RC’s Comeback Attempt Falls Short Against LB, 41-28

Jonathan Schwab

Friday, Sept. 15 – Despite making a valiant effort to come back from a 21-0 first-half deficit, the Rockbridge County High School football team fell 41-28 to Lord Botetourt on Friday in Lexington.

In a game packed with penalties, the Cavaliers (4-0) jumped on the Wildcats (2-2) early, scoring on their second drive. LB freshman running back Hunter Rice made a series of runs before breaking through defenders for a 45-yard touchdown, and an extra point put LB up 7-0 just over four minutes into the game. On the night, Rice ran for five of the Cavaliers’ six TDs and rushed for 203 yards on 27 carries.

Rice’s 26-yard run with 2:29 left in the first quarter extended LB’s lead to 14-0, and he made a 6-yard TD run midway through the second quarter to give the visitors a 21-0 lead.

The Wildcats scored on their next drive. Following passes and runs by quarterback Ben Rhodenizer, Triniti Stores ran for an 11-yard TD, and an extra point by Ellison Morel cut the lead to 21-7 with 3:13 left in the first half. Morel converted all four of his extra point attempts. LB responded with a TD pass from Evan Eller to Lee Kreider 51.7 seconds before halftime, making it 28-7.

After the halftime recognition of the Rockbridge Area Recreation Organization football players and cheerleaders, the Wildcats stepped up defensively, leading to an LB field goal attempt that fell short.

The Wildcats were then stopped in their own territory, and LB made a series of runs that ended with a 3-yard TD by Rice to put the Cavaliers up 34-7 with 2:46 left in the third quarter. Roughhousing and arguing followed the TD, and penalties were called on both teams, including unsportsmanlike conduct on LB. The penalty yardage led to the Cavaliers’ attempting the extra point from the RC 32-yard line, and the kick fell far short.

RC responded with a quick score. After runs by Rhodenizer and Stores, Rhodenizer found the end zone with a 12-yard run, cutting the lead to 34-14 with 1:10 left in the frame.

On LB’s next drive, Stores stole the ball from an LB player, setting up RC at the LB 35. From there, he and Rhodenizer made a series of runs to set up Rhodenizer for a 19-yard TD pass to Malik Dunn, trimming the lead to 34-21 with 9:44 left in the game.

Neither team got close to the end zone again until Rice made multiple runs that ended with a 2-yard TD run to extend LB’s lead to 41-21 with 2:24 left. On RC’s final drive, Rhodenizer made passes to Johnny Dunn and Kyle Irvine to set up Stores for a 2-yard TD run. LB took a knee to end the game.

The Wildcats will begin Valley District play at Fort Defiance next Friday at 7 p.m.

For the full story, photos and stats from tonight’s game, please see our Sept. 22 newspaper.


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