Highland Springs vs. Varina (Photo: Byron Jones/recruit804)
#1 Highland Springs caps of another perfect season
by Byron Jones, recruit804
#1 Highland Springs defeated #2 Varina 27-20 in front of a packed house at Chester Fritz stadium Saturday afternoon. With the win, Highland Springs has now won 39 consecutive games and have finished the regular season 10-0 for the second straight year.
Varina’s high octane offense stormed out the gate and only needed 53 seconds to draw first blood. Isiah Paige found the endzone on a 19-yard run (PAT Reed) and the Blue Devils were quickly up 7-0. On the Springers second drive of the quarter, Jordan Jackson would lose the football (recovery DePriest) and Varina would take over at midfield.
After the turnover, the Springers defensive unit put the team on their back and began creating havoc. Daytione Smith intercepted Bobby Dunn and took it 45 yards to the house (PAT Alsheskie). On Varina’s ensuing drive, Dunn would be picked off again, this time by Damond Harmon. Harmon’s interception set up Jamareeh Jones 31-yard touchdown run (Alsheskie) and Highland Springs now led 14-7.
After halftime, Varina’s defense forced a Highland Springs punt, and the Blue Devils put together a solid drive which was capped off by a 5-yard touchdown run by Paige to tie the game at 14 with 1:46 remaining in the third quarter (PAT Reed). However, the game did not remain tied for long. LaQuan Veney returned the ensuing kickoff 77-yards for another Springer touchdown (PAT Alsheskie) and the defending champs were back on top 21-14.
The stands were rocking and momentum shifted back to Highland Springs. Varina had every opportunity here to make excuses and lay down but they refused. With 21.8 seconds remaining in the period, Bobby Dunn hit Isiah Paige deep for a 73-yard touchdown pass but the extra point was blocked.
Entering the final period of play Highland Springs held a 21-20 lead. Jamareeh Jones guided his offense down the field and punched in his second rushing touchdown (PAT Failed) to extend their
lead to 27-20. This was a huge drive because the Springers were able to chew up close to six minutes of clock.
The Blue Devils had a few more cracks at tying the game but were ultimately denied by Highland Springs stingy defense.
Highland Springs will be the #1 seed in Division 5 Region B. They will host familiar foe Henrico next Friday night. The site has yet to be determined, but my guess is that it will be back at Hermitage. Varina will be the #4 seed and will host #5 Clover Hill.
Should both Highland Springs and Varina take care of business next week, they will collide once again in the Regional Semifinals November 22.
FINAL: Highland Springs 27, Varina 20
– Byron Jones