Richmond, Va. - Highland Springs coaches tell their players one simple rule about their football team.
"We tell our kids all the time" said head coach Loren Johnson. "The only team that can beat Highland Springs, is Highland Springs."
That seemed prophetic in the first half of their Class 5 Region B final against Hermitage on Friday night. The Springers turned the ball over 3 times leading to 14 Panther points and a 14-6 deficit at halftime.
C.J. Jackson and James Carney had touchdown runs in the first half staking the Panthers to a 14-0 lead. But in the second half, the Springer offense got moving as the Springer defense clamped down, allowing Highland Springs to score 24 unanswered points on their way to a 24-14 win.
"The resilience of our team is indicative of our coaching staff" Johnson said. That showed itself in quarterback D'Vonte Waller tossing 3 scoring passes, two in the second half and adding a TD run of his own. He had 354 passing yards and scoring strikes to Rayquan Smith, Robert Jones and Jai-Veon Smalls.
"We're going to enjoy this one for about 24 hours, maybe less" Johnson said. "We'll get back to work and do what we need to do."
The Springers have now won 12 straight this year and 13 straight post season games overall. They improve to 12-1 this year and will host Nansemond River next Saturday. Hermitage's season ends at 11-2.