High School Football Notebook: Big games loom on the schedule

Published 3:03 pm Monday, September 19, 2022

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VICTORIA – They just keep winning. Central Lunenburg. Randolph-Henry. Prince Edward County. All three remain undefeated in the James River District as we head into Week Five of the high school football season. And now we’re approaching the meat of the schedule. Over the next few weeks, these three will compete against each other. Will we still have any undefeated teams by the middle of October? It’ll be fun finding out. 

The news was mixed after this past week’s set of games. We saw some teams break losing streaks, while others continued to struggle.  Here’s a look at how each of the local schools performed last Friday and what’s coming up for them on Sept. 23. 

Central Lunenburg Chargers

As our story from Monday details, the Chargers started strong this season. Their defense is only giving up an average of 12 points, while the offense has been putting up an average of 44 a night. 

Now we’re entering the part of the schedule where we’ll see how much has changed since 2021. Last year, Buckingham and Nottoway were two of the only three to beat Central Lunenburg. Buckingham won 20-14 and the margin with Nottoway was slightly larger at 28-14. 

Flash forward one year and the three teams are in different positions. Nottoway is 1-2 after a rough start to the season. Buckingham, now 2-1, started slow with a loss to Appomattox County, but their offense has caught fire over the last two weeks. The Chargers go on the road to Nottoway Sept. 30, looking to avenge last season’s loss. Then on Oct. 27, they’ll play host to Buckingham, looking to erase that memory as well. 

But for now, the team is focused on Randolph-Henry, who Central Lunenburg plays this coming Friday. The unbeaten Statesmen, which have won 11 straight in the series, will bring a different kind of challenge.

“We told them the other night, all these other games are over with and it’s going to get tougher every week,” Chargers head coach Will Thomas stated. “We figured that Randolph-Henry would be undefeated when we played them at their place and it’s our first district game. That’s always a good grudge-match and I know Randolph- Henry will be amped up, confident and ready to go. It’s not going to get any easier for us.”

Randolph-Henry Statesmen

Now, let’s talk about those Statesmen. They held the homecoming parade. Then Randolph-Henry took the field for a celebration of their own. Following a 19-6 triumph over Nelson County in the opener and 52-15 blowout of Fuqua, Randolph-Henry won by a very convincing margin over the Surry Cougars, 47-12, on September 16 to move to 3-0 overall.

They pulled away over the final two quarters after leading 19-12 at half-time.

“We stayed consistent on offense and fixed some things on defense in the second half to shut them out,” declared coach Ray Conner.

Junior halfback Kanye Daley rushed for 127 yards on 13 attempts to lead the way. Freshman running back Sizemore added 89 yards on 10 carries. The Statesmen rushed for 350 yards, and in their previous two contests, they gained nearly 800 yards on the ground. Much credit goes to their veteran offensive line, a unit highlighted by seniors Parker Cottrell, Jayden Gee and Shyheim Wilson.

Next up is a home date with fellow unbeaten Central Lunenburg in what will be Randolph-Henry’s Athletic Hall of Fame night with plenty of buzz in the stadium.

“I feel like we’re right where we wanted to be and should be with this year’s team. Coming in with Central-Lunenburg, that’s going to be a knockdown, drag-out battle,” Conner noted.

“As long as we can limit turnovers, stay healthy and do what we do, we’re going to be in every ball game till the end.

Prince Edward County Eagles 

The Eagles had Sept. 16 off, so they remain at 3-0 on the season. This Friday, they’ll play host to a resurgent Buckingham County. 

Cumberland County Dukes

Heading into last Friday’s game, the Dukes didn’t want history to repeat itself. On Sept. 17, 2021, Cumberland played Nelson County and lost 20-16. Nelson had not won a game since that day, a track record the Dukes hoped to see continue. Unfortunately, things started to fall apart early and it was downfall from there, as Nelson County beat Cumberland 42-0 to break their losing streak. 

That marks the second straight game Cumberland has been shut out. Overall, they’ve scored 18 points on the season, while giving up 171. The 0-3 Dukes hope to get back on track this week, as they play host to 1-3 Nottoway. 

Other scores from the area: 

Rappahannock County 43, Kenston Forest 8

Buckingham County 48, Fuqua School 8

Amelia 35-7 over Altavista

Nottoway County didn’t play this week