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December 8, 2012

Bird wins D-6 state title!

8:15 PM: This phenomenal day of High School Football at the VHSL State Championships has come to an end at the University of Virginia's Scott Stadium in Charlottesville. We saw a couple of battles between undefeated teams go down to the wire with the outcome hanging in the balance with less than two minutes to play.

In the Division 5 State Championship, the Lake Taylor Titans held off the Stone Bridge Bulldogs 20-14 as the Titans captured their first state title, also becoming the first city of Norfolk football team to win it all since 1966. The Eastern Region has now won 18 of the past 27 state titles in Division 5. Lake Taylor had lost the last time they were in the State Final back in 1982.

Over in the Division 6 State Championship, the L.C. Bird Skyhawks pulled out a 14-10 victory over the Ocean Lakes Dolphins to win their first ever state title in what was a scoreless second half. Bird, which recovered from trailing after the first play from scrimmage, is the first Central Region program to win the D-6 title since Thomas Dale back in 2009. Bird had lost its last appearance in the State Final back in 1991.

Here are the Postgame Press Conference links from L.C. Bird's 14-10 win over Ocean Lakes in Division 6 State Championship as the Skyhawks claimed their first state title in school history.

L.C. Bird Postgame Press Conference
Ocean Lakes Postgame Press Conference

It's been an absolute privilege to witness these two outstanding games and four truly worthy teams on the field playing for a Championship.

Be sure to check back to VirginiaPreps.com over the coming days for Full Team Coverage from Rod Johnson, Tom Garrett myself - - including Game Recaps, Postgame Press Conference Videos, Game Highlights, Photos and a whole lot more. Good night from UVA!

6:40 PM: Well, what a day of football it has been in Charlottesville at UVA's Scott Stadium as two veteran coaches, David Bedwell of the L.C. Bird Skyhawks and Hank Sawyer from the Lake Taylor Titans, see their players take home State Championships in down to the wire affairs.

It was Lake Taylor defeating Stone Bridge 20-14, recovering a fumble in the final minute to preserve a victory, and it was L.C. Bird holding on for a 14-10 win over Ocean Lakes with a big stop on fourth-and-1 in the red zone.

Here are the Final Numbers . . .

Final Stats: *** Courtesy of STATVA (www.statva.com) ***

Lloyd C. Bird Skyhawks 14: 14-0 Overall
Paul Robertson - - 27Car. 180Yds. 2TD's
Terrance Ervin - - 6-14 for 51Yds. 0-1TD/Int. ratio; 4Car. 26Yds.
Darius Hawkins - - 2Rec. 25Yds.
Brandon Walker - - 11 Tackles, 2TFL, 2PBU
Jay Anderson - - 5 Tackles, 5TFL, 3 Sacks
Justin Palimore - - 4 Tackles, TFL
Rasheed Worsham - - 4 Tackles

Ocean Lakes Dolphins 10: 14-1 Overall
Churchie Harold - - 7-14 for 92Yds.
Andre Dessenberg - - 1-1 for 77Yds. 1-0TD/Int. ratio
Brandon Simmons - - 18Car. 107ds. (15Car. 85Yds. 2nd Half)
Jaason Lewis - - 5Car. 22Yds; 2Rec. 31Yds.
Anthony 'SeSe' Wolters - - 1Rec. 77Yds. TD; TFL
Fred Hendrith - - 6 Tackles
Demetri McGill - - 6 Tackles, TFL

A memorable game that was extremely hard-fought (no pun intended) and two teams with an awful lot to be proud of for both having the best seasons in school history. Back with Postgame Press Conferences and a wrap-up in a bit . . .

6:28 PM: Playing in its first State Championship game since 1991 when they lost to Halifax County, the L.C. Bird Skyhawks under Coach David Bedwell are about to win their first title. After a 7-7 score in the first quarter in what was shaping up to be if not a shoot-out a game where both offenses appeared to have success, this turned into a rock 'em, sock 'em defensive slugfest with a scoreless second half.

