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Highland Springs, Manchester looking to square off in 2021 football season

Highland Springs, Manchester looking to square off in 2021 football season

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Highland Springs at Manchester high school football

Manchester fans celebrate during a game against Highland Springs at Manchester on Friday, Oct. 11, 2019.

Manchester and Highland Springs played one of the area’s most anticipated regular-season football games last season, and they might be getting together again for a special occasion in 2021.

A matchup is under consideration that may open the Springers’ new football stadium, Manchester coach Tom Hall and Highland Springs coach Loren Johnson said.

Henrico County is constructing a new building at Highland Springs, along with a new turf field. Those are scheduled to open in the fall of 2021.

“That should be fun,” Hall said.

When the teams met last year, the Springers were coming off four consecutive state championships in Class 5. The Lancers were coming off a state championship in Class 6.

A crowd estimated at more than 3,500 packed into the stands, ringed the fence around the field and stood behind a roped-off area behind one end zone.

Down 16-0 late in the third quarter, the Springers scored 26 points to secure a 26-16 victory.

Manchester, now in Class 5 in the Dominion District, is moving back to Class 6 next season. Highland Springs will remain in Class 5 in the Capital District.

“That would be awesome,” Johnson said of the potential matchup. “They’ll be a 6 when we play ‘em, so that’ll be a little bit different. We’ll have some variation in our schedule all the way around.”

On the Lancers’ schedule, Highland Springs would replace Varina. Manchester is limited to one nondistrict game, and Varina (Capital District) is dropping to Class 4.

Johnson said the Springers also expect to host West Virginia power Martinsburg. They were scheduled to open this season in Martinsburg, but that game was canceled after the Virginia High School League moved the football season to the spring because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Martinsburg has won four consecutive Class AAA state titles and eight in the past 10 years. It recently had a 57-game winning streak snapped.

tpearrell@timesdispatch.com

(804) 649-6965

Twitter: @timpearrelltd

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