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Prep Football Notebook: Appomattox's Lawing fighting through injury, Brookville and LCA set for rematch

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APPOMATTOX — When Tre Lawing found out he'd torn the labrum in his left shoulder, he had just one question.

The Appomattox senior quarterback went down on the turf during the initial kickoff in the Raiders season opener against Rustburg on Sept. 3. In the moment, people close to Lawing thought he may have separated his shoulder, which could have ended his high school career.

But when Lawing saw what an MRI revealed, he asked his doctor: "Can I still play?"

The answer was yes, but only if he wore a brace during games. Lawing returned to the gridiron a few weeks later and has been tearing it up for the Raiders, who travel to Salem-based Glenvar for the Region 2C title game Friday.

He's completed 53% of passes this season (40 of 76) and heads into Friday's bout looking to eclipse the 1,000-yard mark for passing. He's thrown for 920 yards and 13 touchdowns while also rushing for 575 yards and 19 additional scores.

And against Radford last week, he set a new single-game personal best with six touchdowns — five rushing scores and a 27-yard fumble return.

"I had a couple mistakes," Lawing said at Monday's practice. "I threw an interception. I could've made a couple better reads. But the O-line and my receivers and running backs made some great reads and great blocks. It wasn't just a one-man thing. It never is. And the coaches called some great plays. They just put me in the position to do those things."

Lawing's shoulder will require surgery once the season is over. Since September, he's been undergoing "extra rehab every day, just to keep my shoulder strong and stable."

Lawing was coming off a junior season in which he helped bring Appomattox its fifth state title in six years (the second of Lawing's career) by tallying 1,154 all-purpose yards and accounting for 27 touchdowns while taking an expanded defensive role. He was named this newspaper's offensive player of the year as a result. Lying on the turf after the season's opening kickoff wasn't the way he envisioned his senior season unfolding. But he's learned something from the experience.

"The biggest thing is just putting my faith in the Lord, honestly, 'cause everybody in life is gonna have to go through adversity, and that's the biggest thing I had to learn," Lawing said. "Things like that always happen for a reason. The thing is, it's not about how you get knocked down. It's about how you get back up."

An early game time

Appomattox (10-1) and Glenvar (11-1) will suit up for a 2 p.m. kickoff Friday. Region championship games typically are played on Friday nights, but are sometimes moved to afternoons. The decision to play early was made by Glenvar's athletic department, and the Highlanders asked Appomattox prior to Friday's game against Radford if it would consider playing during the afternoon, provided both teams won their region semifinal games. 

"I didn't totally understand it, but I didn't want to be the one to buck the system or anything," Appomattox coach Doug Smith said. "I just said, 'Yeah, whatever you guys decide.'"

That change means the Raiders will leave town around 7:30 or 8 a.m. and start team meetings and pre-game rituals around 10:30 a.m. 

"It's already set, so I'm not complaining about it. We're gonna do it," Smith said. "But I'm still trying to figure out the reason."

Davidson passes 1,000-yard mark 

Liberty Christian freshman Gideon Davidson eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark for rushing against Broadway last week. Davidson, who holds multiple Division I offers, broke loose for 182 yards on just nine attempts (for an average of 20.2 yards per tote) and scored three touchdowns. 

His older brother Caleb isn't far behind in the stat category. Caleb Davidson has rushed for 868 yards and 18 TDs on 110 carries. 

The two running backs paced Liberty Christian in last week to set up a rematch with Brookville for the Region 3C crown, scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Friday at Williams Stadium. 

Revamped Brookville stays hungry

Third-seeded Brookville (8-3) will get its shot at a rematch when it faces No. 1 LCA (11-0) on Friday, and the Bees are looking for their second upset in as many weeks. They got revenge on Heritage last week with a 50-21 victory after losing to the Pioneers in the regular season. 

"It's a big confidence boost, man," BHS senior running back Tayshaun Butler said after Friday's game. "They beat us at our place, then we had to come here [to City Stadium]. And against all odds — we're in the cold, in the playoffs, they're hungry, we're hungry — and I think we've just gotten a little better since then."

Brookville now seeks what would be its signature win of 2021. The Bees lost to LCA 35-7 in September, but they stayed in the game longer than most Bulldogs opponents. To have a chance at the upset, BHS will have to finish drives, something it didn't do well in the first meeting. 

"I'm excited to get a second chance at LCA," Bees receiver Steve Preston said. "And hopefully this one will be a different story."

 

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