5A State Football Championship Blog!

9.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif"'>It was
style=> a wild finish to a wonderfully played VHSL
Group 5A State Football Championship here at the University of Virginia's Scott
Stadium in Charlottesville, where the L.C. Bird Skyhawks
made it back-to-back undefeated state title winning seasons, rallying from 15
down to defeat the Briar Woods Falcons by a count of 35-28.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Bird got big plays from some of their main performers -
- Earl Hughes running the ball,
style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'> Worsham with
a critical punt to tilt field position and an interception, and QB
style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'>Terrance Ervin with the two-point
conversion that tied the score. A
marvelous job by David
class=SpellE>Skyhawks to make it 30 consecutive wins, and for Briar
Woods it was a tough ending to an otherwise terrific season.
style=> Briar Woods was six minutes away from making
it a four-peat, doing something that seldom happens in VHSL football.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Below are the Numbers from the 5A Championship match.

State Championship Final Stats:

Bird Skyhawks 35:
style=> (15-0 Overall)
Terrance Ervin - - 16 of 32 for 267Yds. 2-1TD/Int. ratio
Earl Hughes - - 35Car. 180Yds. 2TD's; 4Rec. 87Yds. TD
Rasheed Worsham - - 6Rec.
113Yds. TD
Shawn Payne - - 6Rec. 67Yds.
Tyler Wilkins - - 7 Total Tackles (6 Solo), 3TFL
Rayshard Ashby - - 5.5 Total Tackles (5 Solo
Skyhawks - - 445 Total Yards (267 Pass, 38Car.
178Yds.), 6 of 14 Third Downs

Woods Falcons 28:
style=> (13-2 Overall)
Trace McSorley - - 11-23 for 255Yds.
class=GramE>3-1TD/Int. ratio; 10Car. 44Yds; 8 Solo Tackles
Melvin Holland Jr. - - 5Rec. 199Yds. 3TD's
Jordan Hinson - - 6Car. 16Yds.
Tristan Miller - - 3Rec. 25Yds.
Dominic Moore - - 6 Solo Tackles
Darrell Ramey - - 4.5 Total Tackles (4 Solo)
Falcons - - 331 Total Yards (255 Pass, 23Car. 76Yds.), 4 of 9 Third Downs

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Key Stats were fourth down conversions, where L.C. Bird
was 3 of 4 compared to Briar Woods' 0 of 1, as well as Time of Possession
(30:39 to 17:21 edge for the Skyhawks).

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>We'll have More Coverage to come from my colleagues Rod Johnson
and Danny Lewis, including Game
Recap and Postgame Sound, so stay tuned.
Plus, we have the 6A State Championship coming up around 4:07 PM between
the Oscar Smith Tigers (14-0) and Centreville Wildcats (14-0).

9.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif"'>The pass on
fourth-and-6 for Briar Woods is incomplete as the intended target is unable to
hold onto it going to the ground. L.C.
Bird now takes over from their own 40-yard line with three minutes to go, in
front of the Falcons by a count of 35-28.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>All L.C. Bird wants to do at this point is run out the
clock and cap another undefeated 15-0 season to make it back-to-back State
Championships. On fourth-and-1 with 1:05
to play from their own 49-yard line, Coach
style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'>David Bedwell calls
time-out and decides he's going for it . . . it's a gutsy move in that if they
are unsuccessful it gives a talented and dangerous Briar Woods offense a chance
to score and send this to overtime.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>It takes guts to win a state title, and L.C. Bird is
going to make it back-to-back as QB Terrance
Ervin, who has made important plays all season long, sneaks ahead for the
first down that will allow the Skyhawks to run out
the clock.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Time will tick down and the Skyhawks
make it 30 wins in a row, back-to-back State Championships!

background:yellow;mso-highlight:yellow'>5A FOOTBALL STATE CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Final Numbers and more to come right here on!

