Highlanders pitch another shutout, will host Floyd Co. in 3RD rematch this week

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Highlanders gang tackle a Dan River ballcarrier in last week’s win
Jack Leonard finds a nice hole up the middle to score one of his four touchdowns.
PHOTOS BY KENNY FORD

Glenvar played at Floyd on October 13 and tanned the Buffaloes’ hide by the tune of 35-7. That was one of just two losses on the season for Floyd, who also lost to Giles, 38-17. Glenvar and Giles are the first and third seeded teams in the region and Floyd is fourth.

“I really don’t care who we’re playing, we need to focus on us,” said Glenvar coach Kevin Clifford. “We know it will be a battle. They’re well-coached and we’ll get their best effort, but it’s more important we worry about us and just line up and play whoever the opponent is. When I was at PH(Patrick Henry High) coach (former Salem coach Willis) White told me, ‘focus on yourself and worry about what you do. Sometimes you can concentrate too much on your opponent and you forget about yourself.”

If Clifford is concerned about his own team, Floyd should be thinking about the Highlanders as well. Glenvar has put together back-to-back shutouts since suffering their only loss of the season, to Giles, on October 20. The Highlanders regrouped with a bye the week after the Giles game and haven’t been scored on since, including a 38-0 win over Dan River to open the playoffs last week. That game was at Highlander Stadium, as will this week’s game with Floyd.

“Our kids played hard,” said Clifford of the win over Dan River. “We really got after them, especially in the second half. It was exciting.”

While Clifford was excited about the defensive effort, he’s come to expect it.

“We’ve played pretty well all season on defense,” he said. “I’m proud of the effort the kids are giving.”

Maxx Philpott, who is having a monster year, had 15 tackles against Dan River, including a sack and three tackles for losses. Colby Street had 13 tackles, Bradey Loder had a dozen and Hunter Stanley had 10. Dakota Francisco, Tyler Beckner and Logan Williams all had interceptions.

Dan River was still in the game at the half, down just 10-0. After a scoreless first quarter Jack Leonard got the Highlanders on the board with a one yard TD run and Kaid Fuhrman kicked a 23 yard field goal.

The Highlanders got it rolling after intermission. Leonard scored on two five yard runs in the third period to make it 24-0, then Glenvar put it away with two big plays in the fourth quarter. Loder returned a punt 43 yards for a score and Leonard put the icing on the cake with a 66 yard TD run.

Jack finished with 235 yards rushing on 36 carries. His four TDs added to the season scoring record he already set this year, and his rushing total set a new season rushing record for the Highlanders, eclipsing the mark Brandon Semones set way back in 1992.

Quarterback Landry Gerbers completed six of 14 passes for 113 yards. Street had two catches for 30, Justin Campbell had two for 64 yards and Beckner had one reception for 19 yards.

The win lifted Glenvar to 10-1 and put Glenvar in the second round of the playoffs for the fourth year in a row. In the other Region C game defending state champion Appomattox will host Giles, and the two winners will meet the day after Thanksgiving. If Glenvar wins Friday night the Highlanders would host that game.

“Every game’s a challenge this time of the year,” said Clifford. “We’re just taking it one day at a time.”

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