Skip to Content

Graham defense fueling deep playoff run

Remaining Ad Time Ad - 00:00

BLUEFIELD, Va. (WVVA) - The days are getting colder and shorter, but that doesn't bother the G-Men much. After all -- they're still playing football.

"It's amazing," exclaimed senior linebacker Landon Atkins. "It's amazing -- best feeling in the world to be playing football right here."

"That's always the goal to still be playing," said head coach Tony Palmer. "You want to play in the last game of the year. And we've still got goals to set to get there."

This weekend, the final four teams in VHSL's Class 2 will battle it out. It's a trio of top seeds and third-seeded Graham. But, that doesn't bother the guys much at all.

"Nah, it's just a number," shrugged senior quarterback Devin Lester.

Playing away from home doesn't bother them much either.

"Well, we've played pretty good on the road all year and hopefully that will continue," Palmer said.

The G-Men have kicked it up a notch in these 2019 playoffs, scoring a combined 133 points in three games. But perhaps even more impressive, the defense has allowed just five touchdowns in 12 quarters of football.

"Since day one, since summer practice, coach has preached defense wins championships," Lester recalled. "We learned that last year, we had a really good defense last year that won us a state championship. I feel like this year everyone wants to keep that mindset."

"You've gotta stop somebody to win," Palmer smiled. "They guys have been playing well. Last year around this time we started making progress defensively, and we're trying to do the same this year."

And the mindset that this team carries -- they will do the same this year as they did in 2018.

"I think that's what it takes to be a good football team -- to be confident in yourself," Lester said.

"That's one of our mottoes -- expect to win," Palmer admitted. "But, if you expect to win you've got to prepare to win. That's what we're trying to get lined up, so we can give our best performance on Saturday."

Kickoff against the Appomattox County Raiders is slated for 2 p.m. on Saturday in Central Virginia.

Nick Dugan

Sports Director

Skip to content