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T-D Top 10 for football: Top 4 unanimous; Midlothian and Trinity knocking on door; James River forfeits two games
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T-D Top 10 for football: Top 4 unanimous; Midlothian and Trinity knocking on door; James River forfeits two games

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T-D Top 10 for football

Rec. Prv.

1. Highland Springs 4-2, 1

2. Manchester 4-1, 2

3. Dinwiddie 4-0, 3

4. Varina 5-0, 4

5. Hopewell 3-1, 5

6. Patrick Henry 4-2, 6

7. Matoaca 5-1, 7

8. St. Christopher's 6-0, 9

9. Thomas Dale 4-1, 8

10. Hermitage 4-2, 10

Top 4 unanimous

Quarterback Khristian Martin teamed up with receivers Latrell Sutton and Quanye Veney to lead the top-ranked Springers to a thrilling 41-28 victory over the Jayden Mines-led, sixth-ranked Patriots in Ashland.

The second-ranked Lancers were idle as they prepare for a Friday trip to Midlothian (5-0).

The third-ranked Generals topped fifth-ranked Hopewell 35-20 as Dinwiddie QB Brenton Hilton continued his stellar season, with some help from wideouts Khalil Hazelwood and Chris Drumgoole.

And fourth-ranked Varina held serve with a 42-0 win over Armstrong (1-4). Our voters agreed on the order of that top four, which appears to have created some separation between themselves and the rest of the 804 after two members took down the No. 5 and No. 6 teams by double digits.

Others receiving votes

Those unbeaten Trojans continued to garner Top 10 votes, and came in a nose behind the 10th-ranked Panthers. Junior quarterback Cooper Meads has been impressive this season for a Midlothian attack that’s averaging 36.5 points. But Friday brings with it by far Midlothian’s biggest test, and opportunity, of the season when it hosts No. 2 Manchester.

Trinity Episcopal (4-2) hasn’t played since Sept. 25 after a forfeit by St. Anne’s-Belfield two weeks ago and bye this past week. Otherwise the talented Titans might have reentered the Top 10 by now. They get back to action Saturday at home against host Fork Union (2-3). After that, Trinity will turn its attention to an Oct. 23 showdown at St. Chris, a high-stakes local matchup that could go a long way toward determining supremacy in the VISAA.

James River forfeits two games

First-year coach Jacob Hodges had James River off to a 5-2 start after a 30-9 win at Powhatan (4-2) Friday.

But the Rapids’ record now reads 3-4 after the program was forced to retroactively forfeit a 28-8 win over Cosby (Sept. 10) and 42-0 win over Huguenot (Sept. 17) because a player who participated in those games has been deemed academically ineligible.

James River director of student activities Bryan Hannum self-reported the error to the VHSL the day he realized it had been made.

“I realized it was an oversight on my part,” Hannum said. “I immediately called the VHSL office and had to own it.”

An appeal will be held on Wednesday, Hannum said.

“Just trying to advocate for our kids, because they’re the ones that got caught up in all this because an adult made a mistake,” he said.

Hannum said Hodges has done an “unbelievable job” with the Rapids this season, a program that had two head coaches during a 1-9 2019 season and 2-4 spring slate.

“What he’s done with the culture and community piece to the team has then translated to what should be a 5-2 record right now,” Hannum said. “I cannot speak enough to how well he’s done in his first crack at being a head coach.”

— Zach Joachim

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