Monday, November 30, 2015

Monday Night Scores, Tuesday Schedule...

Megan Sherman scored 12 of her 19 points at the free throw line, while Sara Puglisi added 15 as Mills Godwin won their girls basketball season opener at home with a 50-39 win over Manchester in a game heard live on RVA Sports Network.

Meanwhile, Glen Allen started their sixth varsity season in winning fashion, defeating new Conference 11 rival Lee-Davis 67-28 in Mechanicsville.

TUESDAY SCHEDULE:

BOYS:
Hermitage at #1 Henrico, 7:30pm
Matoaca at Varina, 7:30pm
Manchester at Glen Allen, 7:30pm
Atlee at Douglas Freeman, 7:30pm (1st Round, Rebel Invitational)
Collegiate at J.R. Tucker, 7:30pm (1st Round, Rebel Invitational)

GIRLS:
Hermitage at #5 Henrico, 6pm
Matoaca at #3 Highland Springs, 7:30pm
Douglas Freeman at James River, 7pm

2015 Rebel Invitational Tournament Results

The first week of basketball season means time for the annual Rebel Invitational sponsored by Douglas Freeman High School! The tournament gets underway Tuesday. Schedule and results below, all games at Douglas Freeman unless otherwise noted:

TUESDAY 12/1: First Round Games
Game 1: St. Christopher's 74, James River 34
Game 2: Douglas Freeman 52, Atlee 50
Game 3: Albemarle 64, Cosby 46 (game at JR Tucker)
Game 4: Collegiate 51, JR Tucker 31 (game at JR Tucker)

WEDNESDAY 12/2: Consolation Round
Atlee 48, James River 42
Cosby 48, J.R. Tucker 34

THURSDAY 12/3:
James River 29, J.R. Tucker 25
Semifinal #1: St. Christopher's 73, Douglas Freeman 44
Semifinal #2: Albemarle 62, Collegiate 54

FRIDAY 12/4:
5th Place Game: Atlee 58, Cosby 50
3rd Place Game: Douglas Freeman 54, Collegiate 52
Championship Game: St. Christopher's 76, Albemarle 59





Saturday, November 28, 2015

CLASSIC: Springers Score In Final Seconds To End Panthers Season....

The script was much different than most fans expected, but the ending was totally what the legions of fans would see as they descended on Victor Kreiter Stadium Saturday at Highland Springs High School. The only question would be which team would score at the end to grab a berth in next week's 5A State Semfinals.

For a team that built a 35-7 lead, thanks in part to a kickoff return for a touchdown, a blocked punt resulting in a score, and a pick six, Highland Springs, having watched Hermitage spend most of the rest of the contest build their comeback to tie the game at 35-35, decided to be aggressive in the final drive, not opting to play it safe and rest in the knowledge of playing in overtime.

The Springers drove 70 yards in less than 90 seconds, pulling out all the stops, including a hook and lateral that set up the game-winning score, and Highland Springs defeated Hermitage 42-35 in an absolute classic 5A State Quarterfinal.

"I am estatic; I will not lie, the monkey is off my back," said Highland Springs head coach Loren Johnson on the RVA Sports Network Scoreboard Show live following the victory. "We've never beaten Hermitage in my tenure here, so it is definitely a welcome opportunity to just enjoy the moment right now."

It was a great of dramatic, and huge runs, but it started with Hermitage driving for Eli Odom's first of five touchdowns for a 7-0 lead, while Highland Springs' offense had trouble getting on track.

But Cincinnati commit K'Von Wallace began to make his presence known, first with a 79-yard kickoff return to immediately tie the game at 7-7. A DJ Anderson 28-yard run around right side gave the Springers the 14-7 lead after a quarter. Then, on the first play of the second quarter, a high snap gave Hermitage punter Alex Burton issues, as his kick was blocked by Chris Thaxton, scooped up, and run into the end zone for a touchdown by Davante Cain for a 21-7 lead.

Wallace then turned in defensive work, taking a tipped pass for a Pick Six for another score. Add another Anderson touchdown run, and the Springers led 35-7 midway through the second quarter. After Hermitage muffed a kickoff, the Springers recovered at the Hermitage 33, with a chance to extend the lead even more.

But this is when the Panthers built their firewall, denying the Springers the end zone, which would become a recurring theme over the next 29 minutes of play. One step at a time, one drive at a time, Hermitage began to climb the mountain.

Odom found Tye Bates on an inside slant, Bates spinning around and placing his hand on the ground to keep his knee from touching it, then getting up and racing for a 56-yard score to cut the lead to 35-13. Then, just before halftime, Odom had an open Kaelin Snead in the end zone, but it was Wallace again, this time just getting a hand on the ball to swat it away. It turned out to be a key play overall, keeping the Springers lead at 22 at the half, rather than less.

