The Powerade Invitational challenged our Virginia teams
by Andy Hilton, recruit757
Saturday was a proving ground for every one of the 32 teams that qualified for the Gold bracket in the Powerade Invitational 7-on-7.
Because of a scheduling quirk, all eight Virginia high school teams were placed in their own bracket for Saturday’s competition. The “King of the Hill” in Virginia immediately qualified for a spot on national television and a shot at the $25,000 award for their school.
The bracket favored Bishop Sullivan and Highland Springs. They were the #2 and #1 seeds respectively after Friday’s pool play. Highland Springs was 6-0 on Friday and Bishop Sullivan was 4-2-1. Highland Springs and West Mecklenburg (NC) were the only two undefeated teams out of 48 from Friday. Neither one would leave the tourney unscathed.
Salem (1-6 on Friday) gave Highland Springs a huge scare right out of the gate. The Sun Devils matched Highland Springs score for score and didn’t leave the Springers enough time on the clock to score on their fourth possession of the first game of the day. The pair went to overtime knotted at 21.
Highland Springs stopped Salem and scored a touchdown in OT to win 30-21.
Phoebus and Norview had the #4 seed vs. #5 seed match up in what should have been the best game of the opening round. That wasn’t to be. The Phantoms jumped on Norview early and shut them down, winning 47-9.
On the other side of the bracket, Bishop Sullivan dispatched Patrick Henry 48-14 and Freedom (Woodbridge) upended Dinwiddie 20-16.
The second round of the Virginia bracket offered little intrigue. Highland Springs shut down Phoebus 27-20 after roaring to an early lead, while Bishop Sullivan controlled their game against Freedom, winning 35-18.
The Bishop Sullivan vs. Highland Springs game could easily be called the day’s most anticipated, from the standpoint of a Virginia football fan. The game didn’t disappoint.
Highland Springs matched the Crusaders point for point. The pair traded scores with the Springers scoring two touchdowns and the Crusaders scoring two. Each team had a defensive stop, tying the game at 16. Highland Springs was stopped on their last possession, pushing Bishop Sullivan ahead by two. With the clock running down, Bishop Sullivan coach Chris Scott chose to hold the ball after his squad got their first down, and that ended the game at 18-16.
Bishop Sullivan won the Virginia bracket and moved on to the tournament semifinal.
Westlake (GA), Wake Forest (NC) and Westside (SC) won their respective brackets. It was to be an East Coast final four.
Wake Forest had to mount a comeback using their time out and a last second play to beat Westlake 26-25. Bishop Sullivan wouldn’t make it as close against Westside. The Crusaders’ defense lapsed a few times too many, and the offense pressed to make up the difference. Bishop Sullivan fell 37-26 to finish in third place for the tournament. In the final, Wake Forest topped Westside 36-16.
You can watch the tournament highlights, the Championship game and Semi-finals on Fox Sports on Cable, July 29th, at 2 pm EST. Check the listing for channel number for your cable or satellite TV provider.
– Andy Hilton