style=> Does Briar Woods have a comeback in them to
answer L.C. Bird's remarkable rally?
They start it off with an incomplete pass, but
normal'>Trace McSorley shows plenty of pocket
presence and poise, completing a pass, and then a penalty is called for on L.C.
Bird, personal foul. It looked a tad bit
questionable to me from up hear, but I'm elevated, cold and a little woozy, so
I'm not the most reliable source in the world at this point.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Bird gets it back with a Briar Woods penalty that backs
the Falcons up to the 48-yard line, just inside the 50.
style=> We've got 3:59 to go and Briar Woods has to
find a way to get it to their big-play weapon
normal'>Melvin Holland, or if he's double covered, give
style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'>Brandon Polk a chance to do something
in space. A McSorley
pass is deflected by junior Tyler
Wilkins. McSorley
takes off on second down, which sets up third-and-6 from the 40-yard line of
Bird nearing the 3 minute mark.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>, who has been the workhorse all year long on offense,
steps up in crunch time on defense by deflecting a pass.
style=> It's fourth down now for Briar Woods, and
their State Championship hopes rest on this play.
style=> We'll get a time-out with 3:08 to go by
style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'>Charlie Pierce as the Falcons huddle to
try to keep their season alive.

9.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif"'>My, oh my, how
quickly things can change. Down 15 at
the break, L.C. Bird has battled back for the second straight week this
postseason to erase the deficit, and now they are thinking about taking the
lead as Rasheed
style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'> Worsham comes
up in a gigantic way with an interception of Briar Woods QB
style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'>Trace McSorley.
style=> That sets Bird up at the 40-yard line of the

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>A few plays later, it is
normal'>Earl Hughes with a 'oh no he didn't,' type of juke move on his way
to the end zone on a 29-yard touchdown run.
PAT is good and suddenly the Skyhawks are in
the lead.

to play - - L.C. Bird 35, Briar Woods 28

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>All I can say is 'Wow.'
If Briar Woods can rebound from those punches thrown and landed by the
class=SpellE>Skyhawks, then major kudos to them.
style=> They have won three straight state titles, so
I won't count them out just yet.

9.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Penalties are
rearing their ugly head at the wrong time for L.C. Bird, backing them up to the
41-yard line of Briar Woods on third-and-11.
A pass by Terrance Ervin is
off the mark, and now Coach David
class=SpellE>Bedwell has an interesting call to make - - punt again
or go for it this time on fourth down?
He's got less time on his side, trailing Briar Woods 28-20 with 6:40

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>They go for it and Ervin delivers a strike, one of his
best passes of the day without any question, to
normal'> Worsham over the middle for 17
yards. On the next play,
style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'>Shawn Payne comes up with a critical
catch to the 11-yard line, and then it is a scoring paly for Bird with Ervin
hitting Earl Hughes for a
touchdown. Briar Woods' defense was
befuddled by the formation the Skyhawks ran at them,
and then on the two-point conversion it is Ervin keeping it for the tying play.

to play - - L.C. Bird 28, Briar Woods 28

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Does it get any better than this?
style=> State Championship on the line, midway through
the fourth quarter and we're all deadlocked.
The only thing better than this would be sunny and 70
degrees. My fingers,
class=GramE>legs, knees and toes would appreciate it greatly.

9.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Down by eight, L.C.
Bird starts to get its offense going for just a little bit and then third down
hits and they are stopped as Terrance
Ervin's pass if overthrown. The
class=SpellE>Skyhawks have thrown for 215 yards going into the fourth
quarter, but their timing has been off at times and that is the sixth time
today they've been unable to convert on third down.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>On fourth-and-7, Coach Bedwell
will elect to punt it and
class=SpellE>Worsham rewards him with a 43-yarder down to the Briar
Woods three-yard line. The Falcons
cannot dig themselves out of their own end as on third-and-2 it is
style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'>Shawn Payne coming through with the key
play for the Bird defense. Briar Woods
punts it back, and the Skyhawks are set up with
rather god field position at the 40-yard line of the Falcons with just under
nine minutes to play.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>This is Earl
Hughes time for the Bird offense, and up 28-20, Briar Woods will have to
get its run defense to stand tall to preserve that advantage in the sleet here
in Charlottesville.

