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Monday, October 24, 2016

NEW VHSL FOOTBALL STANDINGS

With two weeks to go, and for some teams just one game, here are the new Virginia High School League football standings by region, with record and next opponent listed.

6A SOUTH (Conferences 3/4, top eight make playoffs)
1) Colonial Forge: 31.778 (8-1, BYE)
2) Manchester: 30.875 (7-1, vs. Monacan)
3) Thomas Dale: 29.375 (6-2, at Hopewell)
4) Riverbend: 29.222 (6-3, at CD Hylton)
5T) Freedom-PW: 28.125 (6-2, at Woodbridge)
      James River: 28.125 (5-3, vs. Clover Hill)
7) CD Hylton: 26.250 (5-3, vs. Riverbend)
8) Cosby: 25.5 (4-4, vs George Wythe)
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9) Forest Park: 24.0 (3-5, vs. Gar-Field)

NOTES: The Colonial Forge lead over Manchester grows ever so slightly, about a tenth of a point. The Lancers can retake the top seed Friday with a win over 8-1 Monacan, while Colonial Forge is on their bye week. Forge gets Freedom-Prince William in the finale, while Manchester gets Cosby. If both win November 4th, it'll be a photo finish for the number one seed. Meanwhile, good news for Thomas Dale as they rise to third, gaining nearly a half-point to overtake Riverbend. Thomas Dale's tough Central District schedule continues Friday at Hopewell, while Riverbend gets CD Hylton, who are fighting to stay in the top eight, coming off a bye week that saw them actually move up in the standings, thanks to James River's win over Cosby. The Rapids get Clover Hill this week, while Freedom-PW gets 2-6 Woodbridge, whose playoff hopes are faint with 22.375 points, over three points out of eighth. It's Forest Park that Cosby must worry about, as they'll be favored to beat 1-7 Gar-Field, but Cosby is favored to knock off George Wythe on Senior Night. Forest Park has CD Hylton in the November 4th finale, and the Titans must contend with Manchester.


5A SOUTH (Conferences 11/12, top eight make playoffs)
1) L.C. Bird: 30.625 (7-1, at Huguenot)
2T) Hermitage: 29.875 (7-1, at Glen Allen)
      Highland Springs: 29.875 (7-1, vs Patrick Henry)
4) Douglas Freeman: 29.5 (8-0, at Mills Godwin)
5) Varina: 26.5 (5-3, vs. Atlee)
6) Lee-Davis: 25.25 (6-2, vs. Henrico)
7) Henrico: 25.125 (5-3, at Lee-Davis)
8) Matoaca: 24.375 (4-4, at Colonial Heights)
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9) Deep Run: 23.375 (4-4, vs. John Marshall)
10) Mills Godwin: 23.125 (4-4, vs. Douglas Freeman)
11) Meadowbrook: 22.75 (3-5, at Prince George)
12) Prince George: 22.5 (4-4, vs. Meadowbrook)

NOTES: As we expected on our "Central Region Now!" podcast Friday night, L.C. Bird's lead in this sub-region shrunk by over a point as the Panthers, Springers and Rebels all defeat teams with at least .500 records last Friday, while the Skyhawks beat George Wythe. It all happens again this Friday, as L.C. Bird is favored against a two-win Huguenot team, while Hermitage plays 2-6 Glen Allen. Douglas Freeman gets archrival 4-4 Mills Godwin, who will be playing for their playoff lives, but the big winner, if they win, could be 7-1 Highland Springs as they welcome 7-1 Patrick Henry in for Senior Night. If all four teams win, it will come down to other games to determine the order of the top four going into Week 11. But, off the bat, Highland Springs will get 38 points with a win, while Hermitage and L.C. Bird would get 28, Douglas Freeman 32. For Varina to catch that top four, they need Patrick Henry to beat Highland Springs, then they need to beat them November 4th. A Godwin upset of Freeman, then a Hermitage win over Freeman November 4th would help, but Varina must win out for a shot at a home game in the first round. Should Varina fall to an Atlee team who must win their final two games for a legitimate shot at the 5A North Region playoffs, then suddenly they'll be fighting the winner of our Game of The Week, Henrico at Lee-Davis, for that #5 seed a week from now. The loser of that game needs Douglas Freeman to win, but will likely have to contend with both Deep Run and the winner of, essentially, an elimination game between Meadowbrook and Prince George in a dogfight to the finish. And then there's Matoaca, favored this week, but ahead of them, their traditional finale against Thomas Dale, and even at 5-4, that game could make or break the Warriors' postseason hopes, depending on other finishes. At this point, the one team who can likely count on playing at home November 11th is L.C. Bird, even if they're not the top seed. But James River would like to have a say about that, because a Rapids win at home over the Skyhawks finale night would do wonders for them in 6A South.


