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Good evening folks and welcome to yet another edition of Friday Football Extra. Tonight we have a preview of tomorrow's state semi-final action as six teams from the area are still in the hunt for state titles in divisions one through four. We will examine all of those games in the next 30 minutes. But first there is the matter of the snow!
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The white stuff blanketed the state on Wednesday and since then schools have been scrambling to get their fields uncovered for tomorrow's games.
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Entire communities have literally chipped in help the cause and in the case of George Wythe high school in Wytheville, a helicopter was brought in from Bristol to dry the field after the townsfolk spent much of Thursday and Thursday night literally shoveling the field clean. Amazingly, all of the games on this side of the state are still on, with only one small change.
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The Heritage at Magna Vista game has been moved back to 3pm instead of 1:30 tomorrow.


[Vista]


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And we begin with Heritage and Magna Vista who tangle in the Group AA Division 4 Semifinals in Ridgeway. The two teams met in Week Four of the season, and the Warriors won a 35 to 18 decision. Travis Wells spent some time with the Warriors earlier this week, and their head coach Joe Beckelheimer knows that both teams have changed drastically since that early meeting.
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[SUPER=50-Joe Beckelheimer/Magna Vista Head Coach; :00]
[SUPER=59-Travis Wells; 1:30]
[SUPER=50-Alexay Hairston/16 TD Passes this Season; 1:44]
[SUPER=50-B.J. Jumper/1374 Rushing Yards, 12 TD's this Season; 1:59]
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(( Joe:
That meeting in September wasn't the first time that Magna Vista Coach Joe Beckelheimer had met up with Heritage skipper Chris Jones. In fact, their relationship, although not especially close, dates back to West Virginia some 15 years ago.
Joe:
Beckelheimer's Warriors should be a formidable challenge for Jones and the Pioneers. Magna Vista's Wing T attack is averaging 43.5 points per game. The Warriors have outscored their opponents 91 to 13 in the playoffs and haven't been held under 30 points since an 18 to nothing shutout of GW Danville in the season opener. Magna Vista has reeled off ten straight wins since losing to Franklin County in Week 2.
Joe:
The defense has been stout as well. Led by Tech recruit Kory Robertson, the Warriors have given up just 124 points this season.
Travis: One decided advantage for the Warriors is playing in a stadium known as 'The Hole', where they've lost only twice in Beckelheimer's three year tenure, including last season's regular season loss to Martinsville and a setback in the 2000 state semifinals against Salem.
Alexay: Jumper: Joe:
While Magna Vista is in the semfinal round for the second time in three years, Heritage is back for the first time since 1997. Travis Wells, Friday Football Extra.))

[Heritage]


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That 35-to-18 setback hasn't been forgotten by Heritage. Steve Mason says the Pioneers and their coach are looking forward to a second chance at stopping one of the most dangerous offenses in the state.
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[SUPER=59-Steve Mason; :00]
[SUPER=51-Lynchburg; :21]
[SUPER=50-Chris Jones/11-1 Record in First Season at Heritage; :39]
[SUPER=50-Julius Baxley/Heritage Defensive End; 1:08]
[SUPER=51-Lynchburg/Regional Championship; 1:18]
[SUPER=50-Johnathan Mills/Heritage Defensive End; 1:42]
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[OUT Q=...friday football extra]
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((Heritage has not been to the state semifinals in several years, so its' a good thing their first year coach has experience in this area. Former Bath County coach Chris Jones led the Chargers to two state title appearances and he hopes to now be a pioneer in taking Heritage to the biggest game of their season.))
((Since the third game of the season when he was injured, Chris Jones has been rehabbing his right knee. This week he followed his normal procedure. Heat then therapy. His defense, like all other defenses that have faced Magna Vista this season, will find itself in the hot seat Saturday. The warriors are scoring an average of 43 points a game. ((:)) The game will match strength against strength. Jones defense has allowed under 10 points a game if one removes the 35 points Magna Vista scored in the only loss this season for Heritage. ((:)) ((:)) ((:))
The Pioneers offense puts up 24 points a game and has improved through 12 games this season. Jones creative play calling was on display against an extremely well coached Blacksburg team in the regional championship game in which the Pioneers scored 28 points. But Magna Vista presents, by the far, the biggest challenge Jones and his Heritage team have faced all season long. ((:)) ((:)) Kick off is set for 1:30 at the hole in Ridgeway Saturday, Steve Mason ffe))