Meanwhile, a great year for Ocean Lakes will end at 14-1 overall as the Dolphins couldn't quite punch it n for a touchdown in the red zone. In the end, it's the Central Region taking home the D-6 crown, their first since Thomas Dale did it in 2009.


Check back for the Final Numbers and Full Reaction from this one with Photos, Postgame Sound, Video and a ton more!

6:22 PM: Continue to give a good football team an ample amount of opportunities and eventually they are to take advantage of it and L.C. Bird is playing a little bit with fire right now as they are flagged for pass interference on third-and-22 with Ocean Lakes at their own 49-yard line. That play breathes new life into the Dolphins, who are starting to get closer to the red zone with Brandon Simmons running hard between the tackles.

In fact, Simmons gets inside the red zone with a seven yard gain on third down. It's fourth-and-1 at the L.C. Bird 11-yard line. Clock ticking under 1:30 to play and ladies and gentlemen out there in Internet land, this is the ballgame coming up right here I do believe.

Simmons is stopped on fourth-and-11 on an amazing tackle by Brandon Walker, senior defensive back for L.C. Bird. The Skyhawks take over with 1:11 to go at their own 11-yard line and all they need is a first down to ice this one.

6:17 PM: On second-and-24 from their own 22-yard line, L.C. Bird goes to the air and something really bad happens for them and mighty good for Ocean Lakes, an interception. It's sophomore linebacker Jahvoni Simmons picking off the pair and returning it six yards to the Bird 29-yard line. As mentioned earlier, it would most likely take a key takeaway by the Ocean Lakes defense to spark a comeback finish and a win.

What hurts Ocean Lakes is another penalty as they are getting close to 100 yards in penalties in this one, pushing themselves back, and then QB Churchie Harold is unable to hold onto the shotgun snap from center J.D. Dunaway. The Dolphins are going to talk things over with Coach Chris Scott calling a time-out with 3:07 to play, down 14-10 and looking at third-and-22 from their own 49-yard line after an illegal substitution.

The Dolphins have been extremely sloppy, but Ocean Lakes is just one play away from turning things around and possibly even taking the lead.

6:12 PM: On third-and-11, Ocean Lakes goes deep towards the end zone and nearly got a touchdown with Churchie Harold's pass going through the hands of junior wideout Mike Alston. Coach Chris Scott will call a time-out before the fourth down play with 5:58 remaining and L.C. Bird on top 14-10. This play coming up could very well determine the outcome!

Jay Anderson, who has rose to the occasion all game for L.C. Bird defensively, does so again on fourth down with a sack of Harold. That gives Bird the ball back with under six minutes to play, and an opportunity if they move the chains to put the game away.

6:07 PM: This is only the second time all year that Ocean Lakes has trailed in the fourth quarter with the other coming in the Eastern Region Division 6 Championship, where they used a fumble recovery in the final period to lead to the go-ahead touchdown against last year's state title winner. A defensive takeaway would be gigantic, enormous, monstrous, you pick any adjective you want.

L.C. Bird will start at its own 14-yard line and the Skyhawks have had poor field position most of this second half, and at some point it could bite them if they're not careful. On third-and-7 from their own 17-yard line, Paul Robertson gets his number called and he's brought down by Fred Hendrith for a minimal gain of three. Bird will be forced to punt again.

So far, the Skyhawks have had only one first down this half and this will be their fifth consecutive punt. Ocean Lakes takes over with 7:38 to play and in pretty decent shape at midfield. Brandon Simmons is starting to take over for Ocean Lakes and put the Dolphins on his back, running with power, authority and a purpose, breaking off back-to-back first down runs, eerily similar to last week's State Semis win over C.D. Hylton.

The Dolphins are getting closer, knocking on the door at the Bird 30-yard line until Jay Anderson sends him backwards for a mega tackle for loss. That brings up third-and-11 from the 30-yard line for Ocean Lakes with 6 minutes to go and the Skyhaks ahead 14-10.

