This was a close game through the first half. Glenvar had a 7-0 lead on a three yard run by Jack Leonard in the first quarter, but the Blue Devils tied the game on a 37 yard pass play in the second quarter and it was 7-7 at the half.
In the second half, the real Highlanders showed up. The Glenvar line took over and the Highlanders started taking care of the ball, and the results speak for themselves. Did coach Kevin Clifford give them some fire and brimstone in the lockerroom?
“People always ask me that,” said Clifford. “They say ‘you must have reemed them out at halftime,’ but really I didn’t say anything. We just started playing good defense and protecting the football. We had five turnovers in the first half.”
Glenvar turned it over twice on interceptions and three times on fumbles in the first half and had six turnovers for the game. They tightened it up in the third period and Leonard broke loose for a 50 yard run to give Glenvar the lead. Kaid Fuhrman followed with a 32 yard field field goal, but the Devils returned the ensuing kickoff 95 yards to make it a three point game at 17-14.
The Highlanders then scored three more times before the quarter was over, on a four yard run by Hunter Phlegar, a 19 yard run by Leonard and a 30 yard field goal by Fuhrman. Grayson had a fourth quarter TD but Leonard’s fourth rushing TD of the night put some icing on the cake.
“We didn’t play particularly well but we’re always happy to win,” said Clifford. “We never play well down there.”
Leonard had a big night with 206 yards rushing on 23 carries. Bradey Loder had 75 yards on nine carries and Phlegar had 69 yards on seven carries. Hunter was nine for 24 passing for 98 yards. Josh Clifford had four catches for 42 yards and Justin Campbell had three for 37.
Defensively, Clifford had his fifth interception in just the fourth game of the season. He’s well on pace to set a new Glenvar record for picks.
“He’s been well coached,” said coach Clifford. “Alex(Wilkens) did a great job with the secondary last year and Tyler Brown has taken over and he does a great job as well.”
Colby Street had 18 tackles to lead the Highlanders, including four tackles for losses and two sacks. Hunter Stanley had 13 tackles and Loder and Dakota Francisco had 11 apiece.
The Highlanders will put their 4-0 record on the line this week with a Homecoming game against Carroll County, the newest member of the Three Rivers District. The Group 4A Cavaliers are 1-3 after losing to Pulaski County last week, 49-6.
“They’ve been in a rut the past few years but they have some athletes,” said Clifford. “They spread it out and do all kinds of things. They can hurt you.”
Clifford is planning to have first string quarterback Landry Gerber back this week. Gerber injured his shoulder in the season opening win over Galax and missed the past three games.
Carroll’s coach, Eddie Sloss, was the jayvee coach at Patrick Henry when Clifford was the Patriots’ head coach.
“He’s a good person,” said Clifford. “They don’t come any better.”
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