The Panthers' comeback continued in the second half, as the Springers' offense continued to be stymied, while Odom calmly moved his unit down the field. Touchdown dives, plus runs behind usual defensive tackle Suliaman Kamara, lined up as a fullback, inched Hermitage closer, then finally helping them tie the game on a touchdown run with 1:42 remaining.

Having seen their huge lead evaporate, rather than conservatively playing for overtime, Johnson went aggressive, looking to avoid the extra period, looking to finally slay the dragon.

"What I said to Juwan was, remember, we only need three," Johnson explained, bringing back memories of decisions made a year ago when the Springers tried to complete the comeback win at home in the second round over L.C. Bird, only to see it fall short. "I didn't do that last year playing L.C. Bird. I told him, take your time. The first play will be a run, based on that, I'll call the rest of them."

Anderson did run on first down from their 30 for decent yardage, then Johnson began the final chess match. Reaching the Hermitage 40 with 22 seconds left, it was time to bring out a play best known as the play that propelled the Miami Dolphins back into a 1981 AFC Divisional Playoff game against San Diego, Tony Nathan grabbing the lateral and racing for a touchdown. That game ended in overtime. Today's game would not.

"We practice it every Wednesday, every Thursday, and the hook and lateral gave us some momentum," Johnson noted.

James Jackson perfectly flipped the ball to a dashing Dashawn Young, who raced down the sideline to the Hermitage 12 with 14 seconds left. The Springers were in field goal range, but Johnson placed his "we only need three" mentality aside, and went for it all.

On the next play, rather than Greg Dortch, or Wallace, it was Carter throwing into one-on-one coverage to Jackson, who wrestled the football into his arms in the left corner of the end zone with 9.2 seconds left to set off a celebration on the Springers' sideline 25 years in the making.

"We figured we've got to do something that breaks a tendency," Johnson said. "So, going trips with Greg and K'Von together breaks a tendency. So, we did something we worked on all summer, throwing it back side to James Jackson, who doesn't get a lot of notoriety, our long snapper, short snapper, and he plays receiver for us, and he caught probably the biggest catch of his young career."

A Hail Mary attempt as the horn sounded by Odom was batted away and fell incomplete around the 15-yard line. Highland Springs stormed the field, while the heartbroken Panthers fell to the field at their individual locations, filled with disappointment, and the reality of the finality to the season.

Highland Springs will welcome Indian River, who upset previously unbeaten Hampton Friday night in the other 5A South Region Semifinal (or State Quarterfinal), next Saturday at 1pm. The winner will move on to Scott Stadium in Charlottesville December 12th to play for the 5A State Championship. In the 5A North Region, their defending champion, Tuscarora, will host Stone Bridge next weekend.

For Johnson, it's now time to focus on Indian River, trying to get one more win at home which would allow his team to make reservations to move up Interstate 64. But he will gladly tell you about his love for the individuals that make up his team, and what they mean to him.

"I get emotional, thinking about my kids and how well they played and how well they came together," Johnson exclaimed. "We had some times where we could have tanked, and got in each other's face, but our kids stayed the course, and I'm ecstatic about that. For as much as my kids go through, they fight through it daily, and I'm proud of them for that and excited for them for this opportunity."

Friday, November 27, 2015

LISTEN LIVE LINK: Hermitage at Highland Springs

CLICK HERE to listen to the rematch between the 12-0 Panthers and 11-1 Springers with a trip to the 5A State Semfinals on the line, airtime 12:45pm exclusively on RVA Sports Network!

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!

DIRECTIONS:
--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.

NOTES:
--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.

FIRST TEAM OFFENSE:
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

FIRST TEAM DEFENSE:
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

SECOND TEAM OFFENSE:
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

SECOND TEAM DEFENSE:
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

FRIDAY FOOTBALL SCHEDULE:

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.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Monday Regional Volleyball Schedule

GIRLS:

5A South Region Quarterfinals:
Matoaca at Mills Godwin, 5pm
Douglas Freeman vs. L.C. Bird, 7pm at Mills Godwin

BOYS:

5A South Region Quarterfinals:
Mills Godwin vs. Matoaca, 5pm at Meadowbrook
Atlee vs. Deep Run, 7pm at Meadowbrook

Friday, November 6, 2015

FOOTBALL: Hermitage to 10-0 Again, Four Teams In Playoffs

Hermitage may be 10-0, but Highland Springs rules the roost, for now, as the 5A South Central playoffs begin next Friday.

