A South No. 3 Thomas Dale 33 No. 6 James River 9 By Andy BaldacciIn The first round of the 6A South playoffs, the...

A South
No. 3 Thomas Dale 33
No. 6 James River 9

By Andy BaldacciIn

The first round of the 6A South playoffs, the No. 3 seed Thomas Dale played host to the No. 6 seed James River Friday and the Knights came away with a defensive-aided 33-9 win.

The Thomas Dale defense started off strong, forcing two fumbles and a safety in the first quarter. It didn’t let up, forcing a total of six turnovers in the game. The James River defense played well, too, forcing two fumbles and a safety.
Thomas Dale took a commanding 16-0 lead midway through the second quarter after a touchdown by Christian Faber (pass from Matt Lawton) and one run in by Gabe McCollin.
The Rapids fought back forcing a safety and getting a Jack Dash rushing touchdown to cut the Knight lead to 16-9 before the half.

After a slow start to the third quarter, AJ Lazaro broke free on a punt return for a touchdown to increase Thomas Dale’s lead to 23-9.

The Knights defense held strong in the second half and didn’t allow the James River offense to score. They forced three turnovers in the second half, which were capitalized on by the offense. After Michael Bailey intercepted Dash with 3:17 left in the fourth quarter, McCollin punched it in for his second touchdown of the night, securing Thomas Dale’s victory.

“The defense played exceptionally tonight,” he said. “If our defense keeps playing like that, I think it’s going to be a great postseason.”
McCollin finished the game with 140 yards from scrimmage (105 rushing) and two touchdowns. Matt Lawton tossed a touchdown pass. Defensively, Devonte Chandler led Dale with 12 tackles and a safety, linebacker Dusan Stjepanovic had seven tackles and three sacks, and Shundarius Carter tallied eight tackles while getting a sack and forcing a fumble.

5A South
No. 3 L.C. Bird 49
No. 6 Varina 9

By Zack Long

The No. 6 seed Varina took on No. 3 seed L.C. Bird in the first round of the 5A South playoffs Friday night. It was win or go home, and each team had its season on the line.

The ever-impressive Skyhawks imposed their will the entire game and came out with a 49-9 victory.

However, the visiting Blue Devils were able to score twice early, once by way of a Stephen Richardson jet sweep, and once by safety.

But that would be it for Varina, and L.C. Bird would dominate almost every minute of the game thereafter.
Johquin “Pinky” Wiley scored the first touchdown for the Skyhawks as he made a difficult catch off a Marcus Banks throw. Wiley would later score on defense in the second half, making another spectacular grab and running it all the way back for a score.

The L.C. Bird run game was as efficient as ever. Shedrick McCall scored twice, once on a powerful 58-yard run. McCall, the Old Dominion commit, totaled 131 yards on the night. Emmanuel Conway contributed as well, scoring once thanks to an incredible Talon White block.

What really set L.C. Bird apart was its superb play on defense and special teams. Devonte Wright gave the Skyhawks momentum early and scored on a 95-yard kickoff return. And to no surprise, seniors Rayshard Ashby and Isaiah Moore led the way for L.C. Bird on defense, earning numerous sacks, tackles for loss, and quarterback hurries.

“It was a complete game,” said L.C. Bird veteran coach David Bedwell. “The offense was productive, the defense made big plays, and we got some big plays on special teams, the kickoff return, and a couple punt returns.”

L.C. Bird (10-1) will advance to the second round of playoffs, taking on the No. 2 seed Hermitage next week in what should be a clash of area titans. The Panthers will be without starting quarterback Woody Winborn, who injured his leg in their victory over Henrico.

The No. 6 seed Varina took on No. 3 seed L.C. Bird in the first round of the 5A South playoffs Friday night. It was win or go home, and each team had its season on the line.

The ever-impressive Skyhawks imposed their will the entire game and came out with a 49-9 victory.
However, the visiting Blue Devils were able to score twice early, once by way of a Stephen Richardson jet sweep, and once by safety.

But that would be it for Varina, and L.C. Bird would dominate almost every minute of the game thereafter.
Johquin “Pinky” Wiley scored the first touchdown for the Skyhawks as he made a difficult catch off a Marcus Banks throw. Wiley would later score on defense in the second half, making another spectacular grab and running it all the way back for a score.

The L.C. Bird run game was as efficient as ever. Shedrick McCall scored twice, once on a powerful 58-yard run. McCall, the Old Dominion commit, totaled 131 yards on the night. Emmanuel Conway contributed as well, scoring once thanks to an incredible Talon White block.

What really set L.C. Bird apart was its superb play on defense and special teams. Devonte Wright gave the Skyhawks momentum early and scored on a 95-yard kickoff return. And to no surprise, seniors Rayshard Ashby and Isaiah Moore led the way for L.C. Bird on defense, earning numerous sacks, tackles for loss, and quarterback hurries.

“It was a complete game,” said L.C. Bird veteran coach David Bedwell. “The offense was productive, the defense made big plays, and we got some big plays on special teams, the kickoff return, and a couple punt returns.”

L.C. Bird (10-1) will advance to the second round of playoffs, taking on the No. 2 seed Hermitage next week in what should be a clash of area titans. The Panthers will be without starting quarterback Woody Winborn, who injured his leg in their victory over Henrico.