Despite some ‘sloppy’ play, Springers grind it out
Highland Springs gets 5th straight win behind its ‘lock down’ defense
Highland Springs lost to Hermitage in its season-opening football game.
A week later Henrico lost to Hermitage in its season opener.
Neither the Springers nor Warriors had been on the losing end again until Friday night when Henrico traveled to Highland Springs.
Highland Springs, ranked No. 3 in The Times-Dispatch Top 10 and the two-time defending Class 5 state champion, defeated 10th-ranked Henrico 23-6 for its fifth victory in a row. The Warriors dropped to 3-2.
The game was competitive but not pretty. Highland Springs coach Loren Johnson called his team’s play “sloppy in a lot of different ways. We’ve just got to clean up. We didn’t want a game like this, but we had a game like this, and it just gives us something more to build on and to make us better.
“We’ve got some work to do. We were down a couple of people. That’s not an excuse. Everybody’s got to be ready to go and everybody’s got to be polished and perform well.”
Highland Springs scored first on its second possession. Two penalties against the Warriors and a 31-yard pass completion from D’Vonte Waller to Billy Kemp helped the Springers cover 71 yards in five plays. Shy’re McKeiver (15 carries, 75 yards) scored from 5 yards out and Jayden Alsheskie kicked the extra point.
Alsheskie booted a 23-yard field goal after a third straight short possession by the Warriors to put the Springers up 10-0. Henrico managed just 18 yards rushing and 70 yards passing in the first half.
“The defense is lock down,” said backup quarterback David Laney, who scored the last touchdown of the game on a 1-yard run. “That’s what we do. Our defense is known to stop people.
“We had our mistakes. We got the win. We’re going to get better, of course. This week’s over. We’ll go out next week and get better and get another win.”
Henrico’s only score of the game came on a 35-yard touchdown pass from Lawrence Chambers to Ja’Had Carter with 10:49 left in the second quarter. The extra-point try was blocked.
The Springers scored again at the 5:21 mark of the quarter on Dre’Shaun Taylor’s 26-yard touchdown run. Taylor, a freshman, weighs in at 240 pounds.
Neither team scored in the third quarter.
“We won. That’s more than anything. When you do power ratings and points and stuff like that they don’t ask by how many points, they just say you won. We won the game. We used both quarterbacks. The defense played extremely well and we did some things,” said Johnson. “We executed a fake punt which we haven’t done since 2012 I don’t think. It was an opportune time to call it and those things make it fun, and we’ll be better in that regard so I’m happy about it.”