If there was any doubt that Henrico of Richmond has one of the state's top offenses, the Warriors needed all of three plays to remove it yesterday in a 42-0 win over Yorktown in a Virginia AAA Division 5 semifinal before 3,000 at W.T. Woodson.
Junior quarterback Aaron Alexander hit senior Anthony Hansom for a 76-yard touchdown pass on the Warriors' third play from scrimmage and Henrico (12-1) never looked back, ending No. 14 Yorktown's season at 9-4. Henrico advances to play No. 6 Culpeper (13-0) next Saturday in Richmond for the state championship.
Alexander's four touchdowns tied a AAA record set twice in 1996 by former Hampton and current North Carolina quarterback Ronald Curry. Alexander's scoring passes yesterday went 76, 24, 40 and 22 yards.
"Henrico did not do an awful lot scheme-wise," Yorktown Coach Bruce Hanson said. "They just have a great quarterback who makes great throws to great receivers."
Yorktown got inside Henrico's 21-yard line five times. But the Patriots fumbled twice, threw two interceptions and lost the ball on downs. For the game, the Patriots rushed for 193 yards--led by senior Alex Hachana, who had 70 yards on six carries. But the team completed 1 of 10 passes for 22 yards in getting shut out for the first time this season.
"What can I say? We have a bend-but-don't-break defense," Henrico Coach David Bedwell said. "That was coupled by some big plays by our offense and Alexander threw the ball real well."
The victory marked a sweet return to Northern Virginia for Bedwell. He played quarterback at Fairfax High under recently retired Lake Braddock coach Francis Dall before playing at James Madison. Bedwell, in his third year in the top job at Henrico, led the team to its first Central Region title since 1970 last week.
Now the Warriors will be playing for their first state title.
After Yorktown punted without gaining a first down on its second possession, Alexander completed passes of 12 and 38 yards before scoring on a six-yard run to give the Warriors a 14-0 lead with 1 minute 51 seconds left in the first quarter.
"Today was not a good performance," Patriots all-region lineman Sean Gooden said. "But we are not going to let this loss get us down. We had an excellent season; no one expected us to win the region and we did."
Game summary on Page D17
CAPTION: Yorktown quarterback John Creedon eludes Henrico's Kevin Atkins on this first-half play, but the Patriots' offense was bottled up all afternoon.