Photo: Lance Hinton/recruit757
All six VHSL State Championship Football games will be played on Saturday
by Andy Hilton, recruit757
State championship games for all six classes in the VHSL will be played Saturday afternoon, May 1.
The bracket was cut in half due to a shortened schedule for Spring Football. There were a few surprises in the post-season tournament, but now that we’re at the championship round, we have 11 out of 12 teams coming into this weekend undefeated. Stuarts Draft (7-1) are the only team still standing to have taken a loss this season. The Cougars were dominant in a 44-13 win over Poquoson on Saturday.
One key change from last year is that all games will be played at the home field of the Region/Region B champion instead of at a neutral site. Hampton University, Liberty University and Salem Stadium have hosted doubleheader championship games in recent years. The VHSL created a special arrangement this year where Region A would host Region B and Region D would host Region C in the state semifinals. The winner of the Region A/Region B game now hosts their state championship game.
In this weekend’s championships, there are a few rematches from recent state title games.
The Class 6 title game between Oscar Smith and South County is a rematch of 2019 where the Stallions won 14-13.
The Class 5 title game is a rematch of 2018 where Highland Springs topped Stone Bridge, 37-26.
In Class 4, you have to go back to 2015 to find a state championship meeting between Salem and Lake Taylor. That game, played at Liberty Stadium in Lynchburg, was a double-overtime thriller where Salem won 17-14. Lake Taylor is the current Class 4 state champion.
The Class 3 state championship game is a first-time meeting between Lafayette and Lord Botetourt. Lafayette last played in the state championship game in 2014, losing to Magna Vista 25-19. Lord Botetourt lost the 2019 title game to Hopewell by a score of 35-7. The two teams have never met, and both teams are looking to win their first state championship.
Appomattox and Stuarts Draft will replay the 2019 Class 2 state championship game. Appomattox won the 2019 game by a score of 41-21.
Riverheads has been a powerhouse in Class 1, winning four state championships in a row. In 2019, they defeated Galax, 31-24. If Riverheads wins Saturday, it would be a record-setting fifth state championship in a row and the second in a row over Galax.
Saturday’s Schedule (all times 2:00 pm, except Class 4 finals – 3:00 pm kickoff)
Class 1 Final – Galax (9-0) @ Riverheads (9-0)
Class 2 Final – Appomattox County (9-0) @ Stuarts Draft (8-1)
Class 3 Final – Lord Botetourt (9-0) @ Lafayette (8-0) (Wanner Stadium)
Class 4 Final – Salem (Salem) (9-0) @ Lake Taylor (7-0) – 3:00 pm
Class 5 Final – Stone Bridge (8-0) @ Highland Springs (8-0) (Varina High School)
Class 6 Final – South County (9-0) @ Oscar Smith (8-0)