by Brian Hoffman
Glenvar’s November “Redemption Tour” continues this week when the Highlanders host Appomattox for the Region 2C football championship on Friday night. Game time is 7 pm at Highlander Stadium.
The Highlanders have redeemed themselves with wins in the past two weeks. Glenvar lost three regular season games, to Galax, Martinsville and Floyd, but in the first two weeks of the playoffs they hammered Floyd, 49-14, and last Friday they turned the tables on Martinsville, shutting out the Bulldogs 35-0 at Martinsville’s “Dog House.”
Glenvar won’t get another shot at Galax, a Class 1 school, but this week’s game with Appomattox is a big one and ripe for “redemption.” The Raiders have knocked the Highlanders out of the region playoffs for the past five years in a row, including a 27-21 win over Glenvar at Highlander Stadium last year. They’ve gone on to win the Class 2 state championship in three of those years and have won five of the past seven state titles overall.
“They’re talented and they’re well coached,” said Glenvar coach Kevin Clifford of the Raiders. “You don’t win five state titles in seven years without good coaching.”
The Raiders came into the region tournament as the fourth seed. They beat Alleghany in the first round, 40-12, then upset top-seeded Radford last Friday, 38-33. That’s why Glenvar, the third seed in the region, gets to host the game this week.
Appomattox comes in with an overall record of 9-3. They started off 1-3, with losses to Rustburg, Heritage and Lord Botetourt, but they’ve won their last eight games in a row.
Meanwhile, the Highlanders won their fifth game in a row, and ninth in their last 10, with the shutout of Martinsville last week. The Glenvar offense was hitting on all cylinders again as quarterback Brody Dawyot threw for 132 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 74 yards and another score.
Elijah Carter had a big game for Glenvar, rushing for 158 yards and two scores. Carter missed some games with injuries during the regular season but he looks to be healthy as he returned to work horse duty in the Highlanders’ ground game.
Gabe Ford continued to be Dawyot’s favorite target, catching seven passes for 88 yards. Nick Woodson had three catches for 45 yards, including a TD, while Jackson Swanson had three catches for 33 yards and Shane Gibson had a touchdown reception.
On defense, Gibson led Glenvar with 12 total tackles while Ben Holiday had 10 and both had a sack. Woodson had nine tackles and Dawson Anderson had an interception.
The winner of Friday’s game will advance to the state semifinal the weekend of December 3rd against the winner of a game between Graham and Ridgeview.