6:03 PM: You glance at the stats and the numbers are oh so close. Ocean Lakes has a 260-223 advantage in Total Yards, whereas the Dolphins are just 1-of-7 on third downs compared to 4-of-10 for the Skyhawks. Bird is getting it done on Time of Possession, though they only gained 25 yards rushing in that third quarter.

This has been a real physical war and it's anybody's ballgame right now. L.C. Bird is forced to punt after a screen pass completion ends up losing yards for the Skyhawks. The tackle for loss was made by Anthony 'SeSe' Wolters, one of the more underrated contributors for Ocean Lakes this season.

When the Dolphins get the ball back, they have a drive fizzle out with 9:25 to go as a pass is incomplete on third-and-5, meaning they'll line up to punt from their own 39-yard line. Don't be surprised to see Ocean Lakes try some kind of trick play like a flea flicker or fake punt, maybe not at this point, but some time later in the fourth quarter. They got one to work and might need another to rally past a Bird team only 9:14 away from capturing its first state title.

5:55 PM: Ocean Lakes' latest drive stalls out when QB Churchie Harold gets sacked on third down by L.C. Bird defender Jay Anderson. A senior defensive end, Anderson is a candidate for Defensive Player of the Game, particularly one if Bird hangs on to win. That means Ocean Lakes will have to punt.

The Dolphins couldn't have gotten a better punt as they are able to down it at the Bird 2-yard line. Well, actually they could've had a better punt by downing it at the 1-yard line, but no need to get greedy as that really enables Ocean Lakes d-coordinator Chris Ramey to get creative with any blitzes, stunts or calls in general defensively.

Things are getting a little chippy here in Charlottesville with quite a bit of pushing and shoving going on and the referees will huddle together after throwing some flags and assessing penalties. It'll be offsetting dead ball personal fouls. In the meantime, Paul Robertson's last run gives Bird a first down at their own 13-yard line with 33 seconds to play in the third quarter.

END 3rdQ - - L.C. BIRD 14, OCEAN LAKES 10

Only 12 minutes away from crowning a new State Champion in Division 6 and somebody is going to win their first title in school history. Come on back now, ya hear?

5:50 PM: L.C. Bird seems pretty comfortable in this defensive battle, and although they go three-and-out with a pass bouncing off Delaware commit Andre Dessenberg on third down, the Skyhawks stay ahead 14-10. Ocean Lakes gets the ball back at their own 29-yard line and th Dolphins avoid what could've been a disaster as QB Churchie Harold's screen pass nearly turned into a pick six for Bird's Brandon Walker, but he drops the ball.

On third-and-9 at the 30-yard line, Harold makes up for it with a wonderful pass on a deep waggle on the backside to Mike Alston, good for 32 yards into L.C. Bird territory. Ocean Lakes is trailing in this one, but they are just one play away from swinging momentum back to their side and taking the lead in the process. Bird can't get TOO comfortable with this lead or it'll evaporate before they know it on the UVA field.

5:45 PM: On third-and-7 from the L.C. Bird 25-yard line, Ocean Lakes QB Churchie Harold throws a pass near the sideline to Andre Dessenberg, the Delaware commit and All-Eastern Region First Team pick for the Dolphins. The pass is incomplete, though and that brings out the field goal unit.

Tyler Buie, who made a 36-yard field goal try earlier in the game, misfires on a 42-yard attempt. L.C. Bird maintains a 14-10 lead with 4:40 to play in the third quarter and Coach David Bedwll has to be relieved, but his offense can't make any significant mistakes to give the Dolphins the ball back with something to work with to close out this third quarter.

5:40 PM: With the offense in a stagnant funk, Ocean Lakes is turning to its defense to bail them out and now L.C. Bird is forced to punt, going three-and-out. Tony Baird, standout defensive end and team leader in sacks, comes through big for Ocean Lakes as does corner Treavonne Brandon, a North Carolina A&T commit, just made a bone-crunching hit.

Ocean Lakes now has the football at their own 39-yard line and they get the ball in space to sophomore Jaason Lewis. My colleague Rod Johnson just noted that the Dolphins must take advantage of his athletic gifts and I couldn't agree more. Coach Scott will likely utilize him more on running plays or on pass plays because he creates mismatches one-on-one against any defense, even Bird's.

