Friday Night Lights are what every high school football player dreams of but before players are ready to enjoy the glory that comes with a varsity position, junior varsity football is where their skills are developed. On top of learning their own system, these developmental players usually run the scout team plays each week to prepare the varsity. That leaves little time to practice their own offense, defense, or special teams. Monday nights are their time to shine, and Greenbrier West has some future stars that put together an impressive 8-0 record, their second straight undefeated JV season.
The closest contest of the year came in the season opener on August 30. The Cavaliers trekked to Fairlea to face the Spartans. After three scoreless quarters, Greenbrier West put together a four-play scoring drive from the Spartan 48-yard line. Evan Vandall got the ball rolling with an 8-yard carry, followed by back-to-back Kameron Shrewsbery bursts to the 23-yard line. Tucker Lilly was able to find the endzone from there on an option to the right. Daron Vaughan sprung Lilly at the line of scrimmage, and Bradley Hodge provided a key downfield block at the five-yard line. Lilly then hit Michael Kanode in the corner of the endzone for an 8-0 lead. The lead held up for an 8-6 victory after Brandon Poticher and Isaac Agee stopped a Spartans’ two-point conversion attempt.
Greenbrier West hosted Summers County on a rare Tuesday night game on September 7. Lilly got the scoring underway in the first quarter on a weaving, 67-yard sprint in front of the Cavalier sideline for a 6-0 first-quarter lead. Agee added a 13-yard touchdown run in the second quarter that seemed to open the floodgates. Chris Davis hit Trent Parker for a 4-yard touchdown pass, then connected with Kanode for a 20-0 lead. On the Bobcats first play following the score, a Vaughan sack forced a fumble that was recovered by Davis in Summers County territory. Shrewsbery wasted no time and darted around the Bobcat defense for a 43-yard touchdown. Roy Loudermilk snuck through for the conversion run and the Cavaliers had a comfortable 28-0 lead at halftime. Midway through the third, Loudermilk ran away from the Bobcats enroute to a 75-yard touchdown. A poor Bobcat snap added a safety to West’s total, followed by a 6-yard scoring run by Poticher. Moses Gray added the conversion. The final score of the night was setup when Davis crushed the Bobcat quarterback, forcing a fumble that was scooped up by Cameron White. White returned the fumble to the Bobcat 2-yard line, and Poticher capped the night with a seven-yard touchdown run. The result was a 50-0 win.
Defense was the name of the game when the Cavaliers traveled to James Monroe on September 13. Hunter Richmond forced an early fumble that was recovered by White at the Maverick 20-yard line. Two plays later, Agee was in the endzone for an early 6-0 lead. On the Maverick’s next possession, White forced another fumble that was recovered by the Cavaliers. Shrewsbery tacked on a 15-yard touchdown, and Lilly wiggled his way in for the conversion and a 14-0 advantage. After a short punt gave the Cavaliers their third straight possession inside the Maverick 30-yard line, Lilly made a spectacular escape from the James Monroe pass rush to connect with Gray on a 19-yard scoring pass. Agee scored on a two-yard run midway through the second quarter, putting the Cavaliers up 26-0. The Mavericks got on the scoreboard before the break with a long catch and run, but the Cavaliers would go on to win 32-8.
September 28 found the Cavaliers in Summersville for a clash with the Nicholas County Grizzlies. The Cavaliers prevailed in an error-filled contest. Gray scored first for Greenbrier West, taking a pitch and carrying it in from the seven for the touchdown. The Grizzlies converted a West turnover into a touchdown, putting the Cavaliers in a rare deficit at 8-6. Lilly came back to connect with Trent Parker on a 38-yard touchdown pass, then dumped a short conversion throw to Shrewsbery for a 14-8 lead just before halftime. That score would hold up until the end as both teams struggled to find offensive consistency in the second half.
The Grizzlies made a return trip to Charmco on October 4. For the first time in the JV season, the Cavaliers didn’t score first. Nicholas County got a 40-yard touchdown run in the first quarter to take an early 6-0 lead. In the second quarter, the Cavaliers got on track when Lilly hit Chad Baker on a slant for a 15-yard touchdown. Following a fourth down turnover on downs, West got the ball back at its own 45. Four plays later, Loudermilk broke free and dashed in for a 22-yard touchdown and 12-6 lead. The Cavalier defense would turn the Grizzlies over on downs again on their next possession, getting the ball this time at the Nicholas County 41. Eight plays later, Lilly would be flushed from the pocket and score on a 6-yard run. After a short Nicholas drive stalled in the third quarter, the Cavaliers took over at the Grizzly 37. Poticher shot off the left side, slipping past one defender at the line of scrimmage then shooting down the left sideline. At the five-yard line, he fought through another tackle to land in the endzone for a 24-6 lead that stood for the win.
