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William Campbell forfeits region semifinal football game to Riverheads
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William Campbell forfeits region semifinal football game to Riverheads

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Robert Casto (copy)

Riverheads coach Robert Casto and his Gladiators moves on to the regional championship after William Campbell forfeited Friday's game.

GREENVILLE — Riverheads has advanced to the Region 1B football game championship game without taking a single snap.

The Gladiators’ Region 1B semifinal against William Campbell scheduled for Friday has been canceled because of COVID-19 issues within the Generals’ program. Riverheads receives a 2-0 forfeit and moves on to the regional championship with a 47-game winning streak.

Riverheads will now have two weeks off since beating the Stuarts Draft Cougars 35-13 in the regular-season finale on Nov. 5. That is not an ideal situation this time of the year when staying sharp is of the utmost importance in win-or-go-home scenarios.

The Gladiators await the winner of Friday’s other semifinal between third-seeded Central Lunenburg at second-seeded Buffalo Gap. Top-seeded Riverheads will host the title game on Nov. 26.

“It is very unfortunate this had to happen at this time of the season,” Riverheads athletic director Tim Morris said. “If feel bad for all the seniors involved on both teams as they don’t have many games left in their careers, and I know each one wants to play. My heart goes out to the William Campbell seniors. The team deserved to be playing again after going on the road and winning last week. I hope all those affected at William Campbell will be fine.”

The loss of the game is a revenue hit for Region 1B, which gets all the gate money, and for Riverheads at the concession stand. Morris estimated the school likely lost between $2,500-$3,000 in concession sales.

“Our fans love it eat at home games and I am sure William Campbell would have had hungry fans,” he said.

Morris said the cancellation is just another bleak sign of the times.

“These are the times we are living in now,” he said. “This can happen at anytime, but I hate to see it happening to anybody.”

During the regular season, Stuarts Draft had two games canceled that led to the Cougars receiving forfeits from James River and Luray. Wilson Memorial had two games postponed by opponent COVID-19 protocols, but both eventually were able to be played at later dates.

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