RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — James River headed on down State Route 288 Thursday to meet L.C. Bird to open the 2021 season, and like their matchup from the spring season earlier this year, the Rapids and Skyhawks battled to the very end.

In a back-and-forth affair, James River scored a touchdown as time expired in the 4th quarter to best L.C. Bird 19-18. The Rapids (1-0) beat the Skyhawks (0-1) in a similar fashion back on March 22.

A bungled James River punt gave Bird a short field early in the first quarter. Jashaun Amin got the Skyhawks on the scoreboard on the ensuing play, finding the end zone on a 15-yard run.

The Rapids jumped out in front in the second quarter on a Griffin Newsome touchdown run, but Bird managed to score twice, including a 45-yard pass from quarterback Brad Hurt to Amin at the halftime horn, to take an 18-7 lead into the break.

James River managed to keep the Skyhawks scoreless the rest of the game, as quarterback Reece Hamilton connected with receiver Chris Seward twice in the second half to give the Rapids the win.

James River travels to Douglas Freeman next week, while L.C. Bird takes on Thomas Dale in the “Battle of Chester” on Thursday, (Sept. 2). Both games will kick off at 7 p.m.