News & Notes: 6A, 5A Va State Title Games

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Three future Hokies were in action in Virginia state championship games last Saturday. WR/DB Shawn Payne helped L.C. Bird to its second straight state title, while Oscar Smith (Chesapeake, VA) wide receiver Jaylen Bradshaw and Brunswick (Lawrenceville, VA) tight end/defensive lineman Xavier Burke were on the losing end of their games. I was at Scott Stadium at the University of Virginia on Saturday to watch Payne and Bradshaw in action. Below are reports on both games as well as recruiting notes from the day.


Game Summary

Briar Woods (Ashburn) dominated Group AA Division 4 competition the previous three seasons, taking home the state title all three years. L.C. Bird (Chesterfield) defeated Ocean Lakes in the Group AAA Division 6 state championship in 2012. Following VHSL reclassification, Briar Woods moved up a level while Bird moved down, and on Saturday the two football powerhouses collided in the 5A state championship game. The game didn’t disappoint.

Briar Woods jumped out to a 14-0 lead before Bird answered with a score of its own, cutting the lead to 14-6 by the end of the first quarter. Briar Woods tacked on another touchdown with 43 seconds left in the first half to claim a 21-6 advantage heading into halftime. Bird responded with two straight touchdowns to start the second half, cutting the Falcons lead to one (21-20) before Vanderbilt-bound senior Trace McSorley connected with senior wide receiver Melvin Holland for a 73-yard touchdown that put Briar Woods up 28-20.

Holland’s score – his third touchdown catch of the game – was the Falcons’ final score of the game. Bird tied the game on a touchdown pass to senior tailback Earl Hughes and a 2-point conversion run by senior quarterback Terrance Ervin. Another Hughes touchdown and an extra point gave the Skyhawks a 35-28 lead with 4:22 left in the 4th. The Bird defense forced a turnover on downs and the offense ran the clock out, giving head coach David Bedwell and company their second straight state championship.

Shawn Payne