VINTON, Va. (WDBJ7) In Vinton, William Byrd hooked up with Salem in this week's Subway Spotlight Game of the Week. It was a rematch of a game the Spartans won by three points in overtime back in September.
William Byrd at 10-1 on the year coming into their 4A Region Final against a 10-1 Salem team, who handed the Terriers their only loss of the season in week 3. Round 2 Friday night with a spot to the state semifinals on the line.
Things don't start well for Byrd in this one, as the first drive ends in a turnover. Kionte Burnette with the interception. Then the Spartans turn that into points a few plays later. Noah Beckley hits Luke Owen for the 34-yard touchdown, and Salem takes the 7-0 lead less than 3 minutes into the game.
After trading field goals later first, Salem leads it 10-3 in the second, when Riley Fox is in from a yard out, putting the Spartans up 17 -3 at the break.
The Terriers are within seven points in the third, and their defense helping keep the Spartans at bay. Devon Kasey with his second sack of the game, getting after Beckley and forcing Salem to punt.
Then the offense is on the move. Reece Watson on the run. This does not look good for Byrd, but somehow he buys some time and connects with Larry Basham for the big gain across midfield to the 36. That drive carries over to the 4th quarter, where it's Basham again. He gets the ball, gets a huge block, and is in for the 16-yard touchdown. Just like that, we've got an all new ballgame, tied at 17 with 11 minutes to play.
Salem though, within striking distance again inside the redzone. Beckley finds Viante Tucker on the 5-yard touchdown play. Spartans back out front, 24-17 with under 7 minutes to go. Late in the game, Byrd with one last shot. Starting their drive from their own 1-yard line with 70 seconds and no timeouts. Watson trying to gain some ground with a pass play, but Salem's Nick Wade is there to make the interception and seal the win for Salem. They hang-on to beat Byrd 24 to 17.
William Byrd finished their season at 10-2, while the Salem Spartans advance to the state semifinals, where they'll take on Dominion.