TA Offense Is Suddenly More Versatile
Through the first five games of the season, the run game was relied on heavily for the Turner Ashby offense with the occasional play-action pass sprinkled in.
In a thrilling 27-21 double-overtime win over Broadway, however, the Knights and quarterback Cole Hoover showed a new element to their offense.
While part of Hoover's performance can be attributed to his motivation from playing his former team, it also was a performance that was one of the best of his career as a passer and could change things for TA on that side of the ball.
"I'm super proud of Cole," Knights coach Chris Fraser said. "For him to lead those drives and win that game, I’m just excited for him.”
The Knights will remain a run-heavy team with a pool of weapons to use out of the backfield, but Hoover's performance on Friday made their offense look much more dynamic and should make them more of a threat in the playoffs.
Gobblers Earned Respect Despite Loss
It was as heartbreaking of a loss as the program could have had.
Broadway held a 14-lead in the third quarter, missed a short field goal in the first overtime and turned it over on the first play of the second overtime.
But despite those missed opportunities in a 27-21 double-overtime loss to Turner Ashby, the Gobblers earned respect for just how well they played.
"At the end of the day, we had a good shot," Broadway third-year coach Danny Grogg said. "I’m super proud of our team. We came into this game knowing it was all about us and nothing about them. I think our team did a good job of that. We showed a lot of people tonight what we could be."
Game Is Slowing Down For ERHS QB Eaves
Throughout a winless three-game start to the season, Jakari Eaves showed flashes at quarterback for East Rockingham but struggled with consistency.
As a sophomore, untimely turnovers and miscues often impacted drives.
But following a thrilling, come-from-behind 34-27 victory over Page County on Friday, it appears things are starting to slow down on the field for Eaves.
““We told them to come out and keep fighting, stuck with the process and that’s what they did," East Rockingham first-year coach Scott Turner said.
If things continue to click for Eaves, the Eagles will be a much more dangerous team that is, perhaps, capable of making some playoff noise.
Trailblazers Won't Be An Easy Out This Year
On paper, it's easy to write off Spotswood this season with a 1-5 record.
But the Trailblazers have proven their a team no one can look past this year.
With a defense that has impressed at times, a strong running game and a passing attack getting better each week, Spotswood is giving teams fits.
“We went back and forth, took the lead,” SHS coach Dale Shifflett said after a loss to Rockbridge County. “We just couldn’t get over the hump. Tonight, you look at two or three plays and maybe if they go different, it goes your way.”
Things may not have gone the Trailblazers' way yet but they've shown they're a team capable of a turnaround and putting any team on upset watch weekly.
Maybe The Valley District Isn't So Down
There's been plenty of talk about how down the Valley District is this year.
But after the high-level football Turner Ashby and Broadway played in the thriller in Bridgewater, the impressiveness of Spotswood even in a loss and Rockbridge County's convincing win over Wilson Memorial, maybe it's not.
The league has went through its pains this year and will still face a stiff challenge in finding success in the loaded Region 3C this season.
But Week 7 showed that these teams are slowly getting better and, maybe, could be contenders to make some major growth when postseason play begins.
Jakari Eaves, East Rockingham quarterback
It was, easily, the most impressive game of the season for the youngster.
The 5-foot-11, 170-pound quarterback led a furious East Rockingham rally in a thrilling 34-27 victory over Page County in a thriller in Shenandoah.
Eaves finished with four second-half touchdown passes to rally the Eagles out of a 20-point third-quarter deficit and to their first victory of the season.
Cole Hoover, Turner Ashby quarterback
It was one of the best games of his career and came at the perfect time.
The 5-foot-11, 185-pound signal-caller completed 14-of-22 passes for 193 yards and scored three total touchdowns in a 27-21 win over Broadway.
It was a career-best performance for the one-time Gobblers quarterback.
Cameron Showalter, Broadway running back
After a season-lowing rushing total the week before, the senior bounced back.
The 5-foot-10, 159-pound workhorse running back had one of his most impressive games of the season in a heartbreaking loss to Turner Ashby.
Showalter finished with 23 carries for 176 yards and three touchdowns.