(Rankings based on NBC12/RVA Sports Network Big 12 Poll....)
#1 LC Bird (6-0) at Cosby (3-3), 7:30pm--The Skyhawks return to action after a bye week in the midst of an historic run defensively, with four shutouts in six games. Their defense gave up a meaningless late touchdown to Thomas Dale September 4th, and nothing else.
#2 Hermitage (6-0) at #11 Manchester (5-1), 7:30pm--A rematch of a second round game in the 5A South Playoffs in 2014 won by the Panthers 40-28. While Hermitage returns many more starters than Manchester does, the Lancers continue to take punch after punch and find ways to bounce back, this year mainly with injury issues, especially offensively.
RVA SPORTS NETWORK GAME OF THE WEEK:
#3 Highland Springs (5-1) at #6 Lee-Davis (6-0), 7pm--By far the biggest test for the upstart Confederates will be tonight as the Springers arrive in Mechanicsville having scored 165 points in their last three games. Wideout Greg Dortch has scored touchdowns receiving and rushing, and had a punt return for a touchdown called back last week in their 45-0 win over Hanover. Lee-Davis quarterback Chase Mummau, finally enjoying a healthy season, is showing everyone his capabilities, while tailback Nathan Evans is key to ball control and time of possession.
LISTEN LIVE to Highland Springs at Lee-Davis tonight at 6:30 by CLICKING HERE! The game is also heard on WHAN Radio, 102.9 FM and 1430 AM.
Bishop Ireton (5-1) at #4 Benedictine (5-0), Saturday, 1pm--The Cadets lead the way in VISAA Division I, but Bishop Ireton is right on their heels in second place. This game could determine who hosts the Division I State Championship game in November.
#5 Thomas Dale (5-1) at Petersburg (2-4), 7:30pm--The Knights look to continue their recent roll, as all five wins have come by double digits. The Wave are in the 3A East playoff race, but another loss could drop them out of the top eight in the Conference 26/28 Subregion.
Atlee (3-3) at #7 Henrico (5-1), 7pm--Is Atlee in "must-win" territory? With showdowns with Patrick Henry and Varina still looming, the Raiders find themselves in 12th place in the 16-team 5A North Region field. Henrico, in brutal 5A South Central, are in seventh, trying to catch up to the likes of Douglas Freeman and Matoaca in hopes of at least earning a first-round home game. Last year, this game was the Warriors' coming out party, shutting out the vaunted Atlee offense in a 22-20 win where the Raiders scored on three first-half safeties and two special teams touchdowns.
J.R. Tucker (2-4) at #8 Douglas Freeman (6-0), 7pm--The Tigers are a different team even from opening night. Taj Conway is proving to be one of the better tailbacks in the Central Region, and he'll need a big night on the road in a hostile environment in this backyard brawl. All the Rebels have to play for is to keep a perfect season alive and keep pace with Matoaca, with whom they are currently tied for fifth place in the 5A South Central standings.
George Wythe (0-6) at #9 Monacan (6-1), 7:30pm--Homecoming for the Chiefs who look to finish the season strong, then enjoy a bye week November 6th when many possible playoff opponents in 4A East will be fighting for their lives.
Meadowbrook (2-4) at #10 Matoaca (5-1), 7pm--The Warriors look for their 6th straight win, then we'll see if it's enough to catch the loser of Highland Springs/Lee-Davis in 5A South Central with three weeks to go. Meadowbrook is also fighting in 5A South Central, but from the outside, currently in ninth place where the top eight schools get to move on.
#12 Hanover (4-2) at Varina (3-3), 7pm--Two weeks ago, this looked like a possible mismatch. Not any longer. The Blue Devils pick up two quality wins over Henrico and Patrick Henry to vault into eighth place in 5A South Central, while the Hawks hope to put last week's 45-0 nightmare loss to Highland Springs behind them. Both need wins for playoff momentum. Expect a battle.
Patrick Henry (3-3) at Armstrong (2-4), 7pm--Patriots 18th in 5A North entering tonight, only the top sixteen make the postseason.
Prince George (2-4) at Dinwiddie (3-3), 7pm--Generals look to snap losing slide, solidify 4A East playoff position, while the Royals try to keep up with Meadowbrook, J.R. Tucker and Mills Godwin in trying to catch Varina in 5A South Central.
Colonial Heights (3-3) at Hopewell (4-2), 7:30pm--Both teams in the 3A East playoff race, the Colonials fifth in the Conference 25/27 subregion, the Blue Devils second in Conference 26/28.
Deep Run (1-5) at Mills Godwin (2-4), 7pm--Another West End backyard brawl that means much more for the homestanding Eagles, trying to stay alive in 5A South Central. The Wildcats just looking for positives to begin to build for 2016.
John Marshall (1-5) at Glen Allen (0-6), 7pm--Homecoming for the Jaguars, who hope to end a 15-game losing skid in their first-ever meeting with a Justices team also looking for positives in a season of several dashed hopes.
James River (2-4) at Midlothian (2-5), 7:30pm--The Coal Bowl looms large as the homestanding Trojans, currently in the eighth and final playoff spot in 4A East Conference 19/20 subregion, try to stay that way, while the Rapids are 10th in 6A South Central, and need wins now to get back in the playoff race.
Huguenot (1-6) at Clover Hill (1-5), 7:30pm
Western Albemarle at Louisa, 7:30pm
Charlottesville at Powhatan, 7:30pm
Kenston Forest (0-6) at Richmond Christian (4-1), 7pm
Buckingham at Ameila, 7pm
Nottoway at Goochland, 7pm
Mathews at King William, 7pm
Trinity Episcopal at Woodberry Forest, 2pm
Paul VI at St. Christopher's, 3pm