Panthers, Golden Wave set for Buchanan County clash



The epicenter for the largest upset in the Commonwealth of Virginia was in Oakwood last Friday night.

The Twin Valley Panthers sat at 3-1 and were ready to play host to a Craig County Rockets team that had lost 30 consecutive football games.

A win over Craig County would move the Panthers to their best start in school history with a 4-1 record.

After being so dominant against Northwood a week earlier in a 52-30 victory, how could Twin Valley let the Rockets squeak through the cracks?

Just ask those in attendance last Friday. They should describe it perfectly.

Craig County held a 28-0 lead at the half. The Rockets pulled away from the Panthers in the second half to win 34-16.

The win was the first for the Rockets since September 11th, 2015.

Dakota Henderson’s two touchdown passes led the Rockets. Dalton McPherson put the Craig County on the board with a pass and a run of his own. Ben Deplazes was on the receiving end of two of these aerial attacks.

The Panthers welcomed quarterback Tylor Keen back to the gridiron after a knee injury sidelined him the previous two weeks. Keen put the Panthers on the board with a touchdown pass to Isaac Hampton and a touchdown run for the only points in favor of the purple and black.

The Panthers (3-2) have to make adjustments quickly as they pay a visit to Grundy this Friday.

Grundy comes in off a 20-0 victory over the Honaker Tigers in last week’s Game of the Week. The win in the Black Diamond District opener gives the Wave a leg up on the rest of the district for the time being.

In a game that featured many Golden Wave penalties and Tiger turnovers, Golden Wave running back Gabe Fiser did what he does best.

The senior tailback ran for 203 yards and two touchdowns in the victory to push his season totals to 960 yards and 10 touchdowns.

The Grundy defense pitched its first shutout of the season behind strong efforts by Richard Owens, Ritchie Smith and Tristan Justus.

Owens accounted for 14 tackles; Smith added 15 more knockdowns while Justus had nine tackles to accompany a forced and recovered fumble.

Twin Valley cannot wait to get a chance to redeem themselves after last week’s upset to Craig. However, that will not come easy this week against a Grundy team who will have a size and depth advantage for the second consecutive week.

This is a crucial matchup in the Black Diamond District race. With a win, Grundy moves to 2-0 in the district. A loss would put the Golden Wave at a deadlock with Twin Valley and Honaker with a 1-1 BDD record.

Friday’s matchup marks the 13thmeeting between the two schools in a series that dates back to 2001. Grundy holds an 11-1 advantage. Twin Valley’s lone win in the rivalry came in a 28-0 shutout of the Golden Wave in 2014.


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