Up the middle goes Brandon Simmons with a hard-nosed run and the Dolphins are starting to get out of that sluggish mode they were in offensively for the entire second quarter and end of the first period. At worst, Ocean Lakes will get a field goal opportunity out of this series if they don't turn the ball over, and they're looking for a touchdown.

5:34 PM: The second half is underway in this VHSL Group AAA Division 6 State Championship battle at UVA's Scott Stadium in Charlottesville on an absolutely crisp, beautiful night for football. Leading Ocean Lakes 14-10, L.C. Bird will get the ball first to start things in the third quarter.

L.C. Bird begins at their own 40-yard line, and after two runs net six yards, a Skyhawks pass on third-and-6 is incomplete. That means Bird will punt it to Ocean Lakes, which gets it at its own 20-yard line, hoping to mount a drive to take the lead.

Ocean Lakes throws the ball on first down and it's incomplete. They then move the ball seven yards on the next two plays and will punt it on fourth-and-3 from their own 27-yard lien with just over nine minutes to go in the third quarter. Kudos to the Bird defense for playing disciplined, assignment football on that series, not letting Ocean Lakes get one of those demoralizing big plays they feed off of so much.

5:20 PM: Some numbers at the break courtesy of the good folks from STATVA (www.statva.com), doing the official statistics for the VHSL.

L.C. Bird 14:
Paul Robertson - - 14Car. 114Yds. 2TD's; 1Rec. 3Yds.
Terrance Ervin - - 5-8 for 53Yds; 3Car. 27Yds.
Darius Hawkins - - 2Rec. 25Yds.
Garey Dorsey - - 1Rec. 14Yds.
Brandon Walker - - 3 Tackles, 2TFL

Ocean Lakes 10:
Churchie Harold - - 6-7 for 55Yds.; 3Car. 3Yds.
Andre Dessenberg - - 1-1 for 77Yds. TD; 2Rec. 8Yds.
Brandon Simmons - - 3Car. 22Yds.
Jaason Lewis - - 2Rec. 31Yds.
Demetri McGill - - 4 Tackles, TFL

What jumps out to me besides the Time of Possession, where L.C. Bird has a decisive advantage of 15:37 to 8:23 is that Ocean Lakes has rushed for only 34 yards on 11 attempts. They've kind of abandoned the run at times, and Bird is doing a better job than I anticipated coming in on the line of scrimmage against a Dolphins team with some beasts up front. Bird has been really balanced on offense and Robertson is the star of the show.

Should be some more highlight reel plays to come our way in the second half. We'll keep the updates coming and Full Coverage to follow!

5:12 PM: Major and I do mean major stop before the half on fourth-and-10 at the Ocean Lakes 25-yard line by the Dolphins defense as an L.C. Bird pass falls incomplete. That gives the ball back to the Dolphins, trailing 14-10 with 23 seconds until the break. Don't think for a second Coach Chris Scott will go into the locker room down four because last week in the State Semis versus C.D. Hylton they went to a hook-and-ladder pass play and then score a touchdown on the next play before the half.

Ocean Lakes does stay aggressive and QB Churchie Harold completes a 31-yard pass to sophomore Jaason Lewis, a name everyone around the state will know about from the Class of 2015 sooner than later. On the next play, Churchie finds Mike Alston for a gain of 19. Seven seconds left in the half, and Harold gets sacked by Jay Anderson of L.C. Bird and time runs out.


Some half-time stats coming in a few, so keep it tuned right here to the Blog as we'll be crowning another first time State Champion later this evening!

5:05 PM: Not the type of drive Coach Chris Scott of Ocean Lakes would've liked to see with his team getting the ball back, trailing L.C. Bird 14-10. The Skyhawks force a three-and-out, and even worse for Ocean Lakes, the Dolphins are punting from their own end zone.

