WHO: Alleghany Cougars (5-1) at Glenvar Highlanders (5-1)
WHERE: Highlander Stadium
WHEN: Friday, October 13, 2023, at 7:00 p.m.
LAST WEEK: AHS defeated CCHS in their first-ever homecoming game, shutting them out 47-0. Meanwhile, Glenvar defeated Patrick County 41-21.
LAST SEASON: Alleghany Cougars (N/A, Inaugural Year), Glenvar Highlanders (7-3 prior to playoffs. 9-4 post-playoff record)
In last week’s Homecoming game against Carroll County, the Alleghany Cougars demolished the visiting team in a shutout that led to many fans cutting out early during Halftime. Late in the third quarter, the Cavaliers had managed to get past mid-field, only to fumble the ball and have Alleghany recover it. Afterwards, both teams were scoreless, leading to a 47-0 win for Alleghany.
With both teams sharing the same record this week, it’s tough to say who will be the victor. Last year, the Glenvar Highlanders played the Alleghany Mountaineers and defeated them with a score of 31-6. In the grand scheme of things, that’s only a 4-touchdown victory, or 3 and a field goal if you squeeze in a couple two-point-conversions.
Given the unmatched Cougar defense, however, and the fact the schools have merged —giving Alleghany High School to have the best of both worlds— this year’s score might just be a bit closer, producing a victory for our boys in blue. That’s my prediction this week.
I reached out to Sarge Persinger’s father, Rocky Persinger, to ask him how he thought the Cougars would fare against the Highlanders and he shared a similar opinion. “Well, this game is going to be a special one, for sure. Sarge grew up playing with these guys [Glenvar], while I was the assistant coach with their rec. club from the time Sarge was 8 years old until he was in the 8th grade. That’s when we moved back here. We know a lot of these kids’ [Glenvar] strengths— they have a great program, strong kids, and a good passing game, but the Cougars have blended well. They gave Radford a run for their money, putting up 22 points when Glenvar only had 3 [against Radford]. That speaks volumes! We have the line, the speed, the air attack; I believe we can pull it out. This is a new age for Alleghany. It’s a very special game for my family.”
It sounds to me like the Cougars have an amazing edge on their opponent. It’s one thing to watch videos of previous games and break out your notebook to write down the ins-and-outs of their game strategy. It’s quite another to have a player on the team who doesn’t have to do that because he played with your opponents for years. He already knows what to expect from this bunch of players due to his own firsthand knowledge. I’d say that gives the Alleghany Cougars all the edge they need for Friday night’s game.
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
The Knighton brothers: Hunter and Hayden
The Chapman brothers: Evin, Nate, and Caleb Walden
ABOUT THE OPPONENT:
Predictions aside, Glenvar is likely going to be a tough opponent to take down. Last year, they made it all the way to the playoffs and were defeated in the third game by Appomattox County, who just edged them out at 38-34. Undoubtedly, it was a crushing defeat for the Highlanders who are looking to secure another ride to the playoffs this year.
Their head coach, Kevin Glifford, is now in his 17th season with the Glenvar Highlanders. Offensively, they were on fire last year, averaging over 32 points per game. So far this year, that average has increased to over 39. However, Alleghany’s average is over 40 points per game. On that same token, Glenvar has allowed, on average, more than 15 points per game to be scored against them this season. For Alleghany, that number, on average, is less than 9. Going strictly by these numbers alone, Alleghany looks to have an excellent shot against Glenvar.
As far as what to expect from Glenvar, Alleghany should be watching out for their running game, as they have already stated will be their game plan. “Running, we’re gonna run a lot. Our offensive linemen carry us through the whole entire game, so we are planning to run,” said senior lineman Nathan Johnson. “We don’t have all the offensive guys we had last year like Jackson and Gabe. They’re really good weapons that we had last year, but we don’t have them, so we’re planning to run the ball a lot more to make up for that.”
PLAYERS TO WATCH: (GLENVAR HIGHLANDERS)
This page is available to subscribers. Click here to sign in or get access.