WHO: Alleghany Cougars (7-1) at James River Knights (3-5)
WHERE: James River High School
WHEN: Friday, October 27, 2023, at 7:00 p.m.
LAST WEEK: The Alleghany Cougars obliterated the Patrick County Cougars 58-13
LAST SEASON: Alleghany Cougars (N/A, Inaugural Year), James River Knights (3-7)
Last week’s game against the Patrick County Cougars was… let’s just say interesting. There’s no question about it. Our home team dominated the field in every turn. Patrick County’s offense stood no chance against the Alleghany defense and the defense was pure fire! The opposing Cougars barely gained enough yards during their possession to get a first down or two, much less put points on the board. Will history repeat itself this week?
For this Friday night’s game, the Alleghany Cougars are preparing for a 45-minute road trip to James River High School in Buchanan where they’ll face off against the Knights. On this, their last regular season road trip, I reached out to Albert Chapman via Facebook messenger to get his thoughts on the upcoming game. Albert is the father of Evin Chapman, Nathen Chapman, and Caleb Walden; three tremendous defensive players for the Alleghany Cougars. Chapman sent the following: “With unwavering passion and boundless determination, the Alleghany Cougars —a blend of sheer talent from the Alleghany Mountaineers’ defense and the Covington Cougars’ offense— have evolved into an unstoppable force. Evin, Nathen, Caleb, and their teammates have not just merged teams; they’ve forged a brotherhood, a community, and a legacy. From the thunderous roars in the stands to the resounding cheers echoing in the hearts of fans, these young athletes —guided by God’s spirit of unity— are rewriting the future of football. With every game, they paint a masterpiece on the field, and with each step, they’re paving the way for future stars. In the embrace of the community’s unwavering support, these Cougars are not just playing football; they’re living a dream supported by a town that believes in their potential. As a proud parent and avid supporter, I stand in awe of this extraordinary team, envisioning a future where dreams take flight, and our boys, Evin, Nathen, and Caleb, soar to greatness. Watch out, world, for from these hallowed grounds, the next generation of pro players may very well emerge, leaving an indelible mark on the game we all love.”
I would have to agree with Chapman, who also happens to be my brother, that the community truly embraces this team. The Alleghany Cougars have shown from day one they are the perfect blend of both schools and have had no issues getting along or working together as a team. From the sidelines, I have only seen true camaraderie and sportsmanship: a band of brothers with one common goal in mind. Their next stop: the James River Knights.
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
The Knighton Brothers: Hunter and Hayden
The Chapman Brothers: Evin, Nathen, and Caleb
At this point, maybe we should be watching the entire team.
ABOUT THE OPPONENT:
The James River High School Varsity football coach, Tim Jennings, is now in his 5th season coaching the Knights. The biggest downside for the Knights is that most of their veteran players graduated last year and so, most of the players are made up of freshmen and sophomores. Already, they are going into Friday night’s game at a tremendous disadvantage.
Sophomore Gavin Binns said, “… we are just trying to build a legacy for myself and everybody else and trying to help everyone out. But I am trying to be a leader on my team, as it will get you far in life.” We will have to wait and see if Binns is able to step into the shoes of leadership Friday night for their game against the dominating Cougars and their unstoppable defense.
The last couple of weeks, I have made it a point to touch on points allowed and points made in order to make my prediction on the winner. So far, the system has not failed me though I’d be the first to admit that it’s certainly not foolproof. Even still, growing up a tomboy and being a lover of football, that does tend to make me a tad superstitious, so I’m breaking out my calculator. This season, the Knights have allowed (on average) nearly 32 points a game. The Cougars meanwhile, have allowed (on average) nearly 13. The Knights have also scored (on average) 13 ½ points per game where the Cougars have scored (on average) nearly 41 points per game.
If you include Radford, a team both the Cougars and Knights have played and fallen to this year, it makes the Cougars chances look even better this Friday. The Knights were unable to put points on the board against Radford, where the Cougars managed to put up 22 points that game and allow less points than James River.
On all accounts, I believe the Cougars will rise victorious this week over the Knights.
PLAYERS TO WATCH (JAMES RIVER KNIGHTS)
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