Manchester High School (Midlothian, Va.) won the Virginia Class 6 State Championship on Saturday at Hampton University, defeating Freedom High School (Woodbridge, Va.) 49-7. The Lancers completed an undefeated season for the team’s first state title in school history.
The offensive line was anchored by senior right guard Will Pritchard, a Virginia Tech commit who will be in Blacksburg next year.
“I’m still in shock,” Pritchard said. “There’s got to be an end to the high school career. This is how we finished it. We went 15-0 for a perfect season. We never had our perfect game, but we still executed. It was awesome. It’s unreal.”
After the offense struggled to gain traction early, Manchester’s quarterback Brendon Clark took the snap and ran 79 yards for a touchdown to give the Lancers a 21-7 lead late in the first half. Check out the block by Pritchard (No. 63) to spring Clark on the game-changing play.
Big block from No. 63 Will Pritchard, a VT commit, to spring this long Manchester TD run. They won the State Championship over the weekend. pic.twitter.com/PVIWGi2wFO
— TechSideline.com (@TechSideline) December 10, 2018
Manchester head coach Tom Hall, a former Virginia Tech offensive lineman from 1986-1988, had high praise for the future Virginia Tech offensive lineman.
“He’s going to be a bulldozer for coach Fuente and that staff,” Hall said. “They’ve got a kid who loves to get messy, loves to get dirty, and he gets the job done.”
While offensive linemen don’t necessarily have stats that are easy to track, one look at the Lancers offensive success can show the impact of Pritchard and the rest of the offensive line.
Manchester averaged 54.6 points per game. Manchester’s rushing attack averaged 7.3 yards per carry. The offensive line only allowed two sacks in 15 games.
“With Will Pritchard, what you get is a throwback type kid,” said Manchester offensive coordinator Sidney Chappell. “His heart is there. He’s the toughest offensive lineman, and one of the toughest players that I’ve ever coached. Great human being, and a better kid than he is a player. You know he’s going to give you everything he has in every situation from his freshman year to his senior year. He’s been the heart and soul of our offensive line, for sure.”
On the official program, Pritchard was listed as 6-foot-2, 280 pounds. When he heads to Blacksburg, he’ll bulk up once he enters the Ben Hilgart regimen. He’s ready for that transition.
“One thing Will is going to do for sure is he’s going to be coachable,” Chappell said. “He’ll do whatever they want him to do. He’s going to get bigger, and stronger, and work in the offseason. He’s going to be a guy who’s going to be tough to keep off the field.”
“I know I’m not going to be how I was here,” Pritchard said. “I have a lot of work to do, a lot of skills I have to put into it, and start working on my craft.”