Private D3 State Championship Preview
Fredericksburg Christian (9-1) at Virginia Episcopal (8-2)
17 October 1:00pm
Two teams trying for their first State championship square off in Lynchburg on Saturday.
Virginia Episcopal finished the season as the top seed in D3. Their 9-2 record includes a win over defending State champion North Cross. The Bishops last made it to the state final in 2007 losing to St Anne's-Belfield. They defeated Isle of Wight 28-20 to secure a state championship bid.
The Bishops have a capable running and passing attack. Junior running back Ronnie Springfield has been a workhorse with 215 carries and 1547 yards rushing. Quarterback Tom Creasy has tossed 12 touchdown passes to compliment his 1200 yards thru the air. Dante Jefferson (6-foot-4) and Trevon Fields (6-foot-5) create matchup problems with their size. Fields has eight touchdown receptions on the year.
Virginia Episcopal has a stud at defensive end with Michael Biesemier recording 10 sacks coming off the edge. Sumner Higginbotham and Ronnie Springfield are the leaders of the defense from the linebacker positions. Higginbotham finished with 41 solo tackles and 10 sacks while Springfield has 52 tackles on the year.
Logen Musselman is small in stature but he led the team with six picks including two in the state semi-final win over Isle of Wight.
Fredericksburg Christian suffered only one defeat while reaching the D3 State championship game. The Eagles, who are only playing their fourth year of football, defeated Norfolk Christian 35-0. Hunter Griffis scored three touchdowns while rushing for 120 yards on 18 carries. Elijah McClain recovered a fumble, had an interception, and scored a touchdown via a reception.
Griffis and senior wingback Aaron Alexander do most of their damage behind an offensive line led by 6-foot-5, 330 pound senior A.J Addison. Griffis has 794 yards rushing with 14 touchdowns while Alexander has added 519 yards on the ground with a 9.1 yards per carry. Quarterback Brett Barham doesnt throw much in the Wing-T but he has passed for 514 yards.
The defense has several All-state caliber players. Cody Goode finished with nine sacks and he has close to a 100 tackles. Aaron Alexander had five interceptions after reaching double-digit interceptions last year. Sophomore Malik White has star potential and his motor is always running.
Why Virginia Episcopal will win:
The Bishops are the cardiac kids of the Private schools ranks as they have overcome large deficits multiple times to pull out victories including a comeback win over Isle of Wight last week. Virginia Episcopal is young but they will be playing in front of their home crowd where they went undefeated at 6-0. They have a balanced attack and can beat you on the ground and through the air.
Why Fredericksburg Christian will win:
The Eagles have a senior group that made it to the State playoffs in 2012. They can match the playmakers of Virginia Episcopal and they can be physical with Goode and White. Fredericksburg Christian's defense has allowed less than 10 points per game.
Staff writer Will Garlick covers high school sports for
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