On an evening when a bat fluttered over the football field and briefly held up play, it stands to reason that it would be a good night for the team wearing all black.
That was the case Friday at Dwight Bogle Stadium where Cave Spring celebrated homecoming and first-year Knights coach Nick Leftwich earned his initial career victory with a 48-8 win over Alleghany.
The outcome was evident early.
Cave Spring (1-3) blew out to a 34-0 halftime lead as sophomore running back Cam Parker rushed for 118 yards in the first quarter alone, finishing with 179 yards and three touchdowns on 19 carries.
The Knights’ defense did not allow a first down until the final play of the third quarter in limiting Alleghany (1-2) to 6 yards rushing for the game and only 51 yards of total offense.
After losses to Hidden Valley, Northside and Glenvar to open the season, Leftwich was happy that Friday’s win was some validation of the work his players have done in his rookie year.
“To get one, I’ve constantly said week-in, week-out we’re moving in the right direction,” Leftwich said. “Tonight we took that step as far as getting that win, but the job’s not done.”
Cave Spring won despite the absence of two injured two-way starters — running back/defensive back Landon Altizer, who had his right arm in a sling, and tight end/defensive end Bryce Cooper, who watched from the sidelines on crutches.
That meant more work for Parker, a 5-foot-6, 146-pounder who announced his presence with a stunning jump-cut for a 37-yard gain on his fourth carry of the game.
Parker later gave Cave Spring a 13-0 lead with a 65-yard run, adding a 5-yard TD just before halftime and a 7-yard TD in the third quarter.
“The coach just gave me a chance to run the ball, but it was a team effort,” Parker said.
The sophomore hopes to continue his production as long as Altizer is sidelined.
“I’ll handle it till he gets back,” he said.
Cave Spring put up 265 rushing yards as Jesse Monsour added 31 yards on eight carries and scored the game’s first TD on an 8-yard run.
Senior quarterback Skylor Griffiths fired a 22-yard TD pass to Owen Sweeney and followed that with a 1-yard sneak for a 27-0 first-half lead.
Defensively, Kent Ray had an interception and Tyler Poff recovered a fumble, leading to 14 first-half points.
The Knights’ final TD came on a 20-yard run by freshman Jackson Steffen for a 48-0 lead.
While Steffen scored his first career TD and Parker had a starring role, no one on the home sideline did better than senior lineman Sam Smith.
Not only did Smith lead his team to victory, he was named homecoming king at halftime.
“It was a great win,” Smith said. “I’m proud of the team. We’ve always had the effort. We got the execution done tonight. It feels good.”
Smith is high on what Leftwich has brought to the Knights in the coach’s first season.
“It’s a great mood change,” he said. “We’re really happy that he’s here. He’s changed the whole attitude. That’s our whole motto: attitude. We’re going to keep fighting for the rest of these games.”
Alleghany avoided a shutout when Garrett Via returned Cave Spring’s final kickoff 85 yards for a TD with 6:30 to play.
The Mountaineers never got on track offensively as Matthew Howell led the visitors with 16 yards rushing on eight carries. Via had 11 yards. Five other Alleghany running backs totaled minus yardage.
“We had too many gifts,” Alleghany coach Will Fields said. “We turned the ball over in our end and dug ourselves a huge hole early. It’s tough to play that way.
“We’ve got a young quarterback, so that’s what we’re trying to do. We weren’t very good up front tonight. I’m the offensive line coach so that’s on me.”
Cave Spring 48, Alleghany 8
Alleghany 0 0 0 8 — 8
Cave Spring 13 21 7 7 — 48
CS — Monsour 8 run (Sweeney kick)
CS — Parker 65 run (kick failed)
CS — Sweeney 22 pass from Griffiths (Sweeney kick)
CS — Griffiths 1 run (Sweeney kick)
CS — Parker 5 run (Sweeney kick)
CS — Parker 7 run (Sweeney kick)
CS — Steffen 20 run (Marlowe kick)
All — Garrett Via 85 kickoff return (Rogers pass from Caldwell)
First downs 2 15
Rushes-yards 22-6 44-265
Yards passing 45 59
Comp-Att-Int 5-10-2 5-6-1
Fumbles-lost 2-1 1-0
Penalties 4-40 2-10
Punts 5-22.4 1-49.0
RUSHING — Alleghany, Howell 8-16, Garrett Via 3-11, Kinsey 1-0, Gavin Via 1-(minus 1), Waylon Campbell 4-(minus 2), Crance 1-(minus 5), Entsminger 1-(minus 6), Caldwell 3-(minus 7). Cave Spring, Parker 19-179, Steffen 6-35, Monsour 8-31, Browning 4-13, Griffiths 6-11, Jeffords 1-(minus 4).
PASSING — Alleghany, Caldwell 3-8-2–20, Entsminger 2-2-0–25. Cave Spring, Griffiths 5-6-1–59.
RECEIVING — Alleghany, Boothe 2-25, Garrett Via 1-9, DePriest 1-6, Gavin Via 1-5. Cave Spring, Sweeney 1-22, Winesett 1-14, Babich 1-11, Monsour 1-7, Geralds 1-5.
Contact Robert Anderson at email@example.com or 981-3123