Commentary: Dinwiddie Should Face L.C. Bird
By Ryan Lazo, sports editor
Dec 20, 2013, 09:47
Ryan Lazo/Hopewell News/News-Patriot
HOPEWELL — In the weeks ahead, the National Collegiate Athletic Association will be taking center stage on the sports scene with 35 different bowl games to finish the college football season.
Thirty-four of the bowl games lead up to what is one of the most anticipated Bowl Championship Series National Title game in years, featuring the Atlantic Coast Conference Champion Florida State University and Southeastern Conference Champion Auburn University.
The Seminoles rolled through one of the easiest regular seasons of any BCS opponent, winning by an average margin of victory 42.3 points. The Tigers meanwhile are the team of destiny, winning in miraculous fashion twice this season.
However, there is one game that will not be played which should be.
It doesn't involve college football programs, although many of players will be suiting up for Division I teams as soon as next season, and it does not have a sponsor running the entire operation.
The teams who should face off?
The L.C. Bird Skyhawks and the Dinwiddie Generals.
Both the Skyhawks and Generals finished their respective 2013 seasons undefeated, capturing State Championships in the 5A and 4A conferences. Each team did it in different ways, but both are extremely talented with playmakers at every position.
The two high schools are separated by just 34.5 miles, yet the only other difference which matters is in their enrollments. L.C. Bird High School's enrollment leaves them constricted to 5A Conference playoffs, while Dinwiddie remains in 4A.
But leave the different conferences out of the equation, and imagine having the Skyhawks and Generals face each other. The match-up would garner interest and intrigue for those who live in the '804' area code.
Although the question remains — would the game even be close?
According the Virginia High School League-Reference website, L.C. Bird sits in the No. 2 spot in the final season rankings while Dinwiddie sits in the No. 6 position. Yet, take a look at the numbers and there is reason to believe the game would live up to the hype.
The Skyhawks have set a program record with 29 consecutive wins and counting, while dominating opponents in the regular season by scoring an average of 55.3 points per game. Going even further, they surrendered just 4.8 points per contest including six whitewashes during the regular season.
However, those numbers are very similar to what Dinwiddie compiled during its own regular season, scoring 54.7 points per game and surrendering just 9.9. But going even further, there was a very little drop-off during the playoffs for the Generals as they continued to win by an average margin of 41.2 points per game.
Meanwhile, the Skyhawks won by just a 22-point margin, edging out Salem by a 7-3 score and securing a 15-point comeback in the title game for a 35-28 win over Briar Woods. It all added up to one of the most dominating seasons a team could achieve.
Running back Earl Hughes ran for 3,128 yards combined between the playoffs and regular season while totaling 45 total touchdowns. His counterpart in the backfield, quarterback Terrance Irving threw for 2,065 yards and 27 touchdown passes, showing off a dangerous multi-dimensional attack.
While the Generals did not have as balanced of an attack, quarterback Ronald Kearney elevated his play in the postseason, tossing 11 touchdowns to just one interception during the four games. His playoff numbers led him to a season total of 25 touchdowns and just six interceptions for 1,892 yards total.
Running back Sadarius Williams ran for 2,065 yards total on 208 carries for 21 touchdowns while also hauling in four touchdown passes. It was Williams who helped Dinwiddie to a dominating 1,298 to 274-yard rushing advantage over opponents entering the championship game.
However, even with all of the playmakers, the question remains, who would win a game between two of the strongest teams in the Commonwealth?
Would it be the Generals who rolled through the playoffs the same way they did during the regular season, dominating opponents with their physicality in the trenches or would it be the Skyhawks who had to be tested during their playoff run?
Which team would hold the advantage?
While it's a game which will never take place, one could very easily imagine a game between two elite defenses and high-powered offenses, entering the fourth quarter still scoreless with just minutes remaining. One play would be the difference.
Would it be the Generals or Skyhawks?
The real answer lies between the 34.5 miles separating the two high schools, players and coaches, but it doesn't hurt to wonder what could have been.