STAUNTON — Unbeaten Class 3 powerhouse Lord Botetourt flexed its muscles Friday night, scoring seven second-quarter touchdowns en route to a 77-0 shellacking of the overmatched and outmanned Staunton Storm in nondistrict football at Staunton Memorial Stadium.
The talented Cavaliers, the No. 2-ranked team in the Roanoke area behind Salem in this week’s Roanoke Times Top 10 poll, did whatever they wanted against the Storm after leading just 7-0 after the first quarter in the first-ever meeting between the two schools.
Staunton was forced to play the high-octane Cavaliers to fill out its nondistrict schedule, which increased to five games this season with the reduced number of teams in the Shenandoah District. Staunton athletic director David Tibbs had trouble finding schools that wanted to play the Storm.
The margin of defeat and total points allowed were the second-worst in the history of Staunton/Robert E. Lee football. The worst was the first game of the Lee program played on Sept. 30, 1911 when Fishburne Military won 101-0.
Reserve running Dylan Wade torched the Storm’s defense for 195 yards on 10 carries, while scoring five touchdowns in the first 24 minutes as the Cavaliers led 56-0 at the break.
Staunton’s offense couldn’t get any going against Lord Botetourt’s massive defensive front. The Storm had only 88 yards of offense in the first half, 41 of those coming on their last drive that ended with a Cavalier interception in the red zone.
Staunton’s offense also took a hit on the second possession when running back Dasani Alston suffered a left shoulder injury after a 14-yard gain, and did not return.
Wade, starting in the place of the injured Hunter Rice, had TD runs of 68, 20, 38, 10 and 19 yards in the first half. His 68-yarder came on Lord Botetourt’s second snap of the game when he shot up the middle untouched.
The Cavaliers’ third score of the second quarter was a 12-yard reception by 6-foot-6, 265 sophomore Gunner Givens. The Covington transfer is already getting multiple college offers, including Virginia.
Xavier Stephens, a Coastal Carolina commit and Northside transfer, took in a 25-yard scoring strike from quarterback James-Ryan Salvi. The Storm’s secondary wanted no parts of the 6-foot-2, 260-pound junior once he reached open field in the right flat.
Lord Botetourt’s special teams also got into the second-period scoring bonanza when Chase Fridley blocked a Storm punt, and Mikey Rago had a scoop-and-score from 13 yards.
The Cavaliers’ defense joined the fun in the third period when Peyton Haston stepped in front of a William Dod pass, and trotted 15 yards into the end zone.
“We gave away at least seven possessions with fumbles, interceptions and not recovering two onside kicks,” Staunton first-year head coach Jake Phillips said. “You can’t give away possessions against a team that good. We have a lot of things to clean up.
“I told the guys it crushed me that I couldn’t be out on the field with them in a game like this,” Phillips said.
Staunton (2-3) begins five straight weeks of Shenandoah District games next Friday at home against Fort Defiance riding a two-game losing streak.
“We are going to put the best guys in the best positions to win,” Phillips said. “We will just take it one game at a time.”