Appomattox reigns supreme in Virginia Class 2 football

Legendary rock singer Meat Loaf released a now-classic hit song in 1978 entitled "Two Out of Three Ain't Bad." 

Well, for the Appomattox Raiders high school football program, four out of five ain't bad either. 

Tonight the Raiders upended the Stuarts Draft Cougars 42-21 to win the 2019 VHSL Class 2 Football State Championship, their fourth such season-ending victory in the last five seasons. 

The cold winds were blowing and howling at Salem Stadium, but that was just the sort of weather that plays right into the hands of the Appomattox ground game. 

Running back Cristian Ferguson put the Raiders on his back early with a burst up the middle for a long touchdown run, giving the Raiders a 7-0 lead just four minutes into the game. 

The Cougars struck right back and tied the game on a short touchdown run by Aaron Nice. 

Appomattox held a 14-7 lead going into halftime after a quarterback keeper by Tre Lawing until the Cougars once again evened things up on a 1-yard run by quarterback Henry Cooke late in the third quarter. 

In what was a tit-for-tat game until that point, Appomattox created some breathing room going up 28-14 on a second scoring run by Lawing and a touchdown catch by receiver Tyler Gilliam that was preceded by a fake handoff in the backfield.  

Stuarts Draft managed to close the gap once more at 28-21 on a touchdown strike from Cooke to Freddie Watkins, but Lawing exploded for an 80-yard run down the right sideline on the very next play from scrimmage following the kickoff to give Appomattox a 35-21 lead.

Ferguson capped off the night, and his Raider career, with a touchdown run with 2:37 remaining to all but assure a victory for the Raiders.  

Read all about it, including player and coach interviews, in the Dec. 18 edition of the Times Virginian.