CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA (WWBT) - L.C. Bird football claimed its third straight state championship on Saturday afternoon, topping unbeaten Tuscarora, 22-19, in the 5A title game.
The 14-0 Huskies came out strong, opening up a 13-0 lead, thanks in large part to running back Noah Reimers. The senior rushed for 142 yards and two scores in the first half. Bird woke up in the second quarter, as Stephen Mines rushed for two touchdowns to give the Skyhawks their first lead, 14-13. Tuscarora would strike once more before the first half ended, as Daniel Smith hooked up with Duron Norris on a 38-yard touchdown pass with five seconds remaining in the second quarter, giving the Huskies a 19-14 halftime lead.
Whatever adjustments the Skyhawks made in the locker room seemed to work. The defense shut down Reimers, and even when Tuscarora started to put together a sustained drive, the Bird defense had an eventual answer, keeping the Huskies off the scoreboard in the second half. Bird would score the eventual game winner in the fourth quarter, when Jalen Elliott connected with Waymond Pate, who scampered the rest of the way and fought into the endzone. Bird would add a two point conversion to cap off the scoring.
Mines finished the day with 108 rushing yards, before leaving in the third quarter with a knee injury.
L.C. Bird becomes just the eighth team in VHSL history to win three state titles in a row. They're the first former Central Region team to win three outright state championships (Hopewell won three straight from 1949-1951, but the Blue Devils' 1950 title was shared, according to VHSL records).
The Skyhawks have won 42 of their last 44 games, dating back to the start of the 2012 season. Click on the above video to see highlights and reaction from the 2014 5A state champions.