9.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif"'>It is clear that
style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'>Melvin Holland Jr. was born with the
clutch gene. The 6-foot-3, 195-pound standout
wide receiver for Briar Woods came in with 59 catches for 870 yards and 14TD's
on the season. Holland's latest snag is
a 73-yarder for a touchdown, his third of the day, from QB
normal'>Trace McSorley.
style=> At the end of the play, Holland used the
stiff-arm yet again to separate from the defender on his way to the end zone.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>PAT is up and good and just like that Briar Woods has
quieted the raucous L.C. Bird crowd in attendance in Charlottesville.
style=> But no need for Bird to panic - - they are
still down only one possession, and can tie it up with a touchdown drive,
followed by a successful two-point conversion.
They're certainly capable of doing it . . . can they stop
class=SpellE>McSorley and Holland in crunch time is the bigger question
to ponder?

left to play - - Briar Woods 28, L.C. Bird 20

9.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Down 15 at the half,
L.C. Bird has battled back and Terrance
Ervin's touchdown plunge from a couple yards out brings the
class=SpellE>Skyhawks within one.
They are unable to tie it up, however, as the extra point is no
good. But we've got ourselves a
barn-burner in Charlottesville in the State Championship.

left t play - - Briar Woods 21, L.C. Bird 20

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Don't be shocked to see Briar Woods go back to its
combination of McSorley-to-Holland.
style=> They've done it all day long and it has
worked like a charm.

9.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif"'>On first-and-goal
from the 2-yard line, Bird is stopped cold by Briar Woods star
style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'>Trace McSorley,
who's seen leaping over the defense to make the tackle.
style=> What heart and hustle exhibited by this young
man, Earl Hughes of L.C. Bird and
several of these individuals on this field in a classic Championship match as
we reach the end of three quarters and the drama is building in Charlottesville,

3rdQ - - Briar Woods 21, L.C. Bird 14

will have it at the 2-yard line on second-and-goal to start the fourth
period. It won't shock me at all to se
overtime needed to decide this one.
class=GramE>Both teams showing the heart of a Champion.

9.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Briar Woods
converted 3 of 4 third downs in the first half, but have failed on two key
opportunities this half, giving the ball back to L.C. Bird with 3:16 left in
the third period. The
class=SpellE>Skyhawks have it at their own 22-yard line, trailing the
Falcons 21-14 in this hard-nosed tussle for the 5A State Championship.
style=> Bird's defense is starting to find some
answers for this Briar Woods offense, forcing a three-and-out and now their
running game can go to work.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>And as their running game goes to work, so does
tailback Earl Hughes.
style=> He's tearing off bits of yardage little by little,
and on a pivotal third-and-3 from the 44-yard line of Briar Woods,
style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'>Terrance Ervin heaves it deep down the
field to Hughes. A remarkable catch by
Hughes with Dominic Moore, the
junior for Briar Woods, draped all over him.
A penalty is called on Briar Woods, it's declined and the pickup of 42
yards has the Skyhawks at the 2-yard line of the

9.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Briar Woods doesn't
blink and after a five-yard run by L.C. Bird, it's
style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'>Trace McSorley making
his presence felt on defense by intercepting Skyhawks
QB Terrance Ervin.
style=> It has been a tremendous all-around performance
from McSorley, using his arm, legs and instinctiveness
on defense to impact this game for the Falcons as they seek a fourth
consecutive state title.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Ahead 21-14 with just under
five minutes left in the third quarter, Briar Woods will start at its own
42-yard line, pretty decent field position.

9.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif"'>On third-and-11 from
the 21-yard line of L.C. Bird, Briar Woods QB
normal'>Trace McSorley has his pass batted down
by senior defensive end Casey Wallace.
style=> That means Briar Woods will either go for it
or kick the field goal on fourth down.
style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'>Nick LaFrankie
style='font-weight:normal'>'s attempt from 38 yards is no
good and simply not enough leg on this frigid day in Charlottesville.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Not in love with the decision to try the field goal
there instead of going for it, but again, I'm not a coach just one of those
pundits that second guess. Nonetheless,
the Bird defense holds and a touchdown could tie the game for them on this
series as they trail 21-14 with just over five minutes left in the third

9.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif"'>There's a reason why
Briar Woods is going for a four-peat and they don't let anything get to them to
rattle them. After L.C. Bird's
impressive 8-play, 77-yard touchdown drive to start the third quarter, the
Falcons are on the move thanks to their two star performers from the first half
- - and all season long for that matter.
We're talking about QB Trace
class=SpellE>McSorley and WR Melvin

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>On second-and-13 from their own 49-yard line, Holland
senses the moment and delivers with an 11-yard reception and
class=SpellE>McSorley converts the third-and-2 with a run as he has
repeatedly hurt the Bird defense with his mobility.

chain-moving reception puts the Falcons at the Bird 20-yard line.
style=> It might take another Skyhawks
takeaway in the red zone like the one they had on the game's opening possession
to prevent Briar Woods from increasing its lead.

