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Appomattox next for Cavs

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Hit the road to face Dogwood foe

By Mike Forster

 

There's no surrender in Appomattox.

Jefferson Forest will find that out when they head to the place "where our nation came together" for a fight on the gridiron.

In what promises to be the biggest challenge to the Cavs thus far, JF will head to Appomattox.  Both teams enter the fray with 2-0 marks.  Only one will leave the gridiron still unbeaten.

The schools aren't complete strangers:  Appomattox got to play Jefferson Forest twice in recent memory.  

Those games came during the Raiders' short-lived foray into life as a Seminole District member.  In that run, 2005-06, the Raiders went 0-14 in district play, including losses to JF.  Those defeats were fairly close (35-31 and 21-18).  

In Appomattox's defense, the school carried a population of about 700 students and was in a district where nearly every other member was well over 1,000, population-wise.

Since departing the Seminole and returning to the Dogwood, the Raider fortunes have improved markedly.

In fact, two years ago, Appomattox posted a nifty record of 10-2, which included a win over eventual State champ (Div. 2) Gretna.

This year, the Raiders appear to be quite strong, particularly on the line.  Stoner White, at 260 pounds, might better be named Stonewall.  He headlines a senior-laden offensive line.  It is big, experienced and ready to roll.

The team had two of its players, Kendall Thomas (a fullback and linebacker) and White, named to the Society of Seven's "Dirty Dozen" team earlier this season.

JF, of course, has its own member of the Dirty Dozen:  lineman Eric Johnson, who was also named the Titan Atlas for his strength.

The Raiders also have a wealth of talent at the skill positions.  Of particular note is quarterback Kendall Blankenship, who led the Raiders to their first win of the season two Fridays ago, 25-13, over Buckingham.

Last Friday, Blankenship ran for a pair of touchdowns and threw for another, as the Raiders trounced Nottoway, 33-0.  In that win, Deron Kelso romped for 145 yards as the Appomattox offense generated nearly 400 total yards.  Tevin Morgan raced for over 100 yards on a mere 13 carries.

 

Notes

-This game is shaping up, literally, as the Raiders' biggest challenge of the year.  A level 2A school, Appomattox's schedule is set up for games with other 2A schools (seven of them) and 1A schools (two).  In the new VHSL format, schools are allowed to play schools as many as two levels higher or two levels lower than their classification.

The contest with Jefferson Forest is the only one the Raiders have with a school at the 4A level; and they have none against any teams in the 3A class.

Jefferson Forest has a student population of 1331, for classification purposes.  Appomattox has 659 students.

But all that will matter this Friday night is which 11 each school sends out to the gridiron.

-Jeff Forest should be at 100% health-wise, barring any practice or off-field incidents.