Brook Benton released the classic song “Rainy Night in Georgia” in 1970.
46 bears later, in Georgia, Florida, the Roanoke Valley and all points in between, rainy nights were again playing havoc, especially with the “Big-11” high school football schedules.
For the second week in a row, athletic directors were making decisions on when and where to play. Some stuck to Friday, a few jumped ahead to Saturday and others played it safe by moving to Monday.
Brook Benton would have been proud. “Lord, I believe it’s raining all over the world. Where do I go from here?”
Here’s a look at what transpired in week-7, as our 2 undefeated squads stayed the course, precipitation or not.
Patrick Henry-24 Cave Spring-0
Patrick Henry officials, despite downpours all throughout the afternoon that continued into the evening, stayed the course with a Friday night matchup against the Knights on the artificial turf of Merrill Gainer Field. PH scored 10 points in the second quarter and added 14 in the third, as the Patriot defense pitched the shutout win. PH improved to 6-1 on the season and 4-0 in the River Ridge District heading into a bye week this Friday before traveling to Salem on October 21st in what should be a battle of one-loss teams.
Salem’s 21 unanswered second quarter points broke open a 15-14 nail biter, and the Spartans put things away with 21 more in the third quarter to secure the victory. Salem topped the 50 point mark for the fourth week in a row and a road trip to Christiansburg this Friday night only separates Salem from what should be a full-house matchup at Salem Stadium in two weeks against Patrick Henry. Spartan quarterback Noah Beckley led the Salem offense with 3 TD runs and two passing touchdowns, while Riley Fox and De’Angelo Ramsey each scored twice for Salem.
William Byrd-43 William Fleming-20
Byrd showed two weeks ago it can win in the mud. Friday night they showed they were just as efficient on artificial turf as the Terriers knocked off the Colonels at Fleming Stadium. Byrd, (5-1), whose only loss came in overtime to Salem, jumped out to a 36-6 lead at halftime and never looked back. The thorn for Fleming was Terrier running back Larry Basham. Basham ran for 260 yards and five touchdowns in the first half alone. Fleming’s scores came from long range on runs of 53 and 89 yards by Malik Traynham and Keshaun Bond’s 78-yard interception return.
Glenvar-13 Giles-10 Overtime
Glenvar pulled out the Three River District thriller on the road in Pearisburg. After playing to a 7-7 tie in regulation, Glenvar saw Giles go ahead on the first possession of overtime on a 26-yard field goal. On the Highlanders’ subsequent overtime possession, Glenvar running back Jack Leonard punched it in from 4 yards out to secure the soggy victory in swamp-like conditions.
North Cross-56 St.Anne’s-Belfield-20
North Cross may have found a new home away from home. For the third time this season, the Raiders have played home games at Salem High School’s on-campus Spartan Stadium. The results have all proven to be similar-decisive blowouts of the opposition. Due to wet conditions at Thomas Field, the Raiders found the artificial turf in West Salem to their liking on Saturday. North Cross trailed 14-7 in the opening quarter, but outscored the Saints 25-6 in the second quarter and 24-0 after the halftime break to stay undefeated at 6-0. Nariq Bailey caught three TD passes and ran for a fourth, while Isaac Harris tacked on a pair of rushing touchdowns for the Raiders. North Cross QB Miles Lowman threw for 266 yards and 4 TDs and added a touchdown run in the decisive second quarter.
Lord Botetourt-56 Alleghany-24
Lord Botetourt found a couple of positive solutions in moving their previously scheduled Friday night game to Monday due to the effects of Hurricane Matthew. The Cavaliers stayed undefeated at 7-0 with the runaway win on drier turf and the Botetourt homecoming court was able to stay out of the mud on homecoming night in Daleville. The Cavs blew open a 28-17 halftime lead over the pesky Mountaineers by outscoring Alleghany 28-7 after the break. The workhorse for Lord Botetourt was running back Ty Maust, who found the end zone five times on runs of 44, 5, 22, 4 and 6 yards. Cavalier back Grayson Bond also did his part in the explosive Botetourt running game, passing the 100-yard rushing mark in the contest.
Staunton River-59 Northside-22
Usually, a 22-point fourth quarter is the formula for success in a high school football game. Unfortunately for the Northside Vikings, they were already in a 59-0 hole when the late comeback began. In another game moved to Monday night, Staunton River found the dried out turf at Jim Hickam Field to their liking as the Golden Eagles’ offense was in full throttle. Chief culprit for Northside was Staunton River running back Grayson Overstreet, who ran for five touchdowns in the Blue Ridge District win. It was a measure of satisfaction for the Golden Eagles, after their only loss of the season the previous Friday night in the mud bowl at William Byrd.
Roanoke Catholic-54 Fuqua-11
Catholic upended the VIS Division-III rankings with the lopsided win over the previously unbeaten Falcons. The game, moved to Monday night at Vinyard Field, saw the Celtics roll out to a 30-3 halftime lead to set the pace. Mykah English scored three touchdowns on a trio of scampers from inside the 5-yard line. Jamel Tyree added three long-range scores for Catholic, two on touchdown runs of 55 and 73 yards to go along with a 26-yard TD reception. It was Roanoke Catholic’s sixth straight win.
Hidden Valley-48 Carroll County-6
Hidden Valley obviously liked moving their road game to Monday night against the Cavaliers. The Titans jumped out to a 33-0 halftime lead and were up 48-0 before Carroll County got on the scoreboard in the fourth quarter. Navy recruit Ryan Mitchell got things started for Hidden Valley when he ran the opening kickoff back 95 yards for a TD. Titan QB Jonah Fitzgerald threw for 3 touchdowns, two to Alec Dalton, and scored on a pair of keepers from inside the 5-yard line to ignite the Titan offense.