CHRISTIANSBURG, Va.—Briar Woods is the defending state champ in Division Four, boasting Stanford bound running back Alex Carter.
The Falcons offensive coordinator just happens to be former Virginia Tech kicker Jared Develli.
Once beaten Christiansburg makes its first finals appearance on the opposite side Saturday in the second game in Lynchburg. And Karen Loftus says that Coach Tim Cromer and the Blue Demons plan to let it all hang out.
Christiansburg finally made it past the state semifinals, after failed attempts the previous two years. This time the Blue Demons left no doubt that they deserved a spot in the title game, with a 35- nothing shut-out of Broadway.
Christiansburg Head Coach, "It was really cool. I thought we played well. That was the key and we talked about it as a staff and as compared to the other 2 semifinal games, it just felt like a regular game for us. I thought our preparation and our expectations are kind of what led to that."
"It was really exciting. It felt great to finally get past that game after being there for 2 years and those 2 years being such tight ball games. It just felt great to finally came out of it with a win," said Christiansburg running back Zach Snell
The main reason the Blue Demons were able to win so convincingly, was because of an all-around effort-- including 4 interceptions from the defense.
Zach Snell, "I think it was just great. We played a complete game. The offense and defense, we played with eachother. Defense got some scores that helped us out some. All the interceptions gave us great field position on offense so where we could make stuff happen and score."
Ahead of Christiansburg, is a 13 and one Briar Woods team-- the defending state champs, who also shut-out their opponent in the semifinals.
"We do fell like it's a pretty good match-up for us," Christiansburg coach Tim Cromer said. "What they do well, we feel like we do well. They're very, very good. They're sound in their kicking game. They've got athleticism. What they do, they do really well. It's the type of match-up we would expect in the state championship game."
For a team that relies so much on their run game, they're going to have an uphill battle against the Falcons.
"They're very good at defense against the run. If you look at their team, their defense stands-out to you a little bit more than their offense does," Cromer said. "Just like any team that's won championships before, they rely on their defense just like we do."
But the Blue Demons have a pretty solid defense of their own, to go toe-to-toe with Briar Woods.
"In the playoffs, we forced 12 turnovers in 3 playoff games, intercepted 10 passes. We're plus 10 in the turnover ratio and then our team is plus 21 on the season. We're playing pretty good defense at this time as well," Cromer said.
Said Zach Snell: "I think it's going to be a good game. We've been looking forward to the match-up all year. Can't wait for it."
With two teams evenly matched on paper, the edge may go toe Briar Woods, who has been to the title game-- and won it before-- as for Christiansburg, this is uncharted territory.
"I think that initially when you get there if our players can get over just the surroundings. 12 Our goals are the same this week. We want to go 1-0. We feel like it's a faceless opponent. We feel like we as well as we can play, as long as we're prepared and we have confidence in what we're doing, then that's the best we can do and we're going to play the best we can and what happens, happens," Cromer said.
If the Blue Demons are able to take home the state title, it would be a very meaningful accomplishment for the entire team.
"It would just be really special. We've been blessed with a great year. I'm a Christiansburg alumni, we've got several guys on our staff that are Christiansburg alumni. We love our kids. We love the school. We love the town. There's just a little bit extra there for us, being from Christiansburg," Cromer said.
"It would mean a lot just to know it was the first championship for our school. It would be great to be part of that team. Just to look back and know that people are going to be like yeah, they were the first ones from this school going to win a state championship in football," Snell said.
"We're just very thankful for the opportunity and we're going to play as best we can. They're very good, but again, we feel like we're pretty good and the match-up is one that I think could make for a tight ball game," Cromer said.