GOTW: Salem Spartans host the Cave Spring Knights in River Ridge showdown

Friday night's River Ridge showdown will be a "homecoming" for one coach.

SALEM, Va. – 10 News’ Game of the Week is back for a Week 9 River Ridge showdown as the Salem Spartans host the Cave Spring Knights.

“Every year is a new year. The bottom line, it doesn’t matter what happened last year, five years ago, or 15 years ago. Cave Spring is coming to play,” Don Holter, Salem’s head coach said.

There’s no doubt about that. Ever since Salem grad Nick Leftwich took over at Cave Spring, they’ve built a tougher, more physical brand of football.

“That’s what Knight Vision embodies – our brand. Just going 1-0 each and every play and each and every day,” Nick Leftwich, Cave Spring head coach said.

“It’s just a mentality thing I mean that’s what it comes down to. Positive, aggressive, and being more physical every game,” Caleb Grider, Knights’ linebacker said.

It’s that focus that willed the Knights to a big district win over Patrick Henry.

“We showed we can play with the fast and against Pulaski, we showed we can play with the bigs so you know we’ll come out and keep doing what we’ve been doing,” Logan Altizer, Knights quarterback said.

That same attention to detail is what has Salem on a 6 game-win streak – two of them have come in shutout fashion.

“We had an opening season loss and we had an opportunity to reset and refocus and evaluate where we were in that moment,” Holter said.

“We definitely have the skill for it, a bunch of young guys so just working as a team and working with the new guys on our team,” Andy Lutes, Spartans left tackle said.

“I feel like the team is just starting to click now. Like we’re in our stride, the offense is really clicking, the defense is getting together and it’s going to be really good towards the end of the season,” DaRon Wilson, Spartans quarterback said.

That’s what both teams want: to play well at this point in the season.

Cave Spring has had two separate two-game win streaks, trying to avoid complacency, but Salem wants to remind everyone they still rule the River Ridge.

Keep up with score updates during Friday night high school football here. Tune in to 1st and 10 at 11:10 on Friday nights during the season for game highlights and scores from across the region.

About the Author:

Eric is no stranger to the Roanoke Valley. He is a Roanoke native and proud graduate of William Fleming High School.