The SJCS football team will be playing at home at least one more time this season.
The Knights earned the chance to begin the playoffs at home by erasing an early deficit and defeating visiting Blacksburg 45-30 on Friday night.
The Knights (9-1, 3-1) celebrated Senior Night by winning their final regular-season and clinching second place in Region 1-2A. That means they’ll host Lee Central in the first round of the playoffs next Friday at 7:30 p.m.
Senior Rashad Luckey scored six touchdowns and freshman Matthew Hall made a field goal and was 6-for-6 on point-after kicks for the Knights, who matched the best regular-season record in the history of the program.
After Blacksburg scored on its first two possessions, Luckey brought St. Joe’s right back into the game, bursting through for a 65-yard touchdown. Hall’s field goal early in the second quarter cut the lead to 14-10.
The Wildcats had the lead back up to 11 points, but another long touchdown run by Luckey pulled the Knights to within 21-17 by halftime.
Blacksburg spread the gap again through the first half of the third quarter and led 30-17 when Luckey scored his third touchdown of the night. Hall added the point after, making it 30-24 with 3:48 left in the quarter.
St. Joe’s regained possession quickly, and a long run by junior K.D. Boyd set up Luckey’s next touchdown. Hall’s kick gave the Knights their first lead, 31-30, at the 2:15 mark of the third quarter.
In the fourth quarter, senior Marcos Salgado recovered a Blacksburg fumble, and St. Joe’s capitalized. Boyd and senior Kyle Lonergan had big runs, setting up Luckey’s fifth touchdown, which put the Knights on top 38-30.
After a big stop by senior Joseph Poole, Lonergan picked off a pass and returned it to the Wildcats’ 10-yard line. That led to Luckey’s sixth touchdown run. Hall’s kick made it 45-30 and sealed the Knights’ ninth victory.
The seniors were honored at halftime, and after the game, they took part in the tradition of passing a football to the sixth- and seventh-graders as the next generation.