The region’s third seed this go-round, the Warriors had no difficulty in taking out No. 6 Thomas Walker by a 47-0 count to open the VHSL football playoffs. Chilhowie (9-2) will travel to take on second- seeded J.I. Burton in next Saturday’s Region 1D semifinal.
“We took care of business, yes, but I thought we were a little sloppy in the first half and had way too many penalties,” said Chilhowie coach Jeff Robinson. “This time of year you want to be cleaner than that. Still, it’s nice to be moving on.”
“We have 25 kids on our roster and these kids fought through injuries the last four games,” Pioneers coach Nick Johnson said. “This group of seniors made the playoffs three straight years after going five years of winning just one or two games a season, so we feel like the foundation has been laid.’’
Chilhowie did mostly what it wanted offensively, running out to leads of 13-0 after the first quarter and 27-0 at halftime. The Warriors totaled 432 offensive yards to just 76 for Thomas Walker (6-5).
Malachi Thomas had three touchdowns for Chilhowie, including 20- and 22-yard scoring tosses from quarterback Logan Adams. A senior slot receiver, Thomas had four catches for 79 yards and ran for 39 yards.
Adams hit on 8 of 13 passes for 180 yards and three TDs, also rushing for an 11-yard score. The senior’s third touchdown pass covered 7 yards to Lucas Doss, who had four catches for 71 yards.
The Warriors also received second-half touchdowns on short runs by sophomores D.J. Martin and Chase Lewis.
Sophomore running back Jonathan Gilley rushed for 138 yards on just nine attempts to lead all ball carriers.
The Pioneers, down 20-0, threatened midway through the second quarter, but their eight-minute drive ended with a fumbled snap on fourth- and-goal from the Chilhowie 7.
“We had an opportunity there when we were driving it,” Johnson said. “We thought if we could get it in and then stop them, that we’d get the ball to start the second half and maybe keep this thing close.
“But when we fumbled on fourth down there and didn’t score I think we got a little downhearted and gave up a little.”