Varina wins the Region 5B title (Photo: Byron Jones/recruit804)
Varina continues to win on the road and they’re crowned Region 5B Champs
by Byron Jones, recruit804
For the second time in two weeks, Varina knocked off a defending state champ and avenged an earlier season loss. Last week, Varina bounced four-time defending state champions Highland Springs from the playoffs and avenged a 27-20 week 10 loss to the Springers.
This week, the Blue Devils eliminated reigning Division 6 state champs Manchester 34-16, avenging a 45-38 double overtime setback in week 1. With the win, Varina earned its first regional title since 2008.
How it happened
The Lancers struck first after senior place kicker Mason Domazos booted a 25-yard field goal to put Manchester on top 3-0 with 7:20 remaining in the first quarter. It would be all Varina after the field goal. Jalin Walker scored his first of two touchdowns on the afternoon on a 40-yard end around (PAT Reed) to put Varina in front 7-3. With 2:25 remaining in the second period, Bobby Dunn connected with Barry Hill on a 61-yard touchdown pass (PAT Failed) and the Blue Devils led 13-3 at the half.
Varina received the ball coming out of halftime and made quick work putting points on the board. After benefiting from a late hit out of bound on the opening kickoff, Jailin Walker would score on the same exact play he scored on in the first half, rumbling 38-yards to the end zone (PAT Reed).
After forcing a Lancer three and out, the Blue Devils went right back to work, as Bobby Dunn punched in another Varina touchdown on a four-yard plunge (PAT Reed). Varina led 27-3 with 3:37 left in the third quarter.
However, the defending champs didn’t go down without a fight. With 24 seconds remaining in the third, Roemell Garcia found Deonte Hill on an 11-yard touchdown pass (PAT Domazos) to trim the Blue devil lead to 17. Manchester forced Varina to punt the ball away on their next possession, but Varina linebacker, Quenton Baylor, would intercept Brenden Shelton’s reverse pass attempt a few plays later.
The Manchester defense once again came up big and did not allow Varina to capitalize on the turnover. With 5:24 remaining in the contest, Garcia found Deonte Hill once again, connecting with his receiver on a 73-yard touchdown pass (Two-Point Conv No Good).
The Lancers trailed 27-16 at this point, but the Blue Devils made more plays down the stretch. On their ensuing drive after the Manchester score, Dunn hit Barry Hill for a 52-yard touchdown pass (PAT Reed) to extend their lead back out to 18.
Manchester’s final two possessions of the game ended with turnovers. Garcia lost the football after a bad snap inside their 10-yard line, and he would be picked off by Jailin Walker with less than a minute left in the game, which sealed the victory for the Blue Devils.
Manchester’s season ends with a record of 11-2. This was their fourth consecutive year playing for a regional title. Coach Tom Hall has built the Lancers into a serious title contender year in and year out. Manchester will be back in the mix of things next season.
Varina will make a trip down to Norfolk next week to square off with Penn State commit KeAndre Lambert and the undefeated Maury Commodores. Maury won the Division 5 Region A championship for the second consecutive year by dispatching Salem (Virginia Beach) 35-14. This game will be a shootout. Both offenses enter the contest averaging 48 points per game. Who will make a stop when the game is on the line?
FINAL: Varina 34, Manchester 16
– Byron Jones
Bobby Dunn – 13/20 219 yards 2TD’s
Barry Hill – 6 receptions 144 yards 2TD’s
Jailin Walker – 3 carries 85 yards 2TD’s; INT
Roemell Garcia – 12/27 198 yards 2TD’s INT; 20 carries 80 yards
Deonte Hill – 6 receptions 150 yards 2TD’s
VARINA: 7, 6, 14, 7 -34
MANCHESTER: 3, 0, 7, 6- 16