6 yard line.

Dylan Wade’s 26 yard gain sets up Cavaliers score by Hunter Rice

After two consecutive defensive offside penalties, RB/LB 10 Rice scored from 2 yards out. Kicker 6 Bryson Harvey (0/1 FG, 1/2 PAT) made the PAT and Lord Botetourt had a 7-0 lead with 5:16 to play in the half. After a 3-and-out by the Rams, the Cavaliers drove from their 45 yard line to the Lafayette 18. K 6 Harvey’s 35 yard FG attempt just missed and the Rams took over on their 20 yard line with 1:13 left. After a loss of 5 yards on 1st down, QB 8 Luke Hanson (7/22, TD, rush, 8/22-105 yds, TD, pass) connected with WR/DB 84 Donald Gatling for a 43 yard reception and the Rams moved into LB territory. Two more runs by QB 8 Hanson and a 4 yard completion to LB/WR 4 Mike Green (1/40, TD, rush, 6/67, TD, rec) and the Rams had the ball on the Cavalier’s 23 with 3 seconds left. K 18 Cannon Newell (2/3 FG, 2/2 PAT) came on with 3 seconds left and connected on a 40 yard field goal to end the half and make the score 7-3 Botetourt.

Lafayette kicker Cannon Newell boots a 40 yard FG

Third Quarter: Lafayette received the 2nd half kickoff and had great field position at the LB 42 due in part to a roughing the kicker penalty that carried over from the Rams’ field goal play that ended the 1st half. A Lord Botetourt pass interference penalty on 3rd down extended Lafayette’s drive, and later on a 4th and 12, QB 8 Hanson found LB/TE Mike Green for a 28 yard TD strike.

Lafayette’s Mike Green scores on 28 yard td catch from QB Luke Hanson

K 18 Newell’s PAT was good and the Rams had their first lead 10-7. It only took Botetourt 5 plays to regain the lead. The big play was RB/LB 22 Wade’s 45 yard run and he later carried it in from 2 yards out for the score.

Dylan Wade rips off a 45 yard gain to setup second LB score

Lafayette blocked the PAT and the Cavaliers went back on top 13-10. After the teams traded punts the Rams drove to LB’s 17 but K 18 Newell missed a 34 yard field goal attempt and the Cavaliers took over on their 20 yard line. Two penalties, a one yard loss and an incomplete pass presented LB with a 3rd and 17 on their 13 yard line when QB 1 Sammy Peery’s pass was intercepted by RB/DB 1 Bryce Cupp whose return set the Rams up with a 1st and goal from the 8 yard line. The quarter ended with Lafayette facing a 4th and one on the one.

Bryce Cupp intercepts LB pass intended for Zach Horton

Fourth Quarter: The Rams decided to go for the lead and not the tie and QB 8 Hanson scored on a 1 yard sneak. K 18 Newell’s PAT was good, the Rams had a 17-13 lead early in the 4th. On Lord Botetourt’s next possession, Lafayette LB 47 Aidan Byron picked off a Cavalier pass and the Ram’s once again had a 1st and goal off of the turnover.

Rams’ Aidan Byron returns interception to LB’s 9 yard line

The Cavalier defense stiffened and Lafayette sent K 18 Newell out for a 23 yard field goal which was good and the Rams increased their lead to 20-13 with 9:57 left. After the two squads traded punts again, the Cavaliers took over on their 45 yard line with 4 minutes left trailing by 7. A personal foul penalty on the Cavaliers looked like it would thwart their drive, but the Rams gave them new life when they were penalized for roughing the passer. The Cavaliers had a fresh set of downs, but on the next play RB/LB 10 Rice lost the football and the Rams recovered on LB’s 48 yard line. The Cavalier defense forced a 4th and 6 and it was at this time that Lafayette Head Coach Andy Linn sent out his super senior, UVA commit, 4 LB/TE Mike Green to punt rather than his freshman punter who already had one blocked.

Rams’ Mike Green breaks one of many tackles in route to a 40 yard TD

Linn commented after the game that it “…turned out to be the right call, wasn’t planned for him to run it, but it was the right call”. Green took the snap and it appeared that the LB defender was poised to make the block so he took off for the far sideline, breaking two tackles that would have left him short of the first down. He broke several more tackles and passed the first down marker when he reversed the field and scored from 40 yard out with 1:27 left in the game. About the play, Coach Linn remarked, “I have been here since 1997, it’s the greatest play I’ve ever seen at Lafayette”. The PAT was good by K 18 Newell and the Rams claimed the Class 3 championship by the score of 27-13.

Offense: RushingLord Botetourt – Hunter Rice 21-106, TD, Fum, Dylan Wade 16-112, TD, KJ Bratton 6-22, Sammy Peery 5-9  Lafayette – Miguel Reel 20-66, Bryce Cupp 3-(-1), Luke Hanson 7-22, TD, Donald Gatling 1-7, Adrian Warren 3-5, Mike Green 1-40, TD

PassingLord Botetourt– Sammy Peery 2/11-21, 3 INT   Lafayette– Luke Hanson 8/22-105, TD  

ReceivingLord Botetourt– Zach Horton 2-21 Lafayette – Mike Green 6-67, TD, Lamont Jones 1-(-5), Donald Gatling 1- 43

PuntingLord Botetourt– Mikey Rago 5-27  Lafayette – James Spencer 5-26

Second Quarter
Lord Botetourt: Rice 2-yard run (Harvey kick), 5:16
Lafayette: Newell 40-yard FG, 0:00
Third Quarter
Lafayette: Green 28-yard pass from Hanson (Newell kick), 9:36
Lord Botetourt: Wade 2-yard run (kick missed), 7:47
Fourth Quarter
Lafayette: Hanson 1-yard run (Newell kick), 11:54
Lafayette: Newell 23-yard FG, 9:57
Lafayette: Green 40-yard run (Newell kick), 1:27

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