Football in Southwest Virginia is full of great rivalries. This opening Friday night one of those long-time rivalries will continue when the Abingdon Falcons and the John Battle Trojans square off at Falcon Stadium in Abingdon, Virginia at 7:00 PM. Abingdon and John Battle have faced 60 times with Abingdon owning the series 42-16-1. As of late the Falcons have dominated with the Trojans only winning two of the last twenty seven meetings.
Abingdon brings back a strong team coached by second-year head coach Garrett Amburgey. The defending Mountain 7 champions could be the preseason favorites to win the district again. The Falcons’ defense is powered by linebackers Eli Ratcliff and Justin O’Quinn . Their powerful offense is led by junior running back Martin Lucas and speedy wideout River Carter should be a force. During last week’s benefit game against Patrick Henry, Martin Lucas and sophomore Christian Foran ran for 200 yards.
A great deal of excitement surrounds the John Battle football team with new head coach Bradley Ricker and his 15 returning starters from last years’ playoff team. Seth Scarborough, Tyler McCloud. Bryson Denton, and Eddie Rodriguez anchor a very stout defense. Senior Dylan Cunningham’s power running and the quick feet and strong hands of Zane Poe should help Senior quarterback Walker Osborne keep the Trojans moving the ball. Last week, Zane Poe had over 150 yards total offense in the Trojans’ benefit game against Fort Chiswell.
Last year the Falcons picked up the win behind the speed and power of Lucas who ran for 126 yards and two touchdowns. The Falcons added over 175 yards passing and two more touchdowns through the air. The Trojans struggled on offense only gaining 138 total yards. Cunningham provided 40 of those yards and the Trojans’ lone score.
Prediction: Abingdon 24-Battle 21
This will be a slugfest. The Battle defense will keep the Trojans in the game right up to the final whistle and I wouldn’t be surprised to see a huge upset here.
Graduated from John Battle in 1998. Husband and father of 5. Big time Football fan. Hokies and the Cowboys. Works at wwfco steel.