5A NORTH: (Top 16 make playoffs, all conferences)
1) Brooke Point: 32.75 (8-0, at Potomac)
2) Potomac Falls: 30.875 (7-1, vs. Stone Bridge)
3) Massaponax: 30.5 (7-1, vs. North Stafford)
4) Stone Bridge: 30.125 (6-2, at Potomac Falls)
5) Albemarle: 29.0 (6-2, vs. Monticello, Thursday)
6) North Stafford: 28.0 (6-2, at Massaponax)
7) Broad Run: 27.875 (6-2, vs. James Robinson)
8) Patrick Henry: 27.125 (7-1, at Highland Springs)
9) PH-Roanoke: 26.875 (6-2, at Blacksburg)
10) Briar Woods: 26.222 (4-5, BYE)
11) Tuscarora: 25.667 (5-4, BYE)
12) Orange: 25.5 (5-3, at Louisa)
13) Falls Church: 24.875 (6-2, vs. Oakton)
14) Atlee: 23.0 (3-5, at Varina)
15) Stafford: 22.75 (3-5, vs. Mountain View)
16) Potomac: 22.25 (3-5, vs. Brooke Point)
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17T) R.E. Lee/Springfield: 21.75 (3-5, at Thomas Edison)
        J.E.B. Stuart: 21.75 (4-4, at George Marshall)
19) George Marshall: 21.625 (3-5, vs. J.E.B. Stuart)
20) Mountain View: 21.125 (2-6, at Stafford)

NOTES: As we expected, Patrick Henry moves up one slot to #8. The good news is, that seed hosts a first round playoff game, and, as we've discussed on the podcast and on the Game of The Week, Patrick Henry last hosted a postseason game in 2001, when Anthony Martinez reigned at quarterback and the Patriots last made a state championship game. Now the Patriots must deal with defending state champion Highland Springs. Now, a win there Friday and next Friday in The 58th Tomato Bowl at home against Lee-Davis would give the Patriots a shot, depending on other results, to go as high as the fourth or fifth seed. It will be hard to catch any of the top three, and frankly, Patrick Henry needs Massaponax to beat North Stafford to help Patrick Henry climb over them. If the Patriots fall Friday, they wouldn't fall far in the standings, as the #10 and #11 seeds each have byes. As for Atlee, they are lucky to be hanging on as the #14 seed for the second straight week. Other teams around them losing helped make that happen. With #15 Stafford looking to essentially eliminate Mountain View from contention this week, and #16 Potomac having to face the juggernaut that is Brooke Point, it's a 50-50 split for Atlee. The Raiders must beat Varina to keep teams below them at bay, but if Potomac pulled the major upset, they'd leap over Atlee no matter what. The Raiders also can't afford to be in a race for 16th come November 4th because they will face currently winless Armstrong. No bonus points there.

4A EAST (Conferences 19/20, top eight make playoffs)
1) Dinwiddie: 30.0 (8-0, vs. Petersburg)
2) Eastern View: 29.5 (8-0, vs. Fauquier)
3) Chancellor: 28.625 (6-2, vs. King George)
4) Louisa: 28.5 (7-1, vs. Orange)
5) Monacan: 27.222 (8-1, at Manchester)
6) Powhatan: 26.625 (6-2, at Fluvanna)
7) King George: 24.375 (6-2, at Chancellor)
8) Courtland: 23.5 (4-4, at James Monroe)
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9) Huguenot: 20.25 (2-6, vs. L.C. Bird)
10) Midlothian: 20.111 (2-7, BYE)

NOTES: Well, first we saw Eastern View drawing closer to Dinwiddie after Friday's action, then we thought the Generals might gain some ground. In the end, Eastern View cut Dinwiddie's margin in half. Dinwiddie gets 2-6 Petersburg Friday while Eastern View gets 4-4 Fauquier. If both win, the margin could shrink further. Louisa finally gets a home game, Senior Night, facing rival Orange, both teams fighting for playoff position in their respective regions. Chancellor, on the strength of other results involving teams on their schedule, overtakes Louisa for third, and could help strengthen their hold on third with a win over King George, upset victims of Courtland last week in a game that almost set, though not the order, the list of eight teams who will make the playoffs. Huguenot's chances are remote, having to face L.C. Bird, and Midlothian has but one game left. As for Monacan, it's simple. Beat Manchester and gain serious ground in their race to the top four as they conclude their regular season. The Chiefs will be in street clothes next Friday when their first round fate, either home or away, will be determined. Absolutely nothing, in terms of seeding, is known right now. Anything could happen with two weeks left.


