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Winless Rockbridge County forces Lord Botetourt to rewrite its game plan.
Saturday, October 12, 2013
LEXINGTON - What on earth was happening at Rockbridge County on Friday night?
The one-win home team punched unbeaten Lord Botetourt in the mouth and held an unlikely 7-6 lead at halftime.
Bloodied but undaunted, Lord Botetourt ramped up its defense, made a critical offensive adjustment and pulled away in the second half for a 25-7 win.
"When you're undefeated, you're no longer hunting," Lord Botetourt head coach Jamie Harless said. "People are hunting you. Everybody wants to go out and get a shot at the big buck. I'm proud of Rockbridge's kids. They came to play."
It was just the second time this season the Cavaliers (6-0) trailed in a game, and just the second time an opponent had scored. Rockbridge County head coach Jason White said the Wildcats (1-5) spent their bye week leading up to Friday adding wrinkles to their offense and defense.
"We were doing some things differently this week," White said. "We had a bye week and put our kids into a situation we felt like would be more successful, and obviously it worked."
The Cavaliers opened the game in typical fashion, getting a huge punt return from Bobby Staples to start their first possession at the Wildcats 36. Six plays later, running back Chris Thompson pounded his way up the middle for a 9-yard touchdown.
The Wildcats responded in kind to open the second quarter when they embarked on an impressive 12-play, 73-yard drive that consumed nearly seven minutes. Omar White scored the go-ahead touchdown on a 9-yard run.
The half ended with Lord Botetourt stumbling around at its own end of the field during an odd nine-play drive that netted a mere 3 yards by the time the clock ran out.
That's when Harless and his staff rewrote the game plan.
"Based on the first half, we knew they would scheme their entire defense around a specific side they felt the play was going to," Harless said. "All we did was kind of a check-with-me deal at the line and we let them know which way we wanted to run the ball or throw the ball."
In the second half, the Cavaliers scored on their first three possessions and limited the Wildcats to 10 total yards.
Thompson finished with 175 yards on 40 carries. He accounted for all three touchdowns and two two-point conversions.
"I think they were giving us some looks we had not practiced against all week," Thompson said. They came out and weren't going to roll over for us. It was a dogfight in the first half."
The Wildcats finished with just four first downs and 88 total yards but walked off the field pleased with their effort.
"We held them to their lowest point total of the year. We're not into moral victories, but I like our work tonight," White said. "We just played a really good football team and there's no shame in losing to someone as good as Lord Botetourt. This is something we can build on for the rest of the season."
Lord Botetourt 6 0 16 3-25
Rockbridge County 0 7 0 0-7
LB - Thompson 9 run (Run failed)
RC - White 9 run (Ramirez kick)
LB - Thompson 7 run (Thompson run)
LB - Thompson 13 run (Thompson run)
LB - Bourne 38 FG
First downs 18 4
Yards rushing 212 88
Passes C-A-I 4-8-0 0-4-1
Yards passing 82 0
Penalties-yards 4-40 3-20
Fumbles-lost 0-0 0-0
Punts-average 0-0 4-23.5
RUSHING - Lord Botetourt, Thompson 40-175, Webb 9-28, Lythegoe 3-9; Rockbridge County, White 5-27, Pooley 10-54, Wood 9-11, Friedman 1-(-3), Merchant 1-(-1).
PASSING - Lord Botetourt, Webb 4-8-0 82; Rockbridge County, Wood 0-4-1 0.
RECEIVING - Lord Botetourt, Oyler 1-19, Staples 2-28, Rivenbark 1-35.
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