Appomattox No. 4 Jonathan Pennix

Appomattox No. 4 Jonathan Pennix keeps a Lord Botetourt defender at bay during Friday night’s home win. Pennix led the Raiders in both rushing yardage (114) and receiving yardage (86), and he scored a touchdown in the 35-14 victory.

A week after suffering a tough loss at Heritage High School in Lynchburg, the Appomattox County High School varsity football team was back to its winning ways Friday, powering past Lord Botetourt High School at Bragg Stadium, 35-14. The Cavaliers were the Region 3D champions and Class 3 State finalists last spring.

Once again the Raiders had to deal with missing players due to injuries and quarantine, but back in action was senior quarterback and captain Tre Lawing, who went down on the season-opening kickoff two weeks ago with a shoulder injury that kept him out of the rest of that game and all but three plays last week. This week, Lawing and his talented backup, sophomore Gray Peterson, shared quarterback duties, with both quarterbacks completing scoring passes.

“We asked you to believe, and you believed,” head coach Doug Smith congratulated his team following the win.

Smith gave a shout-out to Vori Copleand, who just came back from quarantine and played well on special tams and defense.

Lawing gave a shout-out to Colton Claiborne, who had to step in at the last minute and play center because the starting center was out with an injury. Lawing also told his teammates following the game that it was great to be back with them.

In a post-game interview with the Times Virginian, Lawing admitted that in order to make it back onto the field for the game (just two weeks after injuring his shoulder), “it took a lot mentally and physically.”

“I worked out all week in the weight room,” Lawing said. “I’m not really supposed to be back yet, but it’s a blessing to be out here on the field.”

Concerning last week’s loss for a team so unaccustomed to losing, Lawing saw a benefit to the experience.

“We needed that loss,” Lawing said. “We didn’t want it, but we got better from it. We have a lot of young players, and it was a lesson learned for them.”

Looking ahead to this week’s contest against Dan River, Lawing stated, “We have to come out and play hard and execute; a lot of our guys don’t understand yet how good we can be.” 

This week will be homecoming in Raiders Country. The Wildcats from Dan River High School will be making the trip into town to face Appomattox at Bragg Stadium in the Dogwood District opener for both teams. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.

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