WILLIAMSBURG, VA (WWBT) - Hopewell jumped out to a 20-0 lead and held off a charging Heritage team to claim the Class 3 state title with a 20-14 win. It's the Blue Devils' first crown since 2003.
The Pioneers, who entered with a record of 13-1, made an early threat, but Hopewell snuffed that out with a fumble recovery.
The Blue Devils' scoring came quickly and late in the first half. Ronnie Walker got them on the board with a rushing touchdown to make it 6-0. Hopewell would strike again when Greg Cuffey found Sean Wood-Allen for a 48 yard touchdown pass, giving the Devils a 13-0. Heritage would push for a score before halftime, but Reizon Murphy's interception return for a touchdown would give Hopewell a 20-0 lead at the break.
The second half saw the Pioneers make a charge, and trim the lead to 20-14 with a pair of third quarter touchdowns, but the Blue Devils iced the game with a gutsy call in the fourth.
With less than a minute to play, and Hopewell facing 4th down and 15 yards to go, head coach Ricky Irby opted to go for it. Cuffey aired it out for Kadarius Singleton, who made a leaping acrobatic catch and managed to hold on for the first down. The Blue Devils would kneel out the rest of the clock and clinch the win.
Hopewell wraps up the 2017 season with an 11-4 record.