9.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif"'>The L.C. Bird fans
are roaring their approval after Terrance
Ervin's 43-yard completion on the move to
normal'> Worsham, who now has five grabs for 95
yards on the afternoon. It puts the
class=SpellE>Skyhawks at the 1-yard line, where they give it to, who
else? It's
tailback Earl Hughes with his 43rd
touchdown run of the 2013 campaign. Bird's
two-point conversion if good on Ervin's pass against
the grain to Hughes.

left 3rdQ - - Briar Woods 21, L.C. Bird 14

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Bird is back in business.
style=> Briar Woods needs an answer in a big way and
can ill afford a three-and-out to let the Skyhawks'
confidence grow further.

9.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif"'>L.C. Bird begins the
second half at their own 23-yard line.
style=> A couple penalties (
normal'>they only had 4 for 40 yards in the first half) move them back on their
opening drive, but the big conversion comes on third-and-7 from the 27-yard
line where QB Terrance Ervin throws
off his back foot, completing a pass to Shawn
Payne for a first down in front of DB Chris
McMillian of the Falcons. It's good
to see McMillian back from that injury he suffered earlier, but he's not moving
all too well in the secondary in this chilly, wintry mix at Scott Stadium.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>is starting to rev it up, juking past defenders and he's
now over the 100-yard mark for the game and over 3000 - -
normal'>yes, 3 thousand - - for the season.
He's been nothing short of phenomenal.
Bird now has it into Briar Woods territory at the 44-yard line.

9.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif"'>We're a few minutes
from getting the second half underway in the 5A State Championship from
Charlottesville and UVA's Scott Stadium, where the Briar Woods Falcons lead the
L.C. Bird Skyhawks 21-6.
style=> Don't forget, the 6A State Championship
follows this one at approximately 4:07 PM with the Oscar Smith Tigers taking on
the Centreville Wildcats in a battle of undefeated teams and a re-match of the
2011 AAA Division 6 Final.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Here are numbers so far in the first of our
Championship double-header . . .

at the Half:

Woods 21:
Trace McSorley - - 7-9 for 147Yds. 2-0TD/Int.
ratio; 8Car. 48Yds.
Brandon Polk - - 2Car. 9Yds; PR TD
Melvin Holland - - 3Rec. 115Yds. 2TD's
Tristan Miller - - 3Rec. 25Yds.
Dominic Moore - - 4 Solo Tackles, Sack, TFL

Bird 6:
Terrance Ervin - - 8-18 for 94Yds. 1-0TD/Int. ratio; 1Car.
Earl Hughes - - 18Car. 86Yds.
Rasheed Worsham - - 4Rec.
Shawn Payne - - 4Rec. 42Yds.
Tyler Wilkins - - 4 Total Tackles (3 Solo)

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Briar Woods' duo of McSorley
and Holland are leading the way for their offense, which has put up 219 total
yards so far to L.C. Bird's 175. The
class=SpellE>Skyhawks are 4 of 9 on third down conversions, but got
stopped on fourth down in the red zone before the half.
style=> If Bird can score before the break, they're
right back in position to make a second straight comeback win.
style=> Briar Woods will have to control the line of
scrimmage to maintain its lead, and they're getting a great all-around
performance from McSorley, who has made plays with
his feet and leads the team with 4.5 tackles.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>The second half is moments away with Bird getting the
ball to begin the third quarter.

9.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif"'>L.C. Bird gets the
ball back with less than a minute to go in the half and cannot do much with it
as on third-and-2 running back Earl
Hughes picks up 12 yards and time expires.

- - Briar Woods 21, L.C. Bird 6

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>We'll have Stats and more in a little bit!

9.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Briar Woods is
seriously threatening before the half with its offense and the combination of
style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'>Trace McSorley to
Melvin Holland is paying dividends
for the Falcons today. A 30-yard
reception by Holland, using a stiff-arm towards the end of the play to help him
gain a few extra yards puts Briar Woods down at the 2-yard line of L.C. Bird.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>On first-and-goal from the seven-yard line after a
penalty, L.C. Bird's Shawn Payne does
a nice job defensively in coverage to keep the Falcons from connecting for a touchdown.
style=> However, the very next play, Bird's defense
is unable to stop Melvin Holland,
who gets open for his second receiving score of the day and 16th touchdown
catch of the season. PAT is up and

left 2ndQ - - Briar Woods 21, L.C. Bird 6

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>The Falcons have to like their chances of a four-peat.

