by Ryan Mosser
The Great American Rivalry Series game between the Varina Blue Devils and the Highland Springs Springers was a festive atmosphere to say the least. Aside from the packed stands and the incredible tailgates, two of the premiere marching bands in the state were playing, including the defending national champions from Highland Springs.
The game was critically important to both teams. A win for Highland Springs meant Varina’s season was over. A win for Varina meant they made the playoffs and would have a higher seed in the tournament than Highland Springs. Needless to say, a lot was at stake.
After the bands played, the players warmed up, and the Great AMericna Rivlary Scholar Athlete awards were presented, it was time for football. The Springers came out and smashed Varina in the mouth immediately with hard hitting defense. Once they got the ball on offense, Highland Springs moved down the field with a balanced attack and scored the only touchdown of the first quarter on a 12-yard pass from Carter to Folsom. The extra point attempt failed and the score was 6-0 after one quarter of play.
In the second quarter, the Springers spent the early portion of the quarter with the same balanced attack and strong defense. Highland Springs took a 12-0 lead midway through the quarter when Thompson found the end zone on an 8-yard rush. The extra point was blocked again, and the score was 12-0. Just before the end of the half, Varina got on the board with a nice drive that was capped off by a 9-yard touchdown run by Canady. The extra point was good, and Highland Spring took a 12-7 into the locker room at the half.
The third quarter began with a buzz throughout the stadium caused by the intensity of players and coaches on the field. The Varina defense came out fired up and shut out the Springers in the third quarter. Meanwhile, Canady ran in a 30-yard touchdown to put the Blue Devils ahead 14-12 after three quarters of play.
The fourth quarter was very similar to the third, with stifling defense from Varina and the offense doing their job as the Blue Devils shut out the Springers again and added a touchdown to cap off their comeback. Hayes had a 64-yard touchdown that made the final score 20-12 in favor of Varina.
At the conclusion of the game, the Great American Rivalry Series MVP Trophy and Medal were presented to Maurice Canady for his 128 yards rushing, 38 yards passing, and two touchdowns. Afterward, the Great American Rivalry Series Championship Trophy was presented to Coach Stu Barnes of the Varina High School Blue Devils. The team was cheered by their families, friends, and fans. It was quite the celebration.
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- Varina vs Highland Springs – 2010