Blacksburg downed Pulaski this past week to claim home field advantage throughout the 4A playoffs. The Bruins will return home this Friday for the 2018 Homecoming game.
The best game of the week could be in Radford where James River comes to town in a battle of one-loss teams. Auburn will also get a shot at perineal Mt. Empire power, Galax.
Christiansburg showed some heart in last week’s loss to Hidden Valley and will remain on the turf this Friday when they visit Patrick Henry.
Marty’s Top Five: 1) Blacksburg, 2) Northside, 3) Glenvar, 4) Radford, 5) Pulaski. Poll busters to watch: Galax and Narrows.
Galax (5-2) at Auburn (4-4)
Last week: Galax rallied to score a touchdown with 46 seconds left in the game for a 21-14 win over George Wythe. Blake Brown ran for 177 yards on 25 carries.
Auburn rolled over Bland 47-8 as Carter Brockman recorded four touchdowns and rushed 17 times for 90 yards. Triston Perry added nine carries for 146 yards.
Scouting report: Galax was 10-4 last season, losing in the Class 1 state semifinals and is one the most consistent programs in the area with 69 wins in the past seven seasons. The team had to replace running back Dougie Peoples who rushed for 1,634 last season. His replacement, Blake Brown (5’9, 175, Sr.), should make a name for himself. Keaton Beeman (5’8, 160, Soph.,) also provides a change in pace.
The offensive line is led by Lee Peoples (6’2, 240), Issac Hawks (5’10, 225), Andrew Belcher (6’1, 200) and Todd Key (5’9, 230). Cornerback Josh Spurlin (5’8, 145) leads a defense that has not allowed more than 14 points in five games this season.
Eastern Montgomery at Covington (5-2)
Last week: Narrows downed Eastern Montgomery 20-0. Quarterback Dylan Owens completed 14 of 31 pass attempts for 158 yards but through three interceptions.
Covington stayed in the hunt for a Pioneer District title with a 19-7 win over Parry McCluer as they rushed for 204 yards. Shaun Smith finished with 180 yards on 31 carries.
Scouting report: Chris Jones is in his third season at Covington and finished 8-4 a year ago losing in the Region 1C second round. They return nine starters on both sides of the ball.
Sophomore Shane Gibson (6-2, 182) slides under center. Linebacker/running back Ed Tyson (6’2, 190), who finished fourth in the Pioneer with 87 1/2 total tackles, will provide leadership for a team that is littered with lots of underclassmen.
Two freshmen Gunner, Givens (6’4, 280) and Hunter McClain (6’5, 300) will anchor lines on both sides of the ball. Anthony Davis (6’3, 250) and Nick Humphries (6’1, 250) are both seniors.
Hidden Valley (2-5) at Blacksburg (8-0)
Last week: Hidden Valley picked up their second win of the season 21-13 over Christiansburg.
Quarterback Blake Carroll finished 19 of 29 for 245 yards in a game his team only rushed for 19 total yards.
Blacksburg had their biggest challenge of the season on the road against Pulaski County. The Bruins remained unbeaten with a 21-14 win that secured home field advantage in the Class 4 West playoffs.
Grant Johnston was 13 of 25 for 181 yards with two interceptions. The Bruins were limited to 24 yards on the ground. Thomas Coffey led the team with three receptions for 79 yards. Blacksburg also racked 105 yards in penalties.
Scouting report: Last season, the HV defense allowed 37 points per game but is improved. Grayson Carroll (6-3, 171, junior) takes over at quarterback. Tight end Kelly Mitchell (6-2, 218) provides a big target for him to throw to after tallying 44 last year. Austin Thompson (6-2, 222) and Luke Arner (6-2, 205) provides to big backups for Mitchell.
Broadcast: 97.1/93.1 FM, 810 AM.
Christiansburg (1-6) at Patrick Henry (3-3)
Last week: Christiansburg found a running attack when backup quarterback Jake Clemons came off the bench and ran 27 times for 139 yards in a 21-13 loss to Hidden Valley. He was also five of 10 through the air for 115 yards and a touchdown.
Starting QB MJ Hunter had three catches after moving to receiver for 101 yards. The Christiansburg defense only allowed 23 total yards on the ground and had three sacks.
Scouting report: PH Head Coach Alan Fiddler is in his eighth season and has racked up 48 wins. PH went 6-5 last season, losing in the opening round of the Class 5 playoffs.
Roy Gunn (5’11, 185, soph.), who is the nephew of former NBA basketball star George Lynch, takes over at QB.
Running back Jalen Cook (5’11, 200, jr.) transferred from Northside and will carry the rock. Charlie Boxley (6’5, 275) is an excellent offensive lineman. On defense last season, Boxley notched 8.5 sacks. Rashawn Poindexter (6’1, 240) provides size in the blocking game for the offensive line.
Broadcast: 100.7 FM.
James River (6-1) at Radford (6-1)
Last week: James River rolled in a 54-7 win over Alleghany as Coulter Hodges rushed 15 times for 136 yards and three touchdowns. He also threw for another score. James River finished with 282 total rushing yards.
Radford had the week off to prepare for this game but is coming off their sixth win of the season 53-20 over Floyd.
P.J. Prioleau ran 13 times for 173 yards and two touchdowns. Zane Rupe threw for two scores and ran for another. The Bobcats did gave 200 yards through the air.
On the season, Rupe is 60-91 for 692 yards, and Prioleau has 117 carries for 903 yards.
Scouting report: Last year, James River went 3-7 and missed the playoffs. River returns eight starters on offense including QB Coulter Hodges (5’10, 185), who is the team’s primary runner.
Last year he passed for 1,369 yards and ran for 859 yards. JR slipped by Radford 21-18 for one of their three wins.
Wide receiver River Clonch (5’9, 165, Sr.) had 36 receptions. Offensive linemen, Levi Walker (5’11, 260), Jeremiah Albert (6’4, 250) and Jack Hutchens (5’11, 245) do provide some size up front.
On the defensive side of the ball, Deacon Paivanas (6’1, 225) and Luke Peay (5’11, 200) are the primary run stoppers.
Broadcast: 101.7 FM.