By Marty Gordon
Radford High School will open as the top seed in Region 2C when the playoffs open this Friday, hosting eighth-seeded (5-5) Dan River. Glenvar is #3 and Floyd #6 in the regional points, looking up at the Bobcats.
At 9-1, Radford is rolling into the playoffs after a Thursday night win over James River.
Junior QB Landon Clark has had a sensational year with 130 for 192 passing with 2,396 yards and 36 touchdowns. He has also rushed 97 times for 404 yards with another six touchdowns.
His favorite receivers have been Parker Prioleau (48 catches for 811 yards with 11 touchdowns), Marcell Baylor (36 receptions for 778 yards with 15 touchdowns), and Max Kanipe (24 catches for 483 yards with five touchdowns).
For the season, David Woodward added 76 rushes for 360 yards with seven touchdowns.
On defense, Baylor leads the team with 44 tackles, and Prioleau is second on the team with 33 stops.
As long as they keep winning, Radford will continue to host the regionals.
Christiansburg will also open the Class 3 playoffs with a region D matchup with a familiar foe in Abingdon.
Last week, Tanner Evans and Curtis Altizer combined for 302 yards on the ground as the Blue Demons held off a late comeback by Pulaski for a 34-31 win. Altizer finished the night with 172 yards on 11 carries with touchdown runs of 79 and 65 yards. Evans added 130 yards on 12 carries that included a 66-yard score in the first quarter. Evans also threw for two touchdowns to Jayron Thompson and Dishon Garrison.
The key for Christiansburg will be how the defense responds after giving up 31 points in the season finale against Pulaski including two scores in the last three minutes.
Abingdon will enter the contest with a 5-5 record, including a 22-13 loss to Christiansburg in Week #2. Last week, they pulled out a 21-20 thriller over Lee County.
Alex Hawkins piled up 153 rushing yards on 20 carries and scored two touchdowns for Abingdon while Luke Honaker gained 81 yards on the ground and scored the other touchdown for the Falcons.
In the earlier game this season, Thaxton Henley picked off two passes as the Blue Demon defense produced three Abingdon turnovers and two sacks. Cam Cooper led the Blue Demons with 85 yards rushing on nine carries with a 68-yard touchdown. He was also two-of-three through the air for 36 yards with a 28-yard completion to Evans, who added 79 yards on the ground on 15 carries.
Since then, Cooper has been benched and the Blue Demons have used three other players at quarterback. Evans has the most starts with six and is expected to start this Friday night
Abingdon, which stopped a Lee County two-point conversion in the final regular season contest, slipped in at number six. Their losses have come 24-7 to Gate City, 34-14 to Tennessee High, 20-13 to River View and 37-0 to Union.
In the region points, a win by Christiansburg might not mean another home game. Magna Vista is second and would have to lose for that to happen. The winner of the Christiansburg-Abingdon game will play the winner of Magna Vista-Staunton River.
Area Top Five: 1) Radford, 2) Salem, 3) Narrows, 4) Christiansburg, 5) Glenvar.