In a sprint that resembled a track meet that later turned into an almost 3 1/2 hour marathon, Highland Springs held off their arch-rivals to finish the regular season with a huge win and likely grab a home game to open the 2013 playoffs next week.
A 21-point run in the first quarter helped the Springers establish a lead never relinquished as Highland Springs knocked off Varina 45-35. Both teams finish 8-2. For Highland Springs, the bonus rider points should place them as the #4 seed behind LC Bird, Atlee and Douglas Freeman in Class 5A South Central Zone, key because it means a showdown with #5 seed Hermitage will take place in Eastern, and not Western, Henrico.
The Panthers finished 8-2 with a 47-21 win over J.R. Tucker in the Cat Bowl. The loss eliminated Tucker from Class 4A South playoff contention, where they began the night as the #16 and final seed. Caroline's victory over Spotsylvania vaults them over the Tigers, who finish 4-6.
Deep Run ends the season on a three-game winning streak, sending John Marshall to a winless 2013 with a 38-12 victory. Henrico, on the other hand, started 3-0, but ends 3-7, shut out at home 16-0 by an Armstrong team that qualifies for the Class 3A East playoffs at 3-7, their first playoff berth in 22 years.
Speaking of firsts----CONGRATULATIONS to the Glen Allen Jaguars! Despite their 21-6 loss on Senior Night to Hanover, the Jags, at 4-6, clinch their first-ever playoff berth in Class 4A South! Official pairings will be determined over the weekend, and the road trip will be likely to a top five seed, but to make the postseason in just their 3rd year of existence is a huge accomplishment for head coach Francel Smith and his staff.
Douglas Freeman held off a second half Patrick Henry charge on Senior Night in Ashland, then pulled away late for a 41-26 win to give the Rebels their best record in the 21st century at 9-1. They'll start the Class 5A South Central postseason as the #3 seed, likely hosting #6 Manchester next Friday.
Mills Godwin plays at Thomas Jefferson Saturday at 1pm, and take the field knowing they must win to make the playoffs in Class 5A South Central as the #8 and final seed, in spite of Lee-Davis' 34-17 loss to Atlee Friday night. A Thomas Jefferson win would leave the Eagles two VHSL rider points behind the Confederates. If Godwin wins? The Eagles opening round opponent? None other than 10-0, and defending State Champions, the L.C. Bird Skyhawks, winners of their last 24 in a row.