HIGHLAND SPRINGS, VA (WWBT) - Highland Springs is 11-0, L.C. Bird is 9-2 and the two-time defending state champion. It's a match-up that seemingly should come later down the postseason road, but the two teams will collide in the second round on the Springers' home field on Friday night.
Loren Johnson and Highland Springs did not cruise in their first round match-up with Meadowbrook. The Monarchs held a 22-0 lead on the Springers, before they stormed back and took their first lead of the game late in the fourth quarter. They would win 34-29, thanks to a five minute stretch in which the Springers scored 20 points.
L.C. Bird took an early lead against Atlee and never looked back, cruising to the 34-13 win. The Skyhawks only losses this season came to Lake Taylor, the top seed in the 4A South bracket, and undefeated Manchester. David Bedwell and company haven't lost a playoff game since 2011, when they fell to Hermitage in the Central Region championship.
These two teams haven't met since the 2010 playoffs, a meeting the Skyhawks claimed, 36-0. This year's match-up will see Bird as the road team and as an underdog, at least on paper by seeding. Ask any Highland Springs player or coach, however, and they say the Skyhawks are still the team to beat.
Kickoff is set for 7:00pm on Friday at Highland Springs. The winner will face either Hermitage or Manchester in the 5A South Central Zone final next weekend. On the Sidelines is back this Friday at 11:15pm on NBC12. Click on the above video to view Matt Estreich's preview of Friday's game.