The Glenvar football team lost for the first time this year last Friday when the Highlanders fell to Giles. The visiting Spartans snapped a bunch of streaks with the 24-14 win at Highlander Stadium.
First of all, it was Glenvar’s first loss of a season that was 8-0 to that point. It also snapped a 25 game home winning streak and a Three Rivers District winning streak that stretched back to 2014. Lastly, it was the first time in the last five games that the Highlanders lost to Giles.
“You hate to lose, but at least we lost to a good program,” said Glenvar coach Kevin Clifford. “We got outplayed and we got outcoached. They did some things we hadn’t seen them do.”
Still, Glenvar had plenty of opportunities to win. The Highlanders outplayed the Spartans for most of the first half but found themselves down 10-0 at intermission.
Most of the first quarter was played in Giles’ end of the field, but the Highlanders couldn’t put it in the end zone. In the second quarter a bad snap near the goal line cost the Highlanders 12 valuable yards, then a field goal attempt backfired when the ball popped in the air and Ryan Beidleman returned it to the Glenvar 25.
“The ball wasn’t on the tee right,” said Clifford. “It went up in the air like a punt.”
The Spartans turned the break into the first touchdown of the game with just under nine minutes left in the half. Then Giles added a field goal right before the break.
Giles made it 17-0 on a Beidleman run in the third quarter, but the Highlanders came firing back to score on a three yard run by Jack Leonard. Beidleman and Leonard exchanged fourth quarter touchdowns but the Highlanders never could get within one score of the Spartans in the second half.
“They just outplayed us,” said Clifford. “We’re certainly disappointed, but this has become a great rivalry.”
Leonard finished with 169 yards on 33 carries. Landry Gerbers was 19 for 40 passing and Josh Clifford had 10 catches for 110 yards despite being double teamed much of the game. Logan Williams had four catches for 46 yards and Justin Campbell caught two passes for 31.
On defense, Maxx Philpott had 14 tackles, including two for losses. Colby Street had 10 tackles and Hunter Stanley had seven, with two for losses.
With the defeat Glenvar dropped below Appomattox in the Region 2C rankings. The Highlanders are still second, with Giles third and Floyd County fourth. If the Highlanders can hold second they can guarantee themselves a chance at two home playoff games, and should they continue winning they would play the regional championship at home should Appomattox be upset. Otherwise, Appomattox would have home field for all regional games they play.
“Our goal now is to go 9-1 and play the first two games at home,” said Clifford. “This sort of puts us back in the underdog role, and I like being the underdog. We were getting a lot of attention, but now the streak is over and there’s no pressure.”
Glenvar will have a bye this week, then finish the regular season at Radford on November 3rd.
“It’s a good week for a bye,” said Clifford. “We’re a little banged up and we have some stuff to work on. You hate to lose, but losing magnifies everything and maybe shows you some things you need to correct.”