The Spartans (1-1) will host the G-Men (1-1) in a non-district match up at Ragsdale Field. Both Giles and Graham lost their season openers to state contender programs. However, both bounced back in week two and found the win column.
Prior to 2013, the two teams played four times, with the series tied 2-2. Since 2013, the two have played five straight with the Spartans leading the series 3-2. The G-Men have won the last two contests, in which both games came down to the final play.
In last year’s match up, Graham led 21-7 at the half. Giles battled back in the second half and tied the score at 28 before the G-Men went on to win it 35-28 in overtime. Taymon Cooke, who had the game winning catch, led the G-Men to 11 wins in 2017. Cooke is now a member of the Marshall Thundering Herd squad in Huntington.
Despite the loss of Cooke, Graham still has plenty of weapons in the backfield. Senior quarterback Cam Allen, who committed to Purdue, will be the player the watch. While he can throw the ball well, he is also dangerous with his feet. He is quick and elusive. Allen gives Graham an advantage over many teams the G-Men will meet this season. Through two games, Allen has 285 yards passing and 368 yards rushing along with four rushing touchdowns.
Junior Devin Lester is the go to receiver. Lester has 13 catches for 183 yards and a touchdown.
Alongside Allen is senior running back Jazaire Reed. The senior has 142 yards rushing with two touchdowns through two games.
Sophomore tailback Chaston Ratcliffe will lead the Spartans. Ratcliffe has 240 yards rushing and two touchdowns on the season. He also has one touchdown completion for 57 yards
This will be a game that comes down to experience from the big guys. Both the Spartans and G-Men have new faces on the line that are still learning the blocking schemes of their offenses. The single-wing offense of Giles can cause headaches for Graham if executed. The speed of Graham can cause headaches for Giles if the Spartans do not contain Allen and Reed.
Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. at Ragsdale Field in Pearisburg on Friday.
Born in Pulaski, Va it only took a few years before I would end up in the beautiful Giles County where I would graduate in 2012 from Giles High School. Since the age of 4, Pearisburg has been my homeplace and I don’t have any plans to leave.
Sports have always been big in my family. My father was fortunate enough to be able to play football for the Spartans in 1978, which was the first year that Coach Steve Ragsdale introduced the single-wing offense which we will still run today.
My high school football career was cut short due to a knee injury that I sustained my junior year, but fortunately I was able to compete in the State Championship my senior year as a shot put thrower on the track and field team.
I now get to enjoy the football games in the stands with my father as we are known as, “them guys with the train horn,” which we take to every football game. GO SPARTANS!