It was a performance to remember in Vinton, Va. on Friday night for Taylor Horn.
Richlands’ leading receiver returned from a dislocated elbow in the week two matchup with Union to help lead the Blue Tornado past the William Byrd Terriers.
Byrd — which honored the life and memory of a fallen classmate before the game — came out strong, marching the ball straight down the field behind sensational quarterback Samuel Dantzler. He capped off the drive with a 32-yard score to put the Terriers up 7-0 early in the first quarter.
It didn’t take long for the Blues to respond.
Quarterback Race Moir found Horn for a 66-yard strike to knot the game up at 7.
The teams traded touchdowns in the second quarter as well; Dantzler on a 1-yard dive followed by a 13-yard pass from Moir to Horn with under a minute to play in the half.
The second half didn’t disappoint.
Byrd again scored behind the legs of Dantzler to push the Terrier lead back to seven. But once again, the Blues responded.
On the ensuing possession, Moir found Horn for their final of three touchdown connections, this time on a 53-yard pass.
When all was said and done, Moir finished his night 20-of-39 for 310 yards and three touchdowns. Horn finished with seven catches for 174 yards and three touchdowns.
For all of the offensive prowess in the first three quarters, it came down to special teams at the end.
Richlands kicker Levi “Fle” Forrest booted a pair of kicks through the uprights in the fourth quarter. A 33-yarder to take the final lead and a school record tying kick of 48 yards to sealed the victory.
Forrest now stands beside former Blues star Reece Strong with the longest made field goal in Richlands history.
Richlands now stands at 2-2 and head into yet another tough matchup against the defending West Virginia AA State Champions Bluefield Beavers.
Kickoff set for 7 p.m. at Ernie Hicks Stadium on Friday.
There’s just something about growing up in this area that lends itself to sports. Friday nights are the undisputed king. We all head to the local high school to catch a glimpse of those boys of fall.
That was no different in Richlands where I grew up with a love and a passion for those Blue Tornado. Unlike my co-host, I never strapped that lightning R on my head. I took the band route instead. But that didn’t stop me from becoming most school spirited my senior year, a title I still proudly wear today.
Leaving to get my degree at Virginia Tech actually helped solidify all that I love about this area. Sure, football is a big deal in the NRV as well, but it’s just not the same. And that’s okay. Our area is special.
I’m happy to be back in SWVA this fall and I’m ready to bring you a plethora of content options as we embark on this thing called life. RIP Prince.
Oh, and Hunt Bros. Pizza is the best pizza.