Bird gets the ball back at the Ocean Lakes 40-yard line with 3:45 to go until the half and Coach David Bedwell has to feel mighty good about where his team is, leading and with a chance to add to that before intermission.

To me, this game now has a feel of the 2010 State Semis between Hermitage and Bayside in which the Marlins of Bayside, much like Ocean Lakes did, struck early with some big plays. After that, Hermitage settled down and played power football, imposing their will with a physical style and a QB that is pretty mobile. Terrance Ervin just made a nice run, eluding several tacklers and is showing that he's a threat scrambling. Paul Robertson then moves the chains on third-and-1 at the Dolphins' 31-yard line.

Derrick Nnadi on third down comes up with a great stop with under a minute to go in the half for Ocean Lakes. On fourth-and-10, it is decision time again for Coach Bedwell. He will use a time-out and decide what to do with 30 seconds to go before the break.

4:56 PM: Those wondering who should get the State Offensive Player award might have their answer as L.C. Bird answers an Ocean Lakes field goal that gave the Dolphins a 10-7 lead with one play, turning to their stud ball carrier.

Tailback Paul Robertson, who rushed for over 400 yards last week to set a State Playoff game record against Oakton, shoots out of a cannon and goes 67 yards to the house, no flags, simply running away from defenders chasing him. PAT is good and Bird is now on top for the first time in this D-6 title game.

5:57 left in the 1st Half - - L.C. Bird 14, Ocean Lakes 10

A lot of pressure now is on the Ocean Lakes offense to put together a good drive because they really thrived on that big play earlier to get the lead and haven't strung together a series of plays yet on this Bird defense. They really need a confidence boosting possession offensively.

4:48 PM: Out of the time-out, Bird decides to go for it and QB Terrance Ervin is able to just barely escape a flock of Dolphins swarming him and get a pass off to tailback Paul Robertson, who slips out of a couple tackles. Robertson ultimately comes up a yard short of the first down.

Ocean Lakes on its third offensive possession of this Championship bought turns to the power running game and that offensive line of theirs, headlined by a couple of All-District and All-Region performers in tackle Alex Skidmore (Duke commit) and Connor Kearney, is getting solid push up front. They open up some holes for running back Brandon Simmons, who powers his way to the L.C. Bird 47-yard line.

The Dolphins are doing a respectable job of attacking the L.C. Bird defense up the middle now with Simmons and Jordan Bobo, another junior tailback for Ocean Lakes. Bobo gets drilled by L.C. Bird senior linebacker Oliver Wright on what might've been the hit of the day thus far. The drive stalls and Ocean Lakes will turn to kicker Tyler Buie on fourth-and-4. Buie delivers with a 36-yard field goal.

6:17 to go 2ndQ - - Ocean Lakes 10, L.C. Bird 7

4:43 PM: As mentioned earlier, the L.C. Bird offensive line has been very steady thus far, controlling the line of scrimmage fairly well against an Ocean Lakes defensive line probably as good as any in Virginia at the High School level. A couple of Ocean Lakes d-linemen, Demetri McGill and Tony Baird got free for a tackle for a seven-yard loss, which puts Bird's offense back at the 50-yard line.

Another unsung player for Ocean Lakes, sophomore DB T.J. Griffin, comes up with a crucial pass breakup on a long throw by Bird down the field to the end zone. The Dolphins are bending some, not exactly breaking, and now Bird will go for it on fourth down. On fourth-and-4 from the Ocean Lakes 37-yard line, the Skyhawks line up to go and then Coach David Bedwell will call time-out to make sure his squad gets the right play they want.

4:38 PM: We have reached the end of the opening period in the VHSL Group AAA Division 6 State Championship and it's a fabulous chess match going on as the L.C. Bird Skyhawks and Ocean Lakes Dolphins are wrapped up in an even affair.