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The snow and ice earlier in the week may have hampered practices, but the semi-finals are set for tomorrow state wide. Here's a look at the matchups for Final Four Saturday.
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[Liberty]


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Welcome back everybody to Friday Football Extra's state final four preview show.
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In the Division 3 Semifinals, Liberty takes on Grundy and one team will advance to the state title game for the first time in school history. Travis Wells examines what has been a topsy-turvy season in Bedford.
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[SUPER=50-Chris Watts/First Year Liberty Head Coach; :29]
[SUPER=50-Chris Spinner/640 Rushing Yards this Season; :41]
[SUPER=51-Gretna vs. Liberty/November 22; :49]
[SUPER=50-O.B. Blake/Liberty Quarterback; 1:35]
[SUPER=59-Travis Wells; 1:49]
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((The football season at Liberty was nothing if not a little inconsistent. The Minutemen started the year at one and two before rallying to win four straight games. But then they lost two of their last three to finish the regular season. None of that matters now though, as Liberty makes its second straight appearance in the round of four, exceeding nearly everyone's expectations-everyone except first year Minutemen Head Coach Chris Watts.
Chris Watts: Chris Spinner:
The Minutemen have a 1200 yard rusher in Michael Pennix, and average 27 points per outing. Grundy has a thousand yard rusher of its own in Justin Hipps, and he runs behind a physical Golden Wave line. Remember this is the school that produced Tech lineman Luke Owens and one that has captured 15 state wrestling titles.
Chris Watts:
Grundy will have to make a four hour trip to Liberty, something that the Minutemen are all too familiar with.
Chris Watts: O.B. Blake: Spinner:
The 1-30 kickoff Saturday will take center stage in Bedford. In fact, even the city's Christmas parade has been rescheduled and will now take place at 10-30 am. Travis Wells Friday Football Extra.))

[George]


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The division two semi-final on our side of the state will take place tomorrow afternoon at 1:30 as the George Wythe Maroons host unbeaten Gate City. This is George Wythe's first trip to the semi-finals in nearly 20 years. Gate City, meanwhile has won nine regional titles since VHSL divisional play began in 1986.
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[OUT Q=...we're gonna be in trouble."]

((DONNIE PRUITT:)) ((The last time the Maroons played in the state semi-finals was back in 1983 - Paul Wheeler was the head coach and Pruitt was an assistant. ((DONNIE PRUITT:)) George Wythe is averaging over 36 points a game and giving up under 9 a game. But even those impressive digits pale in comparison to Gate City. The Blue Devils are averaging 44 points a contest and allowing just four points a game.)) ((DONNIE:))

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When we come back we are headed to Hot Springs to check in on Bath County as the Chargers get ready for their next step in the quest to go back to back. Plus, this is an infamous weekend in FFE history. We'll explain in a moment. [GO TO BREAK]

[Bath]


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It's time now to check in with the only team from the Friday Football Extra coverage area to win a state title last year -
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the Bath County Chargers. Bath takes on Appalachia tomorrow on the artificial turf on the campus at UVa-Wise. This is the fifth meeting between the two schools with the Chargers and Bulldogs having split the previous four.
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((WILL FIELDS:)) (( But Bath will again have to pull off the victory and keep its perfect season in tact without the services of quarterback Jacob Phillips, who is still recovering from a collapsed lung, cracked rib and bruised heart suffered in the regional semi-finals. Phillips is showing great improvement and he had a favorable follow-up visit at the UVa medical center this week, but he will not play tomorrow. ((WILL FIELDS:)) Fields says the ball control, smash mouth football that both play could mean that not a single play is run outside of the hash marks. Phillips absence has made the division one showdown a virtual tossup.)) ((WILL FIELDS:))

[Deja Vu]


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If several folks in the area are experiencing cold chills right now there is reason for that.
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All of this snow and ice this week has arrived just in time for the 10th anniversary of the now infamous "cleats controversy" between Richlands and Salem high schools.
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[SUPER=51-Richlands/1992 Division Four Semi-Finals; :00]

