Highland Springs and Hermitage were two of the top three teams in 5A South all year and they had a classic game in week one, won by the Panthers in overtime but in the State Quarterfinals, it would be the Springers who would come out on top as they beat Hermitage 42-35 for their first postseason win over the Panthers. It started will for the Springers as they jumped out to a 35-7 lead midway in the second quarter behind a 79 yard kickoff return by K'Von Wallace, a blocked punt return by Davante Caine and a interception return for a touchdown by Wallace. Running back D.J Anderson rushed for 124 yards and two touchdowns as well.
Hermitage would make a run behind quarterback Eli Odom, who had 329 yards of total offense and accounted for all five Panthers touchdowns, to include the game tying td with about 1:39 left.
The Springers would drive down the field and used a hook and ladder play that they haven't used all season to get to the Hermitage 13 yard line with 10 seconds left. Quarterback Juwan Carter then connected with James Jackson with 9.2 seconds left for the touchdown that won it for Highland Springs. They will host Indian River in the 5A South Semifinals next Saturday at 1pm. It's the first time the Springers reached this round since 1990, when they lost to Garfield.
In 3A East, Hopewell rallied from 17 down in the first half to beat James Monroe 38-31 to reach the State Semifinals for the first time since 2003. Quarterback Cameron Hill rushed for two touchdowns and threw for one while Dewonyea Westry had a receiving touchdown and also returned and interception for a touchdown as well.
The Blue Devils are in the State Semifinals for the first time since winning the State title back in 2003. They will travel to Lord Botetourt in the semis next Saturday at 2pm.