That will conclude our live blog coverage of today's Group AA state championship games featuring local schools Brookville and Heritage. Congratulations to the Bees on their second straight state title and Heritage for advancing to the state title game for the first time in 10 years. Be sure to pick up a copy of Sunday's News & Advance for complete coverage of both games, including game stories, notebooks and plenty of photos. And thank you for following our coverage online.
Briar Woods 52, Heritage 0, Final: Heritage got a much-needed stop on fourth down and then Austin Fitzgerald hits Jolito Rivera on a 44-yard pass play to get Heritage a chance to score, but JeVontae Parrish is sacked on the next play and Briar Woods wins the Group AA, Division 4 state championship for the third year in a row. The 52-point margin of victory is one point shy of matching the largest margin of victory in the Group AA state playoffs (Gate City's 53-point win over Amherst County in 1974, 71-18).
Briar Woods 52, Heritage 0, 6:33 4th quarter: JT Logan is able to break a run to the outside and as he cuts back from the right side to the center, he is met by his teammates as he goes untouched on a 73-yard touchdown run. The Heritage side of the stands are starting to empty out quickly.
Briar Woods 45, Heritage 0, 10:36 4th quarter: Cory Colder seals another Briar Woods drive with a 4-yard TD run. The Falcons scored 45 points in last week's 45-15 victory over Courtland. Also, per a new rule this season, there will be a running clock for the remainder of the contest or until Heritage gets the score within 35 points.
Briar Woods 38, Heritage 0, 5:23 left in 3rd quarter: BW QB Trace McSorley finishes four-play, 61-yard possession with 25-yard TD scamper, slicing through the right side of the Pioneers' line. Cory Colder's 35-yard run ignited the drive.
Briar Woods 31, Heritage 0, 9:54 left in 3rd quarter: Falcons fly downfield on a five-play, 82-yard scoring drive to start the second half, sparked by a 55-yard jaunt up the left sideline by Cory Colder and capped by a 12-yard power run up the middle byChris Larco. Nick LaFrankie's PAT is good.
HALFTIME REPORT: Briar Woods has systematically dismantled Heritage in the first half, on offense, defense and special teams. Trace McSorley throwing for 81 yards and the Falcons rushing for 105. The Pioneers, meanwhile, have managed just 17 yards on 19 plays in the first half, with their only first down coming by way of a pass-interference penalty. Two of their drives started at their own 1- and 2-yard lines and resulted in a safety and a punt returned 63 yards for BW's second TD.
Briar Woods 24, Heritage 0, 0:16 left in 2nd quarter: Falcons quarterback Trace McSorley connects with Cam Serigne on a 27-yard touchdown pass inside the right pylon. It's a crushing blow, two and a half minutes after the punt return for a TD, following a failed fourth-down conversion attempt by the Pioneers. McSorley carries twice for 16 yards to spark the five-play, 61-yard drive before completing three passes for 45 yards, bringing his halftime total to 8-for-10 for 81 yards. Nick LaFrankie's PAT kick extends BW's commanding halftime advantage.
Briar Woods 17, Heritage 0, 2:54 left in 2nd quarter: Heritage goes three plays and out from its own 2 before I'Shantii Rosser uncorks a booming punt over the head of BW returnman Tristan Miller. However, Miller retreats and picks up ball on the bounce before changing directions, eludes a tackler left and sprints into the open field, receiving a crushing block by JT Logan on Heritage's Darius Thurman and scooting 63 yards into the end zone. RB Cory Colder slashes outside left for the two-point conversion.
Briar Woods 9, Heritage 0, 4:57 left in 2nd quarter: Pioneers' defense bends but doesn't break, giving up 42 yards on 10 carries by RB Cory Colder before stuffing him on 4th-and-goal from the 3.
Briar Woods 9, Heritage 0, 0:51 left in 1st quarter: Falcons' quarterback Trace McSorley keeps behind a powerful surge from his offensive line for a 1-yard TD. Nick LaFrankie tacks on the PAT. Heritage's Antwone Comer breaks a 50-yard return on the ensuing kickoff, giving Pioneers a glimmer of hope going into the second period.
Briar Woods 2, Heritage 0, 5:16 left in 1st quarter: After starting its second drive at its own 1, Heritage QB JeVontae Parrish is called for intentional grounding in the end zone for a safety. That's better than what it could have been as it first appeared Parrish had fumbled and BW's Nick Nerletti picked up the loose ball and took it into the end zone.
Heritage's opening drive stalls: Six plays net negative-3 yards on Pioneers' first possession, with only first down coming on 15-yard pass-interference call. I'Shantii Rosser punt out of bounds at the BW 35.
Briar Woods wins the toss, opts to defer to second half: Heritage will put its offense to the test first after Falcons choose to play defense. Kickoff from Briar Woods' Nick LaFrankie fielded by JeVontae Parrish at the 6, returns to 24.
Captains take the field: After Briar Woods' band plays the Star-Spangled Banner, both schools' cheerleaders lay their banners near the goal lines, awaiting the storming of the Falcons and Pioneers onto the field. Heritage captains Andrew Griffin, I'Shantii Rosser, DeMonte Elliot and JeVontae Parrish line up on Heritage's sideline, prior to meeting the BW captains at midfield for the coin toss.
Heritage color guard to present colors: Fifteen minutes before game time, Pioneers' flag bearers line up on goal line, awaiting National Anthem. Slight breeze in the air as setting sun shines on Heritage crowd, temperatures cool before kickoff.
Pioneers band marches in: Thirty minutes before kickoff, Heritage's marching band files into Williams Stadium behind a rowdy Briar Woods huddle, led by a dozen girls dressed in colonial Pioneer garb. Heritage's crowd, located on the visiting side of the stadium, is slowly filling in the stands, with a narrow advantage in numbers on the Falcons' aficianados.
Sunny skies at Liberty University's Williams Stadium: State championship teams and fans are treated to a picture-perfect, almost tropical, day for football, with temperatures near 70 degrees an hour before kickoff of the Group AA, Division 4 final between Heritage and two-time defending state champion Briar Woods. The game is a showdown between two coaches who have experienced success everywhere they've been -- Heritage's Brad Bradley, who won two Group A, Division 1 state titles at William Campbell in 2002 and 2005 before coaching two years at Patrick Henry-Roanoke and last year at Amelia County, leading the Raiders to the Group A, Division 2 state semifinals, and Briar Woods' Charlie Pierce, a former graduate assistant with Urban Meyer at Illinois State who also coached Park View-Sterling to the Group AA, Division 4 state final in 2000. Pierce started the program at Briar Woods in 2006.
Heritage takes the field for pre-game warm-ups: The Pioneers are first out of the locker room for championship Saturday's second game at Liberty University's Williams Stadium, 71 minutes before kickoff. Ten years after winning its only state title against Lafayette, 34-7 in 2002, Heritage is seeking to dethrone the two-time defending state champion Falcons, who are riding a 28-game winning streak, tied with Brookville for longest in the VHSL at any classification.
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