END 1stQ - - Ocean Lakes 7, L.C. Bird 7

Bird will begin the second quarter with the ball a yard away from midfield, faced with 3rd & 2. The Skyhawks have been pretty balanced offensively to start, mixing in the pass to go with that run game led by Paul Robertson. Ocean Lakes has to be pleased they've yet to let Robertson rip off the long run. Their defense, anchored by DT's Demetri McGill (Maryland commit) and Derrick Nnadi, control the run game really well, and LB Myke Knox is making plays. Bird's offensive line is doing a nice job of protecting the passer, though, so that is helping in diversifying their attack.

4:33 PM: Ocean Lakes now has the football after L.C. Bird responded in a big way with a 7:21 drive to knot the score up at 7. While the Dolphins had huge success throwing the ball on their first play of the game and have some bona-fide playmakers at the wide receiver position, it might be a good idea to establish the power run game and not put but so much on the shoulders of the passing game or it could lead to a turnover.

Just as that thought comes into my head, following a nine-yard completion from Churchie Harold to T.J. Griffin, a sophomore transfer from Green Run, a Dolphins pass gets intercepted. But fortunately for Ocean Lakes, it was pass interference on L.C. Bird, which puts the ball on the other side of the 50 yard line for the Dolphins.

L.C. Bird does come up with a stop as Ocean Lakes decides to go for it on fourth-and-11 at the Skyhawks' 41-yard line. Senior DB Brandon Walker came up big with a pass breakup for Bird on that play.

4:25 PM: Faced with third-and-10 from the Ocean Lakes 34-yard line after a penalty, L.C. Bird goes back to the air and this time the pass intended for Gary Dorsey is deflected. Pretty solid coverage there by the Dolphins, and now Bird will go for it on fourth down. The Ocean Lakes crowd rises to its feet, and Bird responds with a successful fourth down conversion near its sideline with Terrance Ervin finding junior wideout Shawn Payne for 11 yards. That'll be enough for a first down.

Bird caps off this long and impressive 73-yard drive with a touchdown run from just three yards out by stud running back Paul Robertson, who's closing in on 2800 yards on the ground for the year. Extra point is up and good. That knots our score.

4:10 to go 1stQ - - L.C. Bird 7, Ocean Lakes 7

My first thought is Bird showed its mettle on that last series. Also, this one has 14 more points than we had in the entire first quarter and opening 21 minutes of the D-5 Championship game, so fans of offense are enjoying the start thoroughly.

4:18 PM: Coach David Bedwell's Skyhawks of L.C. Bird begin their first offensive series with 11:31 to go in the opening quarter at their own 27-yard line, trailing Ocean Lakes 7-0 after the Dolphins threw a bomb at them to start.

Bird gets a 13-yard completion from Terrance Ervin to Darius Hawkins, followed by a personal foul penalty on the Dolphins to put them in Ocean Lakes territory right away. However, a couple of penalties back Bird up to its own 40-yard line, and on second-and-26, the Skyhawks go back to the air to senior tight en Gary Dorsey. At first, I thought the announcer said Gary Busey, which had me alarmed, but thank goodness my ears deceived me. Anyways, back to the action.

Hawkins delivers again for Bird on the third down play, needing 12 yards and he gets precisely that to put the Skyhawks at the 34-yard line of Ocean Lakes. L.C. Bird has come out throwing the ball, showing they aren't a one-trick pony that solely runs the ball to get it done offensively.

4:10 PM: Ocean Lakes receives the opening kickoff here in the VHSL Group AAA Division 6 State Championship against L.C. Bird at UVA's Scott Stadium in Charlottesville and Coach Chris Scott couldn't have asked for a better start as on the first play from scrimmage they go swinging for the fences. It's a double pass with junior QB Walter 'Churchie' Harold, playing for the injured Corwin Cutler, throws to Andre Dessenberg, the Delaware commit. From there, Dessenberg launches the ball downfield to Anthony 'SeSe' Wolters and the result is a 74-yard touchdown pass.

So it's Ocean Lakes getting on the board right away, executing the double pass to perfection on the Bird defense.

11:38 to go 1stQ - - Ocean Lakes 7, L.C. Bird 0

One would wonder if Bird can recover from Ocean Lakes landing such a big punch right out of the gate, but the Skyhawks are a pretty resilient bunch, plus have a running back in Paul Robertson that comes in with 2756 yards rushing on the season. They won't go away quietly you would think.

