Monday, November 23, 2015

BREAKING: Hermitage at Highland Springs Airs LIVE on RVA Sports Network!

RVA Sports Network is thrilled to announce we will providing LIVE online coverage of the 5A State Quarterfinal between 12-0 Hermitage and 11-1 Highland Springs this Saturday afternoon!

Our coverage will begin at 12:45pm, with kickoff set for 1pm, and can be heard on RVA Sports Network's YouTube Channel.

CLICK HERE to bookmark the page on your laptop, tablet or smartphone so you don't miss a minute of the action as the Springers look to avenge their lone loss of the season, while the Panthers look to advance to their third state semifinal in six years!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

PROFILE: Hermitage Defeats LC Bird

(RVA Sports Network correspondent Taylor Luck files this report)

The lights of Randolph Macon’s Day Field lit up on Friday night, as the college played host to a 5A South semifinal meeting between two very familiar opponents. For the sixth consecutive season, the Hermitage Panthers and the LC Bird Skyhawks met each other in the postseason. The reigning state champion Skyhawks came into the night having taken their previous three meetings, after dropping the first two to Hermitage in 2010 and 2011.

Hermitage controlled the pace of the game from the start. A deadly first half offense, highlighted by a 70 yard touchdown pass from Eli Odom to star wide receiver Kaelin Snead, put the Panthers up 21-0 at halftime; which would be more than enough thanks to a staunch defense that held Bird to under 200 yards of total offense on the night. The Skyhawks tried and failed again and again to get the running game going, and continually shot themselves in the foot with bad and inopportune penalties on both sides of the ball en route to their first playoff loss since the 2011 season.

Things looked good for LC Bird early, as Hermitage only managed a few plays on the opening drive of the game before an errant pass by Eli Odom was intercepted by Kier Townsend at the Bird 38 yard line. Jalen Elliott then connected with Waymond Pate to give the Skyhawks first and goal inside the Panther 10 yard line. One delay of game penalty and three plays of no gain later, and Bird’s attempt at a 37 yard field goal was blocked by Calvin Whitehead, handing Hermitage the ball at their 27. Odom found Snead for a 45 yard bomb to keep the drive alive inside the Bird 30, and a few plays later dove into the end zone on a 1 yard touchdown dive to put the Panthers up 7-0 late in the first quarter.

The Skyhawks got the ball rolling in the second quarter with a 10 yard touchdown pass from Elliott to Townsend. The ensuing extra point would be blocked by Calvin Whitehead, leaving LC Bird down 7-6. Not ten seconds later, Hermitage struck back on the first play of their next drive with a 70 yard catch and run from Odom to Snead, giving the Panthers a 14-6 lead. Bird would go three and out on their next drive, and a bad punt gave Hermitage great field position near midfield. A late hit penalty moved the Panthers inside the red zone and shortly after Odom ran for his third total score of the game, a three yard rush behind the blocking of star defensive lineman Sulaiman Kamara. Heading into halftime, Hermitage held a 21-6 lead, but would spend the second half trying to repel the expected Skyhawk comeback.

The second half was slow and with little action until late in the fourth when Bird took advantage of starting field position inside the Hermitage 42 yard line and mounted a drive resulting in a 5 yard touchdown run by Elliott. Needing a two point conversion to get within 8, the Skyhawks attempted a screen from the 2, but Elliott was hammered for a sack on the play, stopping any hopes for a comeback. Hermitage would hold on to their lead, and finally take down LC Bird, and move on to the 5A State Quarterfinals.

Eli Odom was the dominant force on the field for the Panthers. Despite an early pick, he rallied to score all three of his team’s touchdowns, completing 15 of 24 passes for 249 yards and a touchdown; and contributing 62 yards and 2 scores on the ground on 14 carries. Kaelin Snead grabbed 5 of those passes, for 156 yards, including the 70 yard touchdown reception.
Calvin Whitehead may well have won Hermitage the game with his field goal block and extra point block. His denial of those 4 crucial points kept the Bird two possessions behind in the final quarter.

Though Jalen Elliott proved effective while throwing the ball, the Skyhawks simply refused to pass. Elliott went 8 for 11 for 88 yards and a TD through the air, but the team remained one dimensional and kept running the football while behind, which proved fatal. Elliott, JB Wright, and Shedrick McCall combined for 35 rushes on the night for only 89 yards, a mere 2.5 yards per carry for the team.

