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Cougars end Broadway drought with impressive effort

Something happened Friday night at Broadway High that had never happened before.

Riverheads' Harrison Schaefer breaks away from Waynesboro's Phillip Monterrozo for one of his three touchdowns Friday against the Little Giants. Schaefer now has 10 TDs in three games.

Riverheads’ Harrison Schaefer breaks away from Waynesboro’s Phillip Monterrozo for one of his three touchdowns Friday against the Little Giants. Schaefer now has 10 TDs in three games.

Stuarts Draft won a football game.

The Cougars ended their drought in Broadway with a convincing 35-7 victory, moving their record to 3-0 on the season.

Draft got another strong offensive performance, spearheaded by backs Dylan Lehmann and Izzy Johnson, but it was the defense that came through again. The Cougars, who shut out Waynesboro last week, kept the Gobblers off the scorebaord until allowing a touchdown late in the fourth quarter.

“We thought with our smaller, quicker line, we could penetrate and we were big on the linebackers pressing the gap,” Draft coach Nathan Floyd said. “The guys executed the plan and it was a great job on their part doing it.”

It was fourth win over Broadway in 18 games since 1999 for Draft, according to VHSL-reference.com.

Up next: a clash in Elkton with East Rockingham (2-1), which was Idle last week. The Eagles defeated Spotswood (35-20) and Strasburg (35-8) before losing to Madison County 34-32 on Sept. 9.

Floyd is looking forward to the matchup with East Rock and head coach Donnie Coleman, who, like Floyd grew up in Buena Vista. But Floyd knows his Cougars will have to be at their best to earn the win.

“I try to tell the guys it doesn’t matter who you play on Friday night, they are all big games,” Floyd said. “Work hard in practice, get better each day and hopefully come out with a W.”

Plenty of manpower

Riverheads may have the smallest student population among City/County public schools, but you wouldn’t know it by looking at its football roster.

The Gladiators, who improved to 3-0 with a 48-7 victory at Waynesboro on Friday, have 47 players on their varsity roster, more than some larger schools in the region.

Not all 47 get in every game, but head coach Robert Casto makes an effort to get in as many as he can. Having big leads most weeks makes that easier. 

“It makes practice a lot funner when they get in the game,” said Casto, who pulled his starters in the third quarter against the Little Giants. “Instead of just being a guy in a different role in practice, they get to be a guy in a big role.”

The Kate Collins Middle School band joined the marching bands from Waynesboro and Riverheads high school on field for the playing of the national anthem before the start of Friday's game in Waynesboro.

The Kate Collins Middle School band joined the marching bands from Waynesboro and Riverheads high school on field for the playing of the national anthem before the start of Friday’s game in Waynesboro.

So if and when injuries hit, the Gladiators have players ready to step up who already have experienced the speed of a varsity game.

It is also a big reason you never hear the word “rebuilding” when it comes to the Riverheads program. If graduation hits them hard, there are always plenty of players with experience coming back.

Riverheads hosts Luray on Friday.

Bright spot

It’s tough finding positives after a lopsided loss, but Fort Defiance had at least one in its 77-0 loss to Lord Botetourt, which lost in the Group 3A final last year.

Senior Trenton Campbell came up with some big punts to make the field a little longer for the Cavaliers, registering kicks of 43, 51, and 56 yards.

The Indians (0-4) are at winless Broadway on Friday night, hoping to put an end to their 17-game losing streak.

This Week’s schedule

Friday’s Games

• Fort Defiance at Broadway, 7 p.m.

• Buffalo Gap at Wilson Memorial, 7 p.m.

• Luray at Riverheads, 7 p.m.

• Stuarts Draft at East Rockingham, 7 p.m.

• Waynesboro at Spotswood, 7 p.m.

• Turner Ashby at Robert E. Lee, 7 p.m.

• Massanutten Military at Fishburne Military, 4 p.m.

Saturday’s Game

• Grace Christian at Hampton Roads Christian, 2 p.m.

Compiled by sports writer Tom Jacobs. Staff writers Ron Hartlaub, Mark Griffin, Joe Pittman and Bill Meade contributed to this report.

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