CHILHOWIE, Va. – On a night where temperatures dropped below freezing, it was the Holston Cavaliers who were left out in the cold after a 30-16 come-from-behind victory by the Chilhowie Warriors on Friday.
“Well you know, the first half they took it to us. They got off the bus ready to play, and our guys kind of sleptwalked through that first half a bit, turned it over a few times,” Chilhowie coach Jeff Robinson said. “We told them at halftime, teams with great character come back. And I think we showed we can do that.”
The Warriors (8-2) got off to an ice cold start in the first half, as Quaheim Brooks tossed a 16 yard pass into the endzone where Logan Walden made a juggling catch for the score late in the first half. A six-yard run by Brooks midway through the second quarter would give the Cavaliers a 16-0 lead. Chilhowie threatened to score just before halftime, but a dropped pass just inside the five-yard line followed by a fumble on the one-yard line a few plays later would keep the Warriors off the scoreboard in the first half.
Looking to shift the momentum heading into the third quarter, Logan Adams lobbed a pass deep downfield where Jonathan Gilley made a diving catch in the far corner of the endzone for a 25-yard touchdown. Following the kickoff, the Warriors recovered the loose ball on the first play of Holston’s drive to keep the momentum going, before tying the game in the waning seconds of the third quarter on a 65-yard pass from Adams to Gilley.
“We knew we had to do something on that first possession of the second half,” Robinson said. “When we came down and got a quick score, that kind of ignited us a little bit and we just never looked back.”
Less than a minute into the final period, Adams scored his third touchdown of the night as he plowed his way behind the Chilhowie offensive line for a one-yard run to give the Warriors their first lead of the night. D.J. Martin would put the Warriors up 30-16 with just over two minutes remaining in the game, and an interception by Lucas Doss on a jump ball would seal the win for Chilhowie.
“I told their coach afterwards it was typical Chilhowie fashion. Their kids play all four quarters, they’re going to play hard, and that was kind of the difference in the game,” Holston coach Derrick Patterson said. “They did a good job making some adjustments where we struggled on both sides of the ball. We put ourselves in positions here and there to get some stops, and we gave up big plays, and that bit us pretty good late in the game.
Adams led the Warriors in rushing with 105 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries, while also posting a game-high 158 yards passing by completing 8-of-14 attempts with two touchdowns. Martin finished second on the team with 57 yards rushing and a touchdown on nine attempts, while Gilley recorded a game-high 86 yards on three receptions with two touchdowns.
Jordan Ezzell rushed for a team-high 79 yards on 13 carries for Holston (6-4), while Austin Faris finished with 55 yards on 12 rushes. Brooks completed 4-of-10 passes for 46 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Each of Brooks’ four completions went to a different receiver, with Walden leading the way for the Cavaliers with 16 receiving yards and one touchdown.
As the Cavaliers wait to see where they will play next week, Patterson said that his team needs to focus on correcting the mistakes from Friday’s loss in order to move forward.
“Whoever we get, we just need to be ready. There’s a few different ways things could work out. We could be coming back here next week or we could be going somewhere else,” Patterson said. “It’s kind of the same thing all year. When you’re playing with a young team you need to play with extreme discipline, and right now we’re making some crucial mistakes, and good football teams capitalize on them, and that’s exactly what happened tonight.”
With the win, Chilhowie will now host a game on Friday night in the VHSL Region 1D playoffs. As of the completion of Friday’s game it remained to be seen who the Warriors would host, but Robinson said that it was possible they would see Holston once again. Regardless of who they play, Robinson said simply that there was no place like home.
“We’ll know this weekend, but we always like playing here at home,” Robinson said. “It’s been a while since we’ve lost here.”
Holston 8 8 0 0—16
Chilhowie 0 0 16 14—30
H—Walden 16 pass from Brooks (Brooks pass)
H—Brooks 6 run (Ezzell run)
C—Gilley 20 pass from Adams (Adams run)
C—Gilley 65 pass from Adams (Adams run)
C—Adams 1 run (Hutton kick)
C—Martin 20 run (Hutton kick)
First Downs: H 14, C 17; Rushes-Yards: H 39-114, C 39-241; Passing Yards: H 46, C 158; Comp.-Att.-Int: H 4-10-1 C 8-11-0, Fumbles-Lost: H 3-3, C 4-2; Penalties-Yards: H 3-40, C 10-95; Punts-Average: H 4-30, C 2-31.5