Henrico, VA (WWBT)- Hermitage and Varina both entered their meeting on Friday night with perfect records and offenses that could score, but after rain made field conditions slippery and wet, the meeting became a defensive battle.
Hermitage found the endzone twice and it proved to be enough as the Panthers topped the Blue Devils for the fourth straight time, 14-2. Varina would be the first team on the scoreboard, after a snap for an intended punt went over the head of John Stiebel, who kicked it out of the back of the endzone to avoid a touchdown, making the score 2-0. That would be the score until late in the second quarter, when Dylan Jackson found Damian Jones, who made a tremendous catch over a defender for a 32 yard touchdown, giving the Panthers a 7-2 advantage. That would be the score at halftime, and through the third quarter, before Hermitage added another touchdown on Triston Wright's 39 yard run. That capped off the scoring, putting the Panthers at 3-0 on the season.
The most impressive part of Hermitage's win was its defense. Varina forced Panther turnovers deep in their own territory twice in the second half, but the Blue Devils were unable to come away with points off either of them.
Another wrinkle for Varina was the loss of several offensive playmakers. Usual starting quarterback Brandon Wood, along with wide receiver Bryce Bradley and lineman Shaquille Edwards were suspended for violating team rules. Maurice Canady started at quarterback for the Blue Devils, and struggled despite a solid effort.
Hermitage improves to 3-0 and will host Douglas Freeman next Friday in its first Colonial District match up of the season. Varina falls to 2-1 and returns home to face Lee-Davis, opening up its Capital district slate.