NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – Maury will not be satisfied with merely playing in the VHSL Class 5 state championship game.

Not after what happened to the Commodores last season.

Maury (10-1) advanced to the championship game after beating Green Run last week 21-14 and while it may have been looking to exact its revenge against a Stone Bridge team that beat it on the last play of the 2021 state championship game, it will face a more-than-formidable Highland Springs team that has a championship-pedigree of its own.

“We’ve got a mix of younger guys who haven’t been on this stage before,” said Maury coach Dyrri McCain, “so they’re experiencing – I think in Little League, when you play for the Mustangs, when you play for whatever organization, you dream of, I want to play in the state championship, I want to be a part of a state championship – the excitement there …

“From the older guys who’ve kind of been around the block a little bit, it’s another opportunity and now they know that their job is to finish. That’s why we’re back here. We’ve got a good opponent Saturday, and we’re excited about the matchup.”

Highland Springs (14-0) won four state championships before Maury won it all in 2019. The two teams have played twice since 2018, with the Springers winning both times. They play today at S.B. Ballard Stadium at Old Dominion University at noon.

But Maury does not view itself as an underdog.

“We’re not going to back down to anybody,” McCain said.

Phoebus looking for back-to-back state titles

The Phantoms (14-0) are looking to win their second straight Class 3 state championship as they face Heritage (12-2) at Liberty University’s Williams Stadium in Lynchburg, also at noon.

Last week, Phoebus quarterback Nolan James left the game with a leg injury, and Jayden Early filled in more-than-capably for him.

Normally a safety, he proved his mettle in the air, throwing a 50-yard touchdown pass to Pittsburgh-signee Jordan Bass, a playmaker for the Phantoms who will certainly be key in the state championship game.