4:00 PM: Before we kick-off, let's review the Predictions for this Division 6 State Final coming up. Both Rod Johnson and Tom Garrett have predicted an L.C. Bird victory, while yours truly, Matthew Hatfield, is going with Ocean Lakes. All three of us figure this to be a tight game like the previous one, and if it goes down to the wire as Lake Taylor/Stone Bridge did, then the fans here at UVA's Scott Stadium in Charlottesville are sure to get their money's worth!

3:40 PM: We're just a little less than a half hour away from kick-off in the VHSL Group AAA Division 6 State Championship between the Ocean Lakes Dolphins (14-0) from the Eastern Region and the Central Region's L.C. Bird Skyhawks (13-0). Before we get to that, let me note that the Live Blog for that game will be in a second link which we'll have up in a bit.

Here are the Postgame Press Conference links from Lake Taylor's 20-14 win over Stone in the Division 5 State Championship as the Titans claimed their first state title in school history.

Lake Taylor Postgame Press Conference
Stone Bridge Postgame Press Conference

ALSO . . . for those interested in checking out our Division 5 State Championship Live Blog can do so at the link below.

AAA Division 5 State Championship Live Blog - Lake Taylor/Stone Bridge

11:30 AM: Welcome to Charlottesville and Scott Stadium at the University of Virginia for the 2012 VHSL Group AAA State Championships. It's a gorgeous, sunny day here, not too cold and fans are starting to trickle in on this Saturday where two new Champions will be crowned, one in Division 5 and one in Division 6.

In the Division 5 title game set to kick at 12:07 PM, it'll be the Northern Region Champion Stone Bridge Bulldogs (14-0) taking on the Eastern Region Champion Lake Taylor Titans (14-0). This figures to be a classic confrontation with two smothering defenses, teams that can throw the ball effectively and pound it out on the ground. Each squad has been dominating this year, and anything other than a close game would be a surprise. Stone Bridge is seeking its first state title since 2007 as they have lost in this game three times since 2005 ('05 to Hampton, '09 and '10 to Phoebus), while Lake Taylor is trying to win its first, playing in the title game for the first time in 30 years.

Over in the Division 6 AAA Championship, it'll be Eastern Region Champion Ocean Lakes (14-0) facing Central Region Champion L.C. Bird (13-0). Neither team was considered the favorite to begin the regional playoffs, but much like Stone Bridge and Lake Taylor, have been extremely impressive all year long. Bird rushed for over 400 yards last week in their State Semifinal victory over Oakton, whereas Ocean Lakes comes in with a defense that gave up fewer points in the regular season than in last year's playoffs. Ocean Lakes is in the State Championship game for the first time ever and Bird is here for the first time since 1991, also trying to win its first.

This should be an unbelievable day of football as it is the first time in the VHSL State Championships since the split to Division 5 and Division 6 that all four teams playing for the title are undefeated. We've got the best of the best here without a doubt.

My VirginiaPreps.com colleagues, State Football Editor Rod Johnson and Central Region Football Analyst Tom Garrett, are no hand here as well and will be providing coverage from these games throughout the weekend, so stay tuned for stories, photos, postgame reaction and a whole ton over the next few days on The Internet Resource for High School Sports throughout the state of Virginia!

To see their in-depth Previews, check out the links below.

Rod's D-5 Preview of Lake Taylor/Stone Bridge
Tom's D-6 Preview of L.C. Bird/Ocean Lakes

Also, you can follow updates periodically on Twitter @ hatfieldsports.

Matthew Hatfield has covered Eastern Region Football since 2005 for VirginiaPreps.com, part of the Rivals.com Network. Check out Hatfield's Twitter page for more sports related updates, and you can also read his work in the Suffolk News Herald. To contact Matthew, please e-mail [email protected], and don't forget to listen to him Saturdays from 10AM to Noon on ESPN Radio 94.1 plus watch him on the Cox 11 Sports Report.

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