3A EAST (Conferences 26/28, top eight make playoffs)
1) Hopewell: 24.0 (6-2, vs. Thomas Dale)
2) Brentsville District: 22.875 (6-2, vs. Liberty-Bealton)
3) James Monroe: 21.75 (6-2, vs. Courtland)
4) William Monroe: 19.125 (4-4, vs. Culpeper Co.)
5) Petersburg: 18.375 (2-6, at Dinwiddie)
6) Thomas Jefferson: 18.286 (3-4, at J.R. Tucker)
7) Culpeper County: 17.625 (3-5, at William Monroe)
8) George Wythe: 17.5 (1-7, at Cosby)
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9) Skyline: 16.0 (2-6, at Sherando)
10) Spotsylvania: 15.875 (1-7, at Caroline)

NOTES: Great work by Hopewell over the past two weeks, getting contributions from lots of players to win big battles and, by taking advantage of Brentsville District's losses, take over the top spot in their sub-region with two weeks to go. But it gets no easier Friday when Thomas Dale comes to Merner Field, themselves fighting for postseason home advantage in 6A South. A loss to the Knights, coupled with a BD victory could flip the script again up top. Petersburg is running out of time to end their losing streak. After a 2-0 start, the Crimson Wave have lost six straight, but remain in the playoff hunt. A trip to Dinwiddie looms, but, even with a loss, there are eight extra points there for Petersburg. Thomas Jefferson is stumbling to the finish, with a trip to J.R. Tucker upcoming. The Wave, Vikings and George Wythe all should be scoreboard watching Skyline, who got a key win last week to take over the ninth spot in the race, just 1.5 points behind the Bulldogs for that eighth and final playoff berth. They battle 4-4 Sherando of 4A this week. A win could change everything at the bottom of the bracket.

2A EAST (Top 16 make playoffs, all conferences)
1) Goochland: 24.25 (8-0, 9-0 overall, at Bluestone)
2) Stuarts Draft: 24.0 (8-0, vs. Luray)
3) Central-Woodstock: 23.25 (7-1, vs. Strasburg)
4) Clarke County: 22.25 (6-2, at Warren County)
5) East Rockingham: 21.25 (5-3, at Wilson Memorial)
6) Buffalo Gap: 21.0 (6-2, vs. Page County)
7) Strasburg: 20.125 (6-2, at Central-Woodstock)
8) Madison County: 19.0 (4-4, vs. George Mason)
9) Nandua: 18.444 (6-3, vs. Northampton)
10) King William: 18.0 (5-3, vs. West Point)
11) Washington & Lee: 17.875 (4-4, at Essex, Saturday)
12) Prince Edward: 17.333 (5-4, BYE)
13) R.E. Lee/Staunton: 16.25 (3-5, at Harrisonburg)
14) Bluestone: 16.125 (4-4, vs. Goochland)
15T) Page County: 15.75 (3-5, at Buffalo Gap)
        Brunswick: 15.75 (2-6, at Surry)
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17) Amelia: 15.375 (4-4, at Central-Lunenburg)
18) Nottoway: 15.25 (2-6, vs. Cumberland)
19) Arcadia: 14.75 (3-5, vs. Kent, MD)

NOTES: Goochland reclaims the top spot this week, and end their regular season Friday. Remember, their final rating will be their rider points divided by nine games, not ten, as their early season game with Fork Union Military Academy, a VISAA school, does not count. Stuarts Draft faces 5-3 Luray this week, and has a game in hand. King William continues to rise as their winning streak continues, and they have a top eight seed, and a first round home game, in their sights. But first it's a matchup with West Point, who (see below) are fighting for their playoff lives in 1A East. For Amelia, just outside the top sixteen just less than a half point behind Page County and Brunswick, could use an upset win over Central-Lunenburg to vault back into the playoff race, knowing time is running out for them.

*****

NOTE: In 1A East, Essex is currently the seventh seed at 18.5 points, 1.25 points out of sixth, while Luray and Chincoteague are 8th and 9th, within 1/2 point of Essex. The top eight teams host a first round game November 11th. West Point is tied with Northampton in 15th, both with 14.0 points, while Charles City, at 13.875, is just .125 behind, but in 17th place, and must make the Top 16 to reach the postseason.

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