9.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif"'>On fourth-and-11
from the 11-yard line of Briar Woods, L.C. Bird is stopped as the pass by
style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'>Terrance Ervin is a bit high and sails
out of the end zone. A critical stop by
the Briar Woods defense as the Falcons maintain a 14-6 lead with 5:52 left in
the second quarter.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Facing third-and-8 from their own
14-yard line, the Vanderbilt commit Trace
McSorley scrambles for a first down run.
style=> His ability to keep plays alive with his feet
has been a major factor in this first half for the Briar Woods offense.
style=> McSorley does it
again on second down for a substantial gain, even pump-faking a defender on the
move. Briar Woods is leaning on his
savvy at the QB position today for sure.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>A superb reception on third down by senior wide
receiver Tristan Miller of Briar
Woods on third down from McSorley is good for 17
yards, putting the Falcons into L.C. Bird territory with 2:08 before
half-time. Briar Woods is going with its
no-huddle offense late in this quarter and the multiple receiver sets are
making the Skyhawks cover a lot of ground
defensively, and not overly successful on this series I might add.

9.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif"'>These comeback
routes by the L.C. Bird receivers, particularly
normal'> Worsham, have given Briar Woods' defense
fits. Worsham's
latest grab gains 13 yards to bring up third-and-6 from the 16-yard line, but
the Falcons make a stop with senior linebacker
normal'>Jack Mercil running down QB
style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'>Terrance Ervin for a loss of four
yards. It'll be fourth-and-10 from the
20-yard line.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>It's decision time for Coach
normal'>David Bedwell of Bird and he is lining up
to go for it with a four wide receiver set.
They throw it, the pass is incomplete in the end zone, but there's a
flag and it's on Briar Woods as a defensive back was tugging on the jersey of
the intended target, junior Tyler
Wilkins. The snow is starting to
fall heavier in Charlottesville and the Skyhawks have
a fresh of set of downs with 5:57 left in the second quarter and Briar Woods

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>On second-and-10 from the 10-yard line,
style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'>Earl Hughes is met by a trio of Briar
Woods defenders - - Mark Birmingham,
B.J. Hinson and
normal'>Darrell Ramey. That is
followed up by an incomplete pass on third down right near the pylon as the
Briar Woods pass rush was right on Ervin and
normal'>Ryan Rulkowski nearly intercepted the
pass. Bird will call time-out and go for
it on fourth-and-11 from the 11-yard line of Briar
Woods with 5:08 left in the first half.

9.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif"'>The L.C. Bird
offense is starting to march down the field with precision and execute like
they've been doing all season long during this incredible 29-game winning
streak of theirs as the offensive line with
normal'> Barnes, Trey Ramsey and
company is opening up holes for
style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'>Earl Hughes to run through.
style=> It's a physical offense with not a ton of
flash and dash, but plenty of substance that gets the job done.
style=> Briar Woods has won there titles in a row for
a reason and they're a resilient group that will have to clamp down at crucial
times against this powerful offense.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Briar Woods might now have to do it without junior
defensive back Chris McMillian, who
just walked off on his own power with what looks like a leg/knee injury.
style=> Behind the great running of Hughes, Bird is
now at the Briar Woods 20-yard line, breaking off chunk after chunk and a
couple of superb blocks delivered by Andre
Davis and Nick Mcara
on that latest run. As long as Bird
doesn't hurt itself with penalties (remember,
they had 21 last week vs. Salem), they should be in position to score and
be a two-point conversion away from tying the score.

9.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif"'>On third-and-16,
Briar Woods QB Trace McSorley
does a wonderful job escaping the pocket and trouble to pick up 15 yards,
barely short of the first down as freshman 'backer
normal'> Ashby is there to prevent him from moving the chains.
style=> An interesting decision for Coach
style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'>Charlie Pierce of Briar Woods now - -
do you go for it on fourth-and-1 or play it safe and punt?
style=> Me, I'm a gambler, I'd go for it . . . but he
chooses otherwise and he knows a lot more about football than me, so I can't
blame the guy.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>L.C. Bird will begin at its own 25-yard line, trailing
the Falcons 14-6 in what is turning out to be quite a battle for all the
marbles in 5A at UVA.

