HAMPTON, Va. (WRIC) — When Angela Johnson passed away in November, the Highland Springs Springers dedicated their season and their hopes of a second consecutive state championship to her. Johnson is the mother of Springers’ senior wide receiver Chris Thaxton, and it was none other than Thaxton that caught the game-winning touchdown with 0:26 seconds remaining in the game.
After an interception with three seconds to go, the Springers took a knee and began celebrating their second consecutive state championship and the second for the school in the modern playoff era.
Thaxton was in tears, receiving hugs from every teammate but wishing his mother was there to do the same.
“I feel nothing but excitement. I know my mom is — would be cheering for me hard right now telling me she loves me and giving me big hugs, ” Thaxton said after the game. “I’m just glad I did it for the people I’m playing with because they trusted me to make that play.”
The Springers defeated Stone Bridge 35-29 to capture the VHSL, Group 5A football championship.