By Sports Editor Brian Hoffman
For the first time in school history the Terriers have made it to the day games. Byrd will take on
Liberty Christian Academy in the Virginia High School League Class 3 football state semifinal this Saturday
at 2 p.m. in Lynchburg.
The state semifinal and championship games are traditionally played in the afternoon, and Byrd
earned a spot in the semifinal with a 31-7 win over Magna Vista in Ridgeway last Friday night. That earned
the Terriers their first region football championship in school history and with a 12-1 record as they set a
new school record for wins in a season. They’ve now won 10 in a row, tying the 1973 team for most
consecutive wins in a season.
As you might expect at this time of year, things won’t get any easier this week. Liberty Christian
Academy (LCA) is undefeated and Class 3C champion after pounding Turner Ashby, 63-14, in their region
championship game last week.
LCA is the only team to beat Salem this season and one of just two teams to beat Jefferson Forest. After opening the season with a 21-14 win at Salem Stadium they haven’t scored fewer than 35 points in any game, including 62 against Amherst County and 56 against Fluvanna County.
The Bulldogs have one of the top players in the state in junior Gideon Davidson, a tailback and defensive
back who has signed to play for Clemson once his high school career is over.
When Saturday’s game kicks off it could be the case of the immovable object against the
unstoppable force, as Byrd’s defense has been outstanding this year. The Terriers have allowed just over 10
points a game, with opponents scoring 134 points in 13 games. The Terriers have three shutouts and three
others times they’ve held the opponent to single figures, including last week against Magna Vista.
Byrd was close to a shutout last week, blanking the homestanding Warriors after they struck first
with a 60 yard pass play to take a 7-0 lead. Byrd tied the game by the end of the quarter on a 58 yard TD run
by Brayden Andrews. Bricen Lancaster’s 29 yard field goal in the second period gave Byrd a 10-7 lead at
After a scoreless third period the fourth quarter was all Terriers. Byrd made it a two score game
when quarterback Israel Hairston found Elliott Gaines for a 36 yard TD. Then Hairston used his legs for the
final two scores, running it in from four and 13 yards to win going away with Lancaster perfect on all four
extra point kicks.
Hairston had another great game with 118 yards rushing on 16 carries while completing nine of 12
passes for 124 yards, accounting for 242 yards of offense and three touchdowns. Andrews rushed for 84
yards on 11 carries, Jalen Toler had 50 yards on two attempts and Walter Barrows had 44 yards on seven
carries. Five different players had two catches each for Byrd, Andrews, Gaines, Blake Anderson, Ian Vest
and Jerrett Shepherd.
On defense Vest had a big blocked field goal attempt in the second half to go with three quarterback
pressures. John Kiker had four solo tackles and four assists while Jonathan Rosser had three solos, two
assists a sack and a forced fumble. Doniven Davis reovered the fumble and had three solo tackles and two
assists to go with five quarterback pressures. Ethan Haston had three solo tackles and Hairston had another
interception, his second in the last two games.
The win was Byrd’s first on the road in the playoffs and earned them the Region 3D trophy. A large
crowd of Terrier fans showed up to support the team as their season continues, and another good crowd is
expected this Saturday in Lynchburg.
“Our players and coaches appreciated all of the support from the Dog Pound, faculty, families, and
fans that made the trip to Magna Vista,” said Byrd coach Brad Lutz. “This team has a unique story and
bond. They have experienced success and adversity together. Our entire team embraced the opportunity to
go on the road with an opportunity to win a regional championship. Every week of this season, our players
have proved their toughness and commitment to our program. Their efforts have led to this historic season,
and last Friday was a special accomplish for our team, school, and community.”