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Appomattox defeats Union, secures 3rd straight state final game

Appomattox defeats Union, secures 3rd straight state final game

BIG STONE GAP, Va. (WSET) - Make it 43-1 for the Appomattox Raiders football team.

That's the record over the last three years for Appomattox (13-1), who got a first half rally to hold up for a 23-20 win over Union (13-1), who now secure a spot in the Class 2 finals next week in Salem.

After a 5 hours bus ride, coach Doug Smith got his team to a capacity crowd at Bullitt Park, who had seen their Bears win 28 straight home games. The Raiders, however, sent the home fans away silent. Appomattox built up a 20-0 lead in the first half, with both the offense and special teams lighting up the scoreboard early. JaVon Scruggs' pass to De'Von Graves to the one yard line set up Jaylen Holland from one yard out for a 7-nothing Appomattox lead.

Josh Ellis scored on a 64-yard punt return to make it 14-0, then Scruggs would take on one more TD with 11 seconds left in the half to make it 20-nothing. But the Bears clawed their way back in the third, scoring 2 TD's in the frame to make it a 20-14 game, entering the final stanza. The Raiders could only muster a field goal in the 2nd half, but the Appomattox defense stepped up to corral the Bears in the fourth. Trailing 23-14, Union found the end zone with 59 seconds left to make it a 23-20 game, but the ensuing onside kick attempt went out of bounds, and the Raiders were able to run out the clock.

Appomattox will face R.E. Lee-Staunton (13-1) in the Class 2 state finals, at Salem Stadium, on December 9th at 4:30pm.

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