The Panthers knocked off fellow unbeaten Douglas Freeman 28-0 (story below), while Highland Springs easily defeated rival Varina 55-7. By virtue of Thomas Jefferson's win over Deep Run and Cosby's win over Manchester, the Panthers lost four critical VHSL rider points that would've clinched the top seed in their subregion.

Instead, the Springers, even though they lost opening night by a point to Hermitage in overtime, earn home field through the first three weeks of the playoffs. Playing a tougher schedule in the Capital District was a major factor.

Hermitage and LC Bird are tied at 336 points, and we await the VHSL's official playoff pairings, due Sunday, to see who will host #6 Matoaca and who hosts #7 Henrico next Friday in the first round.

Our friend Gary Hess of Fox Sports 910 projects Hermitage will earn the #2 seed, important because if the Panthers and Skyhawks each win their first round games, they would play each other the following week in the second round, marking the fifth straight year that has happened. L.C. Bird's last playoff loss was to Hermitage on November 25, 2011.

The Warriors (7-3) fell late at Hanover 24-21 to miss on their chance to avoid one of the "big three" in round one. The Rebels are projected to host #5 Lee-Davis (8-2) at William E. Long Stadium next Friday.

J.R. Tucker finished the season at .500 with a 24-14 win over Glen Allen, who post their second straight 1-9 season. Mills Godwin ended their season with a home win over John Marshall while Thomas Jefferson handed Deep Run a bitterly disappointing loss to end another difficult season.

(RVASN correspondent Preston Hausser files this report from the Hermitage win:)

On Friday night, Hermitage finished the season undefeated and showed all the critics why they might be better than Bird this year. All season, the Panthers have heard that they were the second best team in the region, second best in the area in 5A. There are not many critics left to say that LC Bird has the absolute advantage over Hermitage following the Panthers’ strong outing against Douglas Freeman. Hermitage shut out an undefeated Rebel team that had run straight through every single opponent it had faced this year, as it garnered one of its winningest records in decades. But the Panthers didn’t care if Freeman was 9-0 or 0-9, either way they were just another team standing in the way of their perfect season. And that’s exactly how they treated them.
                Hermitage was led by senior quarterback Eli Odom, who has been ranked as the number one passer in the Richmond area this season. On 14 of 24 attempts, Odom threw for 175 yards and three touchdowns. As the 1st half buzzer sounded, Odom connected with Christian Velasquez after ball bounced off a couple of Rebels on a Hail Mary pass. Odom was also a major threat on the ground, rushing for 55 yards and another touchdown, accounting for all of his team’s scores on the night. Jordan Hall was also potent for the Panthers, rushing for 163 yards on 22 carries. Alex Burton was 4/4 on extra point attempts, continuing his dominance into the final regular season game.
                The Freeman team from the first nine games of the season was almost nonexistent in tonight’s game. Besides a couple of spectacular diving catches from Bodhie Long, Trey Laughlin almost didn’t connect with a single other receiver the entire night. The Rebel coaching staff had to rethink the game plan at halftime, focusing more on plays on the ground instead of in the air. Korry Cooper received almost twice as many handoffs in the 2nd half compared to the first, but the Rebels still could not find a way to score. 

                After a convincing 2015 regular season, the Panthers look poised to make a legitimate case for a state championship, especially after easily defeating another undefeated team tonight. When Hermitage QB Eli Odom was asked about how he would be preparing for the playoffs, he was quoted as saying, “it doesn’t matter who we play as long as we stay focused and work together as a team.” When the coaching staff was prompted about what their plan for next week is, they replied, “We are worrying about tonight, fixing those problems…seeding does not come out until Sunday, so we can’t speculate too closely.” Speculating or not about seeding, wherever Hermitage ends up in those rankings, every team who faces them will have a difficult problem on their hands from the undefeated Panthers.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Your Football Friday And Playoff Primer!

Who needs to do what to get a top seed, a home game next week, or just a playoff spot? It's ALL right here. But first, tonight's lineup of games. Rankings based on latest NBC12/RVA Sports Network Big 12 High School Football Poll.

#4 Douglas Freeman (9-0) at #2 Hermitage (9-0), 7pm
Varina (4-5) at #3 Highland Springs (8-1), 7pm
#6 Benedictine (7-1) at Liberty Christian Academy, 7:30pm
#7 Henrico (7-2) at #11 Hanover (6-3), 7pm
Glen Allen (1-8) at J.R. Tucker (4-5), 7pm
John Marshall (2-7) at Mills Godwin (3-6), 7pm
Thomas Jefferson (2-7) at Deep Run (2-7), 7pm

Now, what you need to know for the playoff race, which finally ends tonight!

