HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — The last game of the high school football regular season in Central Virginia was on Saturday afternoon — the #1 ranked Highland Springs Springers faced off against the 7-1 Varina Blue Devils.
Fans of Henrico’s famous East End battle know that records go out the window when this rivalry matchup is on the cards.
For Springers fans, the games against Varina are always ones of mutual respect for those like Stan Thompson.
“It’s always been respect between Highland Springs and Varina,” he said. “I’ve known some of the kids that played at Varina. It’s like I can’t really root for them, I can’t really say. But I always wish the best for them.”
This is the first time the Blue Devils have visited Springer Nation since 2017, and the first time at their brand new stadium.
“It’s a big rivalry across our community,” Highland Springs Principal Kenneth White said. “We always want to play to win. We want to make sure we go out with every opportunity and win the game.”
One of the teams had the chance to get a confidence boost going into playoffs.
But neither wanted the other team to win — and that is how the result was one of the most defensive battles of the season.
Varina struck first through Anthony Fisher who dashed into the end zone from ten yards out with 2:47 left in the first quarter.
Springers had to fight through a locked-in Blue Devils defense to come close to scoring.
Takye Heath got his moment after picking up a lateral from his quarterback and side-stepped the defender to get the touchdown. But the Springers ended up missing the extra point, causing the score to stay at 7-6.
The game ended with that same scoreline. Varina won the battle of the East End.
Both teams will now pivot to playoffs. For Highland Springs, it will be a new focus after losing the state final last season.