The junior running back rushed for 225 yards and scored the first four Blue Devil touchdowns that staked Hopewell to a 28-0 lead after three quarters. The teams traded fourth quarter touchdowns, but it was too little, too late for any hope of a Botetourt comeback.
Lord Botetourt faced a pair of major obstacles Saturday afternoon in their VHSL Class 3 football championship game with Hopewell.
Second on the list were five uncharacteristic Botetourt turnovers, three from fumbles and a pair from interceptions.
First on the list was a guy named TreVeyon Henderson.
In a winner-take-all title game between two 14-0 teams, Henderson put on a highlight reel show as Hopewell ran away with the 35-7 win at Williams Stadium on the Liberty University campus in Lynchburg.
The stage was set early after Hopewell won the coin toss and deferred to the second half. Botetourt took the kickoff and went three-and-out before punting to the Devils. On the second offensive play Henderson raced 62 yards for a score that put Hopewell up 7-0 following junior Boonsong Paxton’s conversion, his first of five successful kicks on the day.
After Hopewell picked off a Botetourt pass late in the first quarter, Henderson went 29 yards on first down from the Botetourt 44, then scored three plays later from 16 yards out to put the Devils up 14-0 with 8 seconds left in the opening frame.
The Cavaliers drove deep into Hopwell territory midway through the second quarter, but a fumble ended the Botetourt threat. Late in the second, Hopewell has the ball at the Cavalier 2-yard line with less than ten seconds left before the Botetourt defense stood tall and stopped the Devils to send the teams to the halftime break with the score still holding at 14-0.
The two teams combined for 14 first half penalties, but the Cavs were still in the game despite one of their worst half of the season.
Hopewell got its third score with 4:43 left in the third. Devil junior running back Robert Briggs set the stage with a 57-yard run to the Botetourt 15-yard line, before an unsportsmanlike penalty against Hopewell put the ball back 15 yards, giving the Cavs another chance to dodge a bullet. But, Hopewell’s junior quarterback Joseph Eliades lofted a short screen pass that Henderson took to the end zone for a 21-0 lead.
Just over two minutes later, after Botetourt failed to convert on fourth down giving the ball to Hopewell at the Devil 47. Henderson went 53 yards on the first play to jump the Hopewell advantage to 28-0.
Botetourt found the scoreboard with 10:46 left in the game when junior defensive back Kyle Arnholt picked off an Eliades pass and took it 52 yards for the pick-six that cut the Cav deficit to 28-7 after senior Terran Baker’s point after.
But, Hopewell answered with 9:06 remaining when senior linebacker and captain Kaiveon Cox forced a fumble and went 30 yards for a Devil score and the final 35-7 margin.
While most team statistics were fairly even other than the 141-yard rushing advantage enjoyed by Hopewell, Henderson’s explosiveness was clearly the difference. Henderson has college offers from virtually every major college program in the country, including LSU, Alabama, Notre Dame and Ohio State. Botetourt’s junior running back Hunter Rice was the workhorse for the Cavs, gaining 173 yards on 34 carries.
Botetourt finished 14-1 in its eighth year of head coach Jamie Harless. Since Harless took over in 2012, Botetourt has made the playoffs every year and advanced to the state title game twice.