5A South (Conferences 11 & 12, Top 8 make playoffs):
This is the group everyone is talking about, mainly because a one-loss team begins the night ahead in VHSL point standings of three unbeaten teams. Here's the bottom line:

--Highland Springs is at 299 points. They get 32 with a win over Varina, then six rider points no matter what happens in the other three Capital District games. That's 337. The Springers need a Hermitage win over Douglas Freeman. There's 338. Then there's the "Meadowbrook conundrum". If MBK beats Dinwiddie, all three teams fighting for the #1 seed get two points, as all three defeated the Monarchs. If the Monarchs lose, two points go by the boards for the Springers, Hermitage, and....

--L.C. Bird, who starts tonight at 296 points. They get 34 for a win over James River, a guaranteed six from other Dominion District action. That's 336 points. The Skyhawks are rooting for their archrivals, Thomas Dale, to knock off Matoaca. A crucial two points are at stake there. That's 338. If MBK wins, both Highland Springs and L.C. Bird hit 340.

--Hermitage begins at 288 points, but play a 9-0 Douglas Freeman. A win means 42 big points. The Panthers are guaranteed two points each from Highland Springs/Varina, Mills Godwin/John Marshall, and Glen Allen/JR Tucker. There's 336. Now, Hermitage needs Manchester to beat Cosby and Deep Run to beat Thomas Jefferson. If both happen, no matter what Meadowbrook does, the Panthers ascend to the #1 seed by two points.

Now, what if Meadowbrook wins, but, say, Cosby beats Manchester? Then Hermitage, L.C. Bird, and Highland Springs all would finish at 340 points (34.0 rating when divided by ten). How do you break the tie?

Section 68-4-8 of the Virginia High School League Handbook (pages 132-133) break it down, and you have to get to (d) to find where Highland Springs, by virtue of playing a team (Norview) that only had a nine-game schedule, would win the three-way tie and the number one seed. (Read it HERE). At (g), Hermitage would likely have the advantage for #2.

So, it is possible that L.C. Bird, who has been a consensus #1 in all the published polls, including ours, all season, could go 10-0, and be the third seed in 5A South Central. The Skyhawks are rooting for Cosby and Thomas Jefferson tonight.

--Of course, if Douglas Freeman beats Hermitage, everything changes. Same if Varina, who is clinging to a Hail Mary's chance in ninth place, knocks off the Springers. We'll publish the maximum and minimum final point totals below.

--Matoaca and Meadowbrook are separated by just three points. A Matoaca win gives them the inside track to keep the seventh seed. If they fall to Thomas Dale and Meadowbrook beats Dinwiddie, the Monarchs move to seventh, and with an outside shot at #6 should Lee-Davis lose The Tomato Bowl to Patrick Henry, with other factors included.

5A South Central Maximum/Minimum Point Ranges:

1) Highland Springs (340, 322)
2) L.C. Bird (340, 321)
3) Hermitage (342, 316)
4) Douglas Freeman (321, 295)
5) Henrico (305, 282)
6) Lee-Davis (299, 280)
7) Matoaca (294, 272)
8) Meadowbrook (288, 267)
9) Varina (267, 241)

By the way, Varina can only tie Meadowbrook if the Monarchs lose, the Blue Devils win, James River wins and I.C. Norcom pulls a huge upset of Lake Taylor.

It is likely the current standings above will change at least a little by night's end. Be sure to listen to our Game of The Week: Patrick Henry at Lee-Davis, on WHAN Radio (102.9 FM) and online at the link to the right at the top of the page, especially listen to the RVA Sports Network Scoreboard Show immediately following The Tomato Bowl, approximately 9:30pm, with all the scores and playoff projections!

NOTE: Our Preston Hausser, at @PrestonRVASN on Twitter, will LIVE tweet the Douglas Freeman/Hermitage showdown starting at 7pm!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Monday Playoff Schedule

FIELD HOCKEY:

5A South Region Quarterfinal:

Deep Run vs. L.C. Bird, 5pm at River City SportsPlex in Chesterfield

BOYS VOLLEYBALL:

Conference 11 Tournament Semifinals (at Hermitage HS):

#4 Douglas Freeman vs. #1 Deep Run, 5:45pm
#3 Glen Allen vs. #2 Mills Godwin, 7pm

Conference 12 Tournament Quarterfinals:

#8 Highland Springs vs. #1 Atlee, 5:45pm at L.C. Bird HS
#6 Varina at #3 Prince George, 7:15pm

GIRLS VOLLEYBALL:

Conference 12 Tournament First Round:

#5 Highland Springs at #4 Varina, 7:15pm