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PREVIEW: Varina vs. Highland Springs (VA)

November 8, 2012

The Varina Blue Devils will host the Highland Springs Springers this Friday night in Richmond, Virginia. The outcome of this game will determine who will secure their spot in the Division 6 playoffs. The winner may be able to receive enough points to jump Hermitage as the #1 seed and earn a home playoff game. The result of the game will also determine who wins the 3A Capital District title. The Springers won last season’s defensive battle, 12-7.

The Varina Blue Devils went 8-3 in 2011 on their way to claiming the 3A Capital District title. The Blue Devils went on to lose to L.C. Bird in the 2nd round of the 3A Division 6 playoffs. Varina is looking to make a deeper playoff run this year and all that hinges on Friday’s matchup. The 8-1 Blue Devils have been led on offense by their senior quarterback Brandon Wood. The dual-threat quarterback ran for just over 100 yards and a touchdown, while passing for 130 yards and another TD in last week’s thrilling 21-20 win over Hanover. Tyler Meredith and Herb Anderson will both see carries out of the backfield for the Blue Devils. Wood will be throwing to Donavon Dowling, P.T. Dixon, Tony Tate and Chris Tucker at the receiver positions. Dowling caught the game tying touchdown last week on an 18-yard pass from Wood. Defensively, the Blue Devils have Rivals.com’s 13th ranked cornerback in the nation in Tim Harris. Harris is committed to play at the University of Virginia. Larry Spears will lead the linebacking unit. Dixon will lead the secondary on top of his receiving duties.

The Highland Springs Springers finished with a 7-3 record in 2011 and just barely missed the playoffs. This year, the Springers are 9-0 entering Friday’s game and could lock up a #1 seed in the playoffs with a win. A win would also mean the Capital District title. Junior Darryl “DJ” Johnson returned for his 3rd year as the starting quarterback of the offense. He will lead a balanced attack that will not rely on any single player. The rushing attack will feature a host of running backs led by junior Ryan Scott. Sophomore Marcus Taylor and junior Daryl Wilson will also see carries out of the backfield along with Johnson himself. Lining up outside at the receiver positions will be senior Keano Tharrington, junior Keeon Perry and sophomore Felton Davis. The Springer defense returned 8 starters from last season. Senior Ralph Stovall leads the secondary, while Stephen Jackson leads the line at defensive end for the Springers.

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