Friday night was a huge win for Hermitage, who had been knocked out of the postseason by Bird each of the last three seasons. After the victory, Odom explained the team approaches each game the same no matter the opponent, and they take it one day at a time, but admitted Bird is a special challenge for the Panthers. “It’s a big feeling because we have to stay focused.” noted Odom, “They’re the team that takes us out all the time so it’s a big focus.”

Next week, Hermitage will pay a visit to Highland Springs for the 5A South title game, a rematch of a game they won two months ago, 21-20. The Panther’s defense looks stout, and ready to face the high powered Springers’ offense, who has averaged just over 42 points per game this season. Hermitage faced some severe offensive issues in the second half, only gaining 84 yards in the final two quarters; the defense may have been able to contain LC Bird, but it will likely take more than 21 points to stop Highland Springs this time around.

Friday, November 20, 2015

FOOTBALL: FINALLY, Hermitage Beats LC Bird; Highland Springs Survives Scare

Everything old is new again, we've come full circle.

The Hermitage Panthers erased three years of frustration Friday at Randolph-Macon College, jumping to a 21-6 halftime lead, then holding off three-time defending state champion L.C. Bird for a 21-12 victory to hand the Skyhawks their first postseason defeat since a 10-0 Panthers win over Bird on November 25, 2011.

Hermitage moves to 12-0, and gets a chance to, again, defeat Highland Springs on their home field. The Springers survived a huge scare from Lee-Davis, outlasting the Confederates 41-34 in the other 5A South Second Round matchup. The Springers have won eleven straight, and now try to avenge a 21-20 overtime loss at home to Hermitage back on opening night August 28th.

The winner next week will play for the 5A South Region championship on December 4th or 5th.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

PANTHERS: Directions, Parking for Playoff Friday at Randolph-Macon

Hermitage fans, we have what you need to cheer on your Panthers Friday night in the 5A South Central 2nd Round in yet another postseason showdown with L.C. Bird, this time at Day Field on the campus of Randolph-Macon College!

--Take I-95 North to Exit 92 (Route 54/Ashland). Take the west exit.
--Continue on Route 54 through town, going over Route 1.
--Just before the railroad tracks, turn right on Center Street, go 1/3 mile.
--Day Field will be on your right, with a small parking lot in front of it. Expect it to be filled very quickly.
--To find parking, turn left over the railroad tracks at the entrance to the Day Field parking lot, and you'll find plenty of parking on the tennis courts to the left. There is also grass parking (when opened by the college) on the right after crossing the railroad tracks.

(FYI, to avoid interstate traffic, you can take Staples Mill Road (Route 33) west to Route 623 in Hanover, turning right, then taking 623 to 657 (Ashcake Road). Immediately after crossing railroad track on Ashcake Road approaching Town of Ashland, turn left on Center Street and go straight. Pick up instructions above at point four.

--You will likely need to enter on the home side of Day Field (where you see the larger bleachers and press box) to purchase tickets. Bring cash.
--Restrooms are found at ground level in Birdsong Hall (the new dorm at the south end of Day Field), and inside Brock Center, which is to the right of Birdsong Hall, and houses gyms, the Randolph-Macon swimming pool, and other amenities. HOWEVER, those available for use Friday are up to the college.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

HONORS: All-Conference 11 Football Team

Congratulations to the following student-athletes for being named to the All-Conference 11 Football Team. A "*" denotes All-Academic honors.

