By Brian Hoffman
First place in the Three Rivers District will be on the line Friday when Glenvar travels to Radford for a 7 pm football game at Norman Lineburg Field. Is this a big game? Let me count the ways.
First of all, Glenvar can tie for the Three Rivers District lead with a win. The Highlanders have one district loss, to Floyd, and last week Radford gave Floyd their first district loss in a 28-27 thriller. So, if Glenvar can win Friday the Highlanders, Radford and Floyd would all have one district loss and be tied for the Three Rivers lead by the weekend, assuming Floyd beats Alleghany this Friday.
Glenvar plays Giles in a non-district game to end the regular season on November 4th, so that won’t factor into the district standings. Floyd plays Alleghany and Carroll County, two teams they should beat, to end the regular season and Radford will be decided favorites over James River in their regular season finale. So, the Highlanders will be either co-champs or champs of the Three Rivers with a win Friday and coach Kevin Clifford puts a high priority on winning the district.
“If we’re co-champs I still count that as district champs,” he said.
Secondly, and more importantly, this is a huge game for playoff position in Region 2C. Currently Radford sits atop 2C with a 27.00 rating while Glenvar is fourth at 20.62. If the Highlanders can win Friday they’ll pick up points for beating Radford and a slew of rider points for the eight games the Bobcats have already won. They could leap frog Appomattox, who is barely ahead of Glenvar in third at 20.77. In that scenario Glenvar would assure themselves of at least a first round home game and put Appomattox in Radford’s bracket for the playoffs. Martinsville is currently in second in the region and the likely opponent in the region semis for the third place team.
Floyd is currently in fifth place in the region at 20.37, breathing down Highlander necks. So, if Glenvar does not win Friday and Floyd passes them in the standings Glenvar will not only be in Radford’s bracket for the semifinals, they would lose their first round home game and probably have to go to Floyd.
Thirdly, the Highlanders just don’t want to lose to Radford. Glenvar has won the last two meetings but both games were close. In the spring 2021 season Glenvar won 16-14 and last fall the Highlanders won 23-21 on a miracle catch by Dagan Williams in the closing seconds of the game. The two previous years Radford won by scores of 17-7, in 2018, and 13-7, in ’19, and the Bobcats lead the all-time series, 14-12.
While Radford had a war with Floyd last week the Highlanders had their bye, and it couldn’t have come at a better time. Glenvar has been beset by injuries this year and Clifford expects everyone to be ready with the exception of two-way lineman Will Johnson.
“I expect everyone to be back this week,” he said. “We’ve had six and a half starters out all year. I’m not going to use it as an excuse, but every game someone has gotten hurt.”
Glenvar comes in at 5-3 while Radford is undefeated at 8-0. The Bobcats have had two close games, a 21-20 win over Class 3 Christiansburg and last week’s 28-27 win over Floyd, which came down to the Buffaloes failing on a two point conversion at the end of the game.
“Radford has a good team, we know that,” said Clifford. “We’re going to have to play aggressively. They have some really good skill kids and we have to make them drive the length of the field and limit their big plays.”