(Dec. 15, 2013) – The Virginia High School League crowned six state football champions on Saturday, Dec. 14:
University of Virginia
5A L.C. Bird 35, Briar Woods 28
The Skinny: Bird — 6A state champ last year — rallied to deny Briar Woods — 4A state champ the last 3 years — a 4th straight state championship despite the best efforts of Falcons Vanderbilt-bound QB/DB Trace McSorley who threw for 255 yards and 3 TDs, led his team in rushing with 44 yards, and led his team with 10 tackles, in the loss. Briar Woods senior Melvin Holland, Jr., had a super afternoon with 3 TD catches and 199 yards on 5 receptions but injuries to Briar Woods prevented Bird from making it 28 straight victories. Skyhawk RB Earl Hughes got stronger as the game wore on and finished with 180 yards rushhing on 35 carries and 2 TDs while also catching 4 passes for 87 yards and another TD. Bird WRs Rasheed Worsham and Shawn Payne combined for 12 receptions to loosen the Falcons from crowding the line of scrimmage against Hughes. Briar Woods led 21-6 at the half and 28-20 in the fourth quarter before the Skyhawks — converting a 4th and 11 on the drive — went 40 yards on 6 plays to tie the game with a TD and 2-point conversion as Hughes was wide open on a 11-yard TD pass and then Ervin nudged the ball in on a QB keeper. On the Falcons very next snap from scrimmage, with six minutes left, McSorley had a pass deflected and picked off by Worsham, who returned the ball to the Falcon 40. All the momentum was now with Bird and they needed just 2 plays, both by Hughes, to score the game-winning TD with 4:22 left. In increasingly wet conditions the Falcons couldn’t pick up a first down and without time outs left, couldn’t stop the Skyhawks from them running the clock out. Key injuries to LB Chris Larco, WR Brandon Polk, DB Chris McMillian and others during the hard-hitting contest played in light snow and rain hurt Briar Woods from stopping the Bird attack that piled up 445 total yards and 23 first downs. The Falcons didn’t rely on sustained drives but big plays with Polk scoring on a 22-yard botched punt by Bird and McSorley hitting Holland on TD passes of 79 and 73 yards and using a 30-yard Holland catch to set up a 7-yard Holland TD. McSorley, starter all four years at Briar Woods, and the Class of 2014 exit the school with an amazing 4-year mark of 55-5 and 4 trips to the state finals and 3 titles.
6A Centreville 35, Oscar Smith 6
The Skinny: The Wildcats had no problems against Oscar Smith and its vaunted defense led by Gatordae national Player of the Year DL Andrew Brown. Centreville finished a perfect 15-0 and jumped out to a quick 14-0 lead in the contest on a 52-yard TD run by A.J. Turner and then a Pick 6 for 65 yards by Xavier Nickens-Yzer. Oscar Smith managed just 88 yards of total offense in the soggy conditions. Centreville, meanwhile chewed up the turf for 327 yards rushing. Turner (18 for 182) and Scott Walter (22 for 105) both broke the 100-yard rushing mark for the Wildcats which attempted just five passes in the win and had 11 yards total passing.
3A Northside 24, James Monroe 10
The Skinny: Vikings senior QB Dom Dunnaville ran for 3 TDs and Northside’s defense held James Monroe to just 3 yards rushing, had 6 sacks and picked off 3 passes.
4A Dinwiddie 56, Sherando 14
The Skinny: Dinwididie finished a perfect 15-0 season by converting 5 Warrior turnovers into 4 TDs on a wet afternoon. Sherando scored first and then Dinwiddie scored 35 unanswered points … in the first half to lead 35-7 with 2:10 left in the first half. Sadarius Williams had 128 yards rushing on 16 carries for Dinwiddie.
1A Altavista 21, Essex 0
The Skinny: Altavista’s defense forced 4 turnovers and held Essex to just 56 total yards of offense in the shutout. Juan Thornill threw a TD pass for Altavista and Destin Brown and Clydale Moon each scored on TD runs in the win.
2A Giles 20, Brunswick 19 (OT)
The Skinny: The most exciting finish of the six saw Giles force overtime after Tyler Purdue hit Dakoda Shrader on a 14-yard TD pass with just 1 second left in regulation. Unbeaten Giles trailed 13-7 when they got the ball near midfield with 55 seconds left. In OT, Giles scored first to lead 20-13. After Brunswick scored they tied it up on a PAT to make it 20-20 and force a second OT but offsides was called and forced to kick 5 yards back … the kick was no good and Giles was state champs.