The Cavaliers welcomed Shady Spring to Charmco on October 11. On the second play from scrimmage, a high snap sailed over the head of the Tiger quarterback. As he retreated, the ball was briefly corralled by a Shady Spring tailback before being knocked away by Evan Vandall. Terry Treadway scooped up the loose ball and returned it 18 yards for a Cavalier touchdown. Greenbrier West would add a 13-yard Agee touchdown run for a 12-0 first quarter lead. Poticher sprinted in from two yards out in the second quarter, giving West a 20-0 halftime lead. For the second time in the JV season Lilly connected with Trent Parker on a scoring toss, a 31-yard-deep ball. Davis would add a 5-yard fourth quarter touchdown and the Cavaliers remained undefeated with a 32-0 shutout.
Greenbrier West would travel to Oak Hill on October 25 for a rare matchup with the Red Devils. Following an afternoon rainstorm, the field at John P. Duda Stadium was a slick one. Both teams would trade possessions for the majority of the first half before Oak Hill was able to mount a scoring drive. The Cavaliers trailed 7-0. On the ensuing kickoff, Bradley Hodge had apparently brought the Cavaliers to within one when he split the Red Devil coverage team for a 72-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. An erroneous facemask call went against Greenbrier West, however, and wiped the score off the board. The Cavaliers would stall offensively, giving Oak Hill the football back at midfield. The Red Devils pieced together a short drive and had the ball sitting at the Cavalier 9-yard line. With a first and goal, the Red Devils seemingly had things in hand. On the snap, Jacob Nutter burst through the line and dislodged the football from Oak Hill quarterback Levi Kiszka. Daron Vaughan scooped up the loose ball and raced 81 yards for an improbable Cavalier score. Vandall would convert for two with a run and Greenbrier West would sit on an 8-6 halftime advantage.
The two teams would trade possessions in the third quarter before the Cavaliers caught more lightning in a bottle. Kiszka, facing a third and four at the 50-yard line, zipped the ball to his slot receiver. Chris Davis, nearly victimized on the same throw earlier, read the pass perfectly and timed his break accordingly. Davis hauled in the throw and sprinted 54 yards for a pick six. Isaac Agee fought his way in on the conversion and a 16-7 Cavalier lead. The 9-point advantage held until the final play of the game. Oak Hil had driven to the West 30-yard line. Kiszka swung a pass out to the right side and it was pitched to the wing back who had flared out on a hook-and-lateral play. Cornered on his own sideline, the Red Devil running back reversed his field and headed back toward the West sideline. As he turned up field, Agee knocked the ball loose. Vandall lifted the ball from the turf and accelerated, fighting off a tackler at the fifty and keeping his momentum. Vandall reached the endzone and put the exclamation point on the win, 22-7!
The final contest for Greenbrier West was held on November 1. A Cavalier turnover on the first play from scrimmage gave Greenbrier East excellent field position. Starting at the Cavalier 34, East put together a 9-play scoring drive to lead 7-0 early in the game. With neither team finding much offensive juice in the second quarter, the West defense made a play to spark the Cavaliers. On second and nine from his own 9-yard line, East quarterback Donavin Penn was flushed from the pocket by Terry Treadway. As Penn retreated into the Spartan endzone, Brandon Poticher gave chase to the end line and pulled Penn to the turf. As Penn fought to stay on his feet, he was whirled around by Poticher. Penn released the ball with an upward flip of his wrist just before going down. The ball fluttered into the air and into the arms of Treadway for an improbable Cavalier touchdown.
The two teams would battle evenly from that point until late in the third quarter. The Cavalier defense turned East over on downs at the West 21-yard line. On a first down carry, Isaac Agee put the Cavaliers in the lead with a 79-yard touchdown burst and a 12-7 lead. As the game transitioned to the fourth quarter, the Cavaliers were once again backed up to their own 19-yard line. Agee bailed Greenbrier West out again when he took a toss to the right and hit the hash marks on the Cavalier sideline, bolting 79 yards to put the Cavaliers at the two-yard line with just over four minutes to play. Four plays later, Chris Davis scored a 3-yard touchdown on a keeper to the right, then tacked on the two-point conversion with a nice cutback to the left. The Cavaliers had a 20-7 lead with little more than three minutes remaining. The defense was able to maintain the advantage from there giving the Cavalier junior varsity team a 20-7 win and an 8-0 record.