9.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif"'>The energy and momentum
seems to be shifting towards the L.C. Bird side as they try to dig out of what
was a 14-point deficit and now trail by just six to a Briar Woods team looking
to make history and try to become only the third school to win four VHSL state
titles in a row (and join Phoebus and Hampton).
Briar Woods QB Trace
class=SpellE>McSorley gets sacked on second down by Bird senior
lineman Tayvon
style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'> Harris.
style=> Protection issues are starting to arise for
the Falcons, who might have to put an extra guy in to block and that would mean
one less target for their star triggerman.

1stQ - - Briar Woods 14, L.C. Bird 6

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>It's pretty even in the numbers with Briar Woods' 107
total yards to L.C. Bird's 93, both teams doing most of their damage through
the air to this point.
class=GramE>An important third-and-16 on the way for Briar Woods when the
second period starts.

9.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif"'>You hate to call it
a do-or-die moment in the first quarter, but it had a small feel of that for
L.C. Bird on fourth-and-3 from the Briar Woods' 27-yard line with the Falcons
up 14-0. Bird elected to go for it, on
the first try appeared to be stopped, but a penalty made them replay the down
and the Skyhawks convert behind their stud
style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'>Earl Hughes with a four-yard run.
style=> That run for Hughes and push up from by the
offensive line has to give them some confidence given that they hadn't gotten
much going prior to that on the ground.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Facing another key third/fourth down, Bird comes
through with Rasheed
style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'> Worsham hauling
in a 7-yard touchdown from QB Terrence
Ervin on third-and-5.
style=> The PAT was blocked.

left 1stQ - - Briar Woods 14, L.C. Bird 6

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Is the momentum starting to swing?
style=> We'll find out as Briar Woods will try to get
something back in its favor on their third offensive possession of the game
late in the opening period.

style=> Ahead 14-0, Briar Woods has to feel great
because L.C. Bird's bread and butter is running the football with
style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'>Earl Hughes and now they have to throw
it maybe a bit more than they'd like, but also must be able to stop Briar Woods'
offense, which they haven't really done to this point.
style=> If not for a turnover at the 20-yard line,
the Falcons could be up 17-0 or 20-0 right now.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Needing a big drive, L.C. Bird's offense is starting to
deliver, beginning on second-and-8 from their own
49-yard line with Rasheed
style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'> Worsham
hauling in a 17-yard pass from Terrence
Ervin. With the run game somewhat bottled
up in the early going, both Worsham and
style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'>Shawn Payne have stepped up at the receiver
spot for the Bird offense.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Those curls and hitches are there for Coach
class=SpellE>Bedwell's Skyhawks.
style=> I'll be interested what kind of adjustments
Briar Woods makes against the pass as the game progresses, and if it will
affect their job so far against the run, which has been nothing short of
fantastic in one quarter of play.

9.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Briar Woods is on
the board again and it didn't take long for them to strike for their second touchdown,
first offensively of the day.
Quarterback Trace
class=SpellE>McSorley heaves a bomb on third-and-9 to
style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'>Melvin Holland for a 78-yard touchdown
on what appeared to be a deep post pattern.
That gives the Falcons a double-digit lead, which really is uncharted
territory for the defending State Champs from Bird.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>For Briar Woods, they are looking to make it four in a
row and Charlie Pierce's team has
come to play, not bothered one bit by the elements as it is getting colder and
some wintry mix (rain and snow) is starting to fall.

left 1stQ - - Briar Woods 14, L.C. Bird 0

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Bird absolutely needs to respond with a scoring drive
here or they're flirting with major trouble against a Briar Woods team that has
the explosiveness to continue making things happen through the air.

