Highland Springs safety Malcolm Greene and Varina RB/DB Isiah Paige (Photos: Lance Hinton and Andy Hilton/recruit757)
“Battle for the East End” #2 Varina (8-1) vs. #1 Highland Springs (9-0)
by Byron Jones, recruit804
#2 Varina (8-1) vs. #1 Highland Springs (9-0) 1:00 p.m. Saturday at Huguenot High School
The 2019 regular season concludes with a good ole fashioned rivalry match up between the two top teams in our area. Highland Springs is riding a 38-game winning streak and are on the verge of completing its second straight perfect regular season. Standing in their way is a very explosive Varina team that has been on a murderous eight game winning streak since their double-overtime loss in week 1 to Manchester.
Last week, the Blue Devils dismantled Atlee 57-16 giving them their SIXTH 50-point performance of the season. The Springers went on the road and handed Division 6 Colonial Forge a 27-20 loss. It was a far cry from what we are accustomed to seeing from a Loren Johnson coached team, however, a win is a win, and the Springers seem to always find a way to get it done.
WHEN HIGHLAND SPRINGS HAS THE BALL
The Highland Springs offense enters today’s game averaging 35 points/game. However, the Springers have been somewhat inconsistent in “big games” on that side of the ball this year. Highland Springs has been shut out twice in the first half this season. The first time was against Oscar Smith (6-0) and the other was against Manchester (16-0).
In both contests the Springers were able to turn it on in the second half and emerge victorious because that’s what well coached teams do, they find ways to win. However, in a heated rivalry game against this Varina team, Highland Springs cannot afford to dig themselves in a hole and must do a good job taking care of the ball and managing the game.
Varina’s defense is as good as any defense you will find in the area. They are currently giving up 12.6 points/game and have recorded two shutouts this season. With the exception of Manchester, who put up 45 points in 2OT, the Blue Devils have not allowed a team to score more than 16 points on them.
WHEN VARINA HAS THE BALL
Varina is the highest scoring offense in the state of Virginia. They currently average 53.8 points/game and as I mentioned earlier, have scored 50 or more points six times this season. They have the right combination of skill players in position to score a number of ways. Their goal as a unit is to get up and down the field as quick as possible and not allow defenses to get set.
They will have their work cut out for them today against a Springers defense that has only allowed 9.2 points/game. It’s no secret that Highland Springs defense is the lifeblood of this year’s team. They are deep at every position and always seem to make the plays necessary to keep them in a position to win.
VARINA Offense: 54.3 points/game Defense: 12.6 points/game
Notable Wins: Lake Taylor 56-7, Patrick Henry-Ashland 48-10
Key Players: Isiah Paige (2020 ATH 5-8 160), James Reid (2020 RB/DB 5-9 175), Barry Hill (2020 WR/DB 5-10 160), Bobby Dunn (2021 QB 6-1 180), Lorenz Terry (2020 DE 6-5 230), Nazeer Jordan (2020 MLB 6-0 220), Alonzo Ford (2020 OL/DL 6-3 290), Makei Hamilton (2020 OL/DL 6-2 265)
HIGHLAND SPRINGS Offense: 35.4 points/game Defense: 9.2 points/game
Notable wins: Avalon (Wheaton, MD) 37-13, Oscar Smith 13-6, North Stafford 54-13, Page (Greensboro, NC) 39-7, Manchester 26-16, Colonial Forge 27-20
Key Players: Jamaareh Jones (2021 QB 6-0 185), Damond Harmon (2021 DB 6-1 180), Malcolm Greene (2020 DB 5-11 185), David Laney (2020 DB 6-1 180), Tavarus Short (2020 LB 5-9 165), Evan Robinson (2020 OL/DL 6-1 295), Suirad Ware (2020 OL/DL 6-2 250), Kelvin Gilliam (2021 DL 6-3 250), LaQuan Veney (2020 WR 5-11 180), Kerry King (2020 WR 5-10 165), Kalii Bradford (2020 RB/DB 5-10 175)
Kickoff is set for 1PM at Hermitage High School. I will be onsite covering the contest. Be sure to follow recruit804 on Facebook and Twitter for up to date scoring of the game. Post-game review to follow.