The sorry field conditions in Richlands, coupled with the revelation in the coming weeks that the Blue Tornado players wore illegal cleats is without question the most memorable and talked about event in Friday Football Extra history. Salem lost the game, Richlands went on win the state title, and the use of neutral sites on turf for the state title games is a direct product of what Willis White called - playing in a tractor pull like setting.
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[Tease#2]



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When we come back we'll take a look at the most prolific scoring offense in all of the Friday Football Extra coverage area - William Campbell hits the road for its division one semi-final. A preview of the game with Mathews right after this short break. [GO TO BREAK]

[Campbell]


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William Campbell will try and keep its perfect season alive tomorrow when the Generals face Mathews in the Group A Division I semi final. Steve Mason says around the holiday season, these in state travelers from Naruna are thankful to be playing in December.
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[SUPER=51-Naruna; :24]
[SUPER=50-Brad Bradley/William Campbell Head Football Coach; :32]
[SUPER=50-Jeff Jones/William Campbell Lineman; :40(quick!!!!!!!!)]
[SUPER=50-Junior Owen/William Campbell Defensive End; :45]
[SUPER=50-Thomas Boyd/William Campbell Quarterback; 1:13]
[SUPER=51-Chesapeake/Mathews Team in Blue & Gold; 1:28]
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[OUT Q=..friday football extra"]
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((:)) ((But this is a team that has not experienced a state semi final playoff practice since 1995. ((:)) ((:)) ((:)) The Generals roll into the playoffs having outscored their opponents by an average of 50 points this season. William Campbell's offense has cooled over the last three games thanks to some tough competition. Over that three game span the scoring margin was 34-18 and that tough season ending road has been extremely helpful. ((:)) ((:))
Mathews, the Generals opponent, is 10 and 2 and giving up 10 points a game on average. The Blue Devils play with lots of pride, play solid defense and don't make very many mistakes. William Campbell coach Brad Bradley compares them to the Salem program that developed him. ((:))
Speaking of the Spartans, Bradley remembers playing for Salem in the post season this time of year. His Salem Spartans lost to Spotsylvania 34-27 in the 1991 double A Division 4 state championship. ((:))
The third year William Campbell coach also makes sure his Generals understand one very important lesson.)) ((:)) ((:))

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Semi-Final saturday features some new faces like Chris Watts and Will Fields, but also some of the traditional powers are again just a step away from another championship. Here's one more look at tomorrow's statewide schedule of games.
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[WEEKEND]


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The college football regular season closes out tomorrow with the game we've been looking forward to since August. Tech and Miami hooks up tomorrow at one.
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Closer to home the Bridgewater College Eagles host a quarterfinal NCAA playoff game at Noon tomorrow. Trinity College out of Texas rolls into Jopson Field with a perfect 12-and-0 record. The two schools have played each of the past two seasons in high scoring shootouts. Trinty won in 2000, Bridgewater survived to take a 41-to-37 victory last season. If you can't make it out tomorrow - we'll have all the highlights for you from Bridgewater, Miami, the VHSL football and girls basketball playoffs.
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[GO TO PINNACLE 12996] Plus, there is plenty to watch here on WDBJ-7. Tomorrow at Noon - its the annual Army- Navy game here on Your Hometown Station.
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[GO TO PINNACLE 12997] And right after that "The Roanoke Rifle" is in action, as JJ Redick and Duke Blue Devils take on struggling Michigan.

The game gets underway 3:30.
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[GO TO PINNACLE 12998] And then tomorrow night at six - settle in for the SEC championship game. The Georgia Bulldogs battle the Arkansas Razorbacks for BCS spot in the Sugar Bowl.
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[GO TO PINNACLE 12999] And there is an NFL doubleheader on Sunday - as the Bills and Patriots tangle and one, followed by the Chargers and Raiders at four. All of this coming your way this weekend right here on WDBJ-7.
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[TALENT=MIKE]
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Friday Football Extra will be back next Friday night for its 17th and final edition of this 2002 season with a preview of the state championship games. Take care folks - stay warm and have a safe weekend. [go to close and credits]