Center: Jordan Rochester, Hermitage
OL: Truvell Wilson, Henrico*
OL: Ryan Ripley, Glen Allen*
OL: Kemmone Henderson, Hermitage
OL: George Holm, Hermitage*
TE: Sam Tanner: Lee-Davis*
WR: Kobe Chavis, Henrico
WR: Kaimire Hodge, Hermitage
WR: Nick Reisenweaver, Lee-Davis*
RB: Wesley Dugger, Mills Godwin*
RB: Xavier Goodall, Henrico*
RB: Taj Conway, J.R. Tucker*
RB: Nathan Evans, Lee-Davis*
QB: Eli Odom, Hermitage*
K: Alex Burton, Hermitage*
KR: Ja'Kari Williams, Douglas Freeman
Utility: Kobe Chavis, Henrico

DE: Trey Wilson, Hermitage*
DE: Tahlik Banks, J.R. Tucker
DL: Kevonte Demery, Henrico
DL: Sulaiman Kamara, Hermitage
DL: Nick Ackies, Douglas Freeman
DL: Sam Tanner, Lee-Davis*
LB: Ben Carroll, Mills Godwin*
LB: Kadofi Wright, Henrico*
LB: John Kinney, Hermitage
LB: Sam Murphy, Douglas Freeman*
DB: D'Andre Walker, Henrico*
DB: Calvin Whitehead, Hermitage*
DB: Kaelin Snead, Hermitage
DB: Lodiongo Elyardo, Douglas Freeman
DB: Marcus Tarrer, J.R. Tucker*
P: Carson Reynolds, Glen Allen*
PR: Anthony Freeman, Henrico
Utility: Calvin Whitehead, Hermitage*

Conference 11 Offensive Player of The Year: Eli Odom, Hermitage
Conference 11 Defensive Player of The Year: Sulaiman Kamara, Hermitage
Conference 11 Coach of The Year: Ryan Turnage, Lee-Davis

Center: Jacob Baker, Lee-Davis*
OL: Marquis Rogers, Henrico*
OL: Corey Harris, Hermitage
OL: Matt Burch, Lee-Davis
OL: Jack Oppenheim, Deep Run*
TE: Elijah Mitchell, Henrico*
WR: Ty Bates, Hermitage
WR: Bodhie Long, Douglas Freeman*
WR: Billy Kemp, Lee-Davis*
RB: James Johnson, Glen Allen
RB: Jordan Hall, Hermitage*
RB: Jordan Smith, Douglas Freeman
QB: Chase Mummau, Lee-Davis*
K: Andrew Ryan, Douglas Freeman*
KR: Billy Kemp, Lee-Davis*
KR: Anthony Freeman, Henrico
Utility: De'jour Braxton, Glen Allen*
Utility: Kaelin Snead, Hermitage

DE: Immanuel Lee, Henrico
DE: Connor Scott, Lee-Davis*
DL: Akeem Smith, Henrico*
DL: Ryan Ripley, Glen Allen*
DL: Tavian Anderson, Hermitage*
DL: Jacob Cardounel, Deep Run*
LB: Xavier Goodall, Henrico*
LB: Chris DeBerry, Hermitage
LB: Zach Carter, Douglas Freeman
LB: Logan Dockman, Lee-Davis*
LB: Matt Atkins, Deep Run*
DB: Andre Taylor, Jr, Henrico*
DB: Luke Murphy, Douglas Freeman*
DB: Billy Kemp, Lee-Davis*
DB: Nick Reisenweaver, Lee-Davis*
P: Nick Ackles, Douglas Freeman
PR: Ty Bates, Hermitage

Friday, November 13, 2015

Football Friday Finals

5A South Central First Round:
#1 Highland Springs 42, #8 Meadowbrook 13
#5 Lee-Davis 41, #4 Douglas Freeman 14
#2 Hermitage 37, #7 Henrico 6
#3 L.C. Bird 42, #6 Matoaca 6

NEXT WEEK:#3 L.C. Bird (11-0) at #2 Hermitage (11-0)
#5 Lee-Davis (9-2) at #1 Highland Springs (10-1)

Thursday, November 12, 2015


NOTE: RVA Sports Network correspondent Taylor Luck will be live at Douglas Freeman to live tweet the 5A South First Round matchup between the fourth-seeded Rebels and #5 Lee-Davis beginning at 7pm. Follow him at @TaylorRVASN for updates all night!

5A South Region First Round (Conferences 11/12 8-Team Pod)
#8 Meadowbrook at #1 Highland Springs, 7pm
#5 Lee-Davis at #4 Douglas Freeman, 7pm
#7 Henrico at #2 Hermitage, 7pm

Tickets for all first round playoff games are $8. If your school is selling tickets during lunch Friday or in your main office, we suggest buying them then rather than waiting to purchase at the door. Contact your school for more information.