9.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif"'>In a somewhat
unfamiliar spot, L.C. Bird is trailing 7-0 against Briar Woods and the
class=SpellE>Skyhawks begin operating their second possession from their
own 39-yard line. Bird goes to the air
with Terrance Ervin finding
style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'>Shawn Payne for some solid gains down
the field, including a key 16-yard completion on third-and-2 from their own
47-yard line. One positive is the
passing game is finding openings against this Briar Woods defense.
style=> One negative is they aren't running the ball
with a ton of success against the Falcons' defense and credit those linebackers
and defensive linemen for reading their keys well.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>A penalty moves Bird back and on third-and-20, Ervin is
unable to connect on what would've been a huge gainer.
style=> That means Coach
normal'>David Bedwell's
bunch will punt it away to Briar Woods.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Bird fans sitting just in front of colleague
style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'>Danny Lewis and me are going
ballistic. One guy is literally
screaming so hard here in the cold that it looks like his face is going to
freeze off or he might have a heart attack.
Hope the guy doesn't pass out.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>A weather update - - it has stopped snowing for the

style=> The first series for L.C. Bird is not a good
one as the Skyhawks go 3 and out.
style=> On the punt, the snap flies by the punter and
into the end zone, where he retrieves it and barely gets the kick off to avoid
a safety. Unfortunately, a safety might've
been better for Bird as waiting to return it was
normal'>Brandon Polk of Briar Woods and the talented junior returns it 16
yards for a touchdown. Extra point, after
a penalty is good - - and the guys from Ashburn have the early lead.

left 1stQ - - Briar Woods 7, L.C. Bird 0

9.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Briar Woods is
operating well to begin behind Vanderbilt commit
normal'>Trace McSorley at quarterback.
style=> McSorley scrambles
19 yards for a first down into L.C. Bird territory.
style=> While Briar Woods was moving the ball well,
it doesn't end in a touchdown as they turn it over on a McSorley
fumble, recovered by Rayshard
style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'> Ashby.
The freshman linebacker for the Skyhawks has
been a takeaway machine in the postseason and also came up big with a blocked
field goal a week ago vs. Salem.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>L.C. Bird will take over at its own 20-yard line.
style=> We are scoreless with just over 10 minutes to
play in the opening quarter.

9.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif"'>We are underway from
snowy Scott Stadium in Charlottesville at UVA as Briar Woods will receive the
football first against L.C. Bird. The
class=SpellE>Skyhawks try an onside kick, recovered by the Falcons at
their own 43-yard line where they'll begin.

9.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Greetings and
welcome to our 5A State Championship LIVE BLOG from Scott Stadium at the
University of Virginia in Charlottesville, where the undefeated L.C. Bird
class=SpellE>Skyhawks (14-0) will take on the Briar Woods Falcons
(13-1). L.C. Bird is trying to make it
back-to-back titles, while Briar Woods is seeking their fourth in a row.
style=> The Skyhawks
currently own the longest winning streak in the VHSL at 29 games.
style=> Can Briar Woods stop it?

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Bird enters with a dominant running game, spearheaded
by Earl Hughes, who's climbing the
VHSL rushing list as he enters with 2919 yards and 42 touchdowns rushing on the
season to date. Quarterback
style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'>Terrance Ervin complements him well
with the passing game, having connected on 105 of 186 passes for 1847 yards and
30 touchdowns. Briar Woods has a dynamic
offense of their own, led by quarterback Trace
McSorley and standout receiver
style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'>Melvin Holland, who comes in with 59
catches for 870 yards and 14 touchdowns.

style='text-decoration:none;text-underline:none'> 5A State Championship Preview

Prediction: L.C. Bird 21, Briar Woods 17
Hat's Prediction on the Game: Briar
Woods 21, L.C. Bird 20

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Later on today, we'll have the 6A State Championship
between undefeated squads in Oscar Smith (14-0) and Centreville (14-0) - - so
keep it tuned here all day long, all weekend long and all week long on!


115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";text-decoration:none;text-underline:
none'>Matthew Hatfield
style='font-size:12.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif"'>
has covered football and basketball since 2004 for
style='font-size:12.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";
115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif"'>, part of the
Network. Check out
text-decoration:none;text-underline:none'>Hatfield's Twitter page
115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif"'> for more sports related updates,
and you can also read his work in the
style='font-size:12.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";
text-decoration:none;text-underline:none'>Suffolk News Herald
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To contact Matthew, please e-mail
style='font-size:12.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";
115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif"'>, and don't forget to listen to him
every Saturday at 10AM on
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none'>ESPN Radio 94.1
style='font-size:12.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif"'>,
plus watch him on the
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style='font-size:12.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif"'>.
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