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Thursday, October 19, 2017

WEEK 9 FOOTBALL PRIMER

Three major matchups within our NBC12/RVA Sports Network Big 12 High School Football Poll, two games that could mean elimination to the loser in Region 5B, and Thomas Jefferson looks to keep their Colonial District winning streak alive. Here's a complete look at Week 9 games and playoff implications!

GAME OF THE WEEK: Atlee (2-5) at #3 Highland Springs (6-1), 7pm (Airtime 6:30pm on WHAN Radio, 102.9 FM, 1430 AM, online by CLICKING HERE, and on