CHRISTIANSBURG — How best to summarize a nine-touchdown loss?
“It didn’t start well then it snowballed on us,” Radford coach Michael Crist said.
That pretty much covers Christiansburg’s 63-0 demolition of the visiting Bobcats on Friday in the first high school football game played between the close neighbors since 2007.
Radford (3-2) forced a fumble on the opening kickoff to earn possession at the Blue Demons’ 26 then promptly stalled after three plays. Then, in stormed Jayron Thompson on special teams, the very player who had coughed up the Christiansburg fumble, who then sliced through some blockers and knocked down the kick.
Then he was off on a 68-yard touchdown return.
While Thompson recognized the formation from practice, picking up the loose football and racing down the field with nary a stumble was a little bit fuzzy in Thompson’s recollection. He was probably running too fast to think about things very deeply.
That’s the way it went for the undefeated Blue Demons (4-0) all night. Pretty much everything they did worked out to their liking. For the Bobcats, it was just the opposite.
“We got a touchdown called back just before the half because we had a blocker downfield, so that hurt us,” Crist said. “Had we gone in and scored there, we would have had some momentum. But getting it called back negated what had been a good last drive of the half.”
By halftime, it was 27-0. Then it was 48-0 after three quarters.
Christiansburg had eight players combine for 273 rushing yards, and quarterback Casey Graham completed eight of 10 passes for 71 more yards and a touchdown. Additionally, Graham ran for two more scores, one a 17-yarder in which he faked a handoff so smoothly that he made it all the way to the goal line before any Bobcat laid a finger on him.
“We take what the defense gives us every Friday night,” Graham said. “They were giving us the run, so that’s what we took.”
Most of that taking was being handled by tailback Kenyon Johnson-Buchannon, who ran 15 times for 98 yards and two scores. It was a busy night for him seeing as how he was allowed to skip coach Alex Wilkens’ halftime remarks so the senior could collect the headgear that is awarded to the homecoming king.
A particularly gratifying part of the evening for the king was the renewal of the rivalry with Radford.
“They’re my family, a lot are my cousins,” he said of the Bobcats. “We expected this to be a gritty game.”
Counting extra points (one was a Reid Allen run after a botched snap), 10 players scored for Christiansburg.
As for the man who started it all, Thompson added one of Christiansburg’s four interceptions to go with a couple of breakups, then on offense caught four passes for 29 yards.
“He’s just a big-time ballplayer,” Wilkens said. “He had some big catches on offense, too. He’s incredible on special teams, just a great all-around ballplayer.”
Christiansburg 63, Radford 0
Radford 0 0 0 0 – 0
Christiansburg 13 14 21 15 – 63
C — Thompson 68 blocked kick return (kick failed)
C — Graham 1 run (Bremner kick)
C — Graham 17 run (Bremner kick)
C — Taylor 16 pass from Graham (Bremner kick)
C — Johnson-Buchannon 3 run (Bremner kick)
C — Johnson-Buchannon 2 run (Bremner kick)
C — Myrthil 1 run (Bremner kick)
C — Altizer 10 run (Allen run)
C — Evans 3 run (Conner kick)
First downs 8 19
Rushes-yards 30-132 40-273
Passing yards 38 76
Comp-Att-Int 6-17-4 8-10-0
Fumbles-lost 2-2 0-0
Penalties-yards 4-35 6-40
Punts-Avg. 3-30 0-0
RUSHING – Radford, Baylor 10-43, Dobson 8-36, Joplin 4-15, Wesley-Brubeck 3-13, Taylor 1-12, Wesley 2-6, Brubeck 1-0. Christiansburg, Johnson-Buchannon 15-98, Evans 5-41, Fernandez 3-34, Myrthil 8-32, Graham 6-31, Dow 2-17, Lloyd 3-23, C. Altizer 2-14, Thompson 1-4.
PASSING – Radford, Baylor 5-14-2-36, Wesley 1-3-2-2. Christiansburg, Graham 8-10-0-71.
RECEIVING – Radford, Dobson 2-20, Hamblin 2-6, Wesley-Brubeck 1-1, Kanipe 1-11. Christiansburg, Thompson 4-29, T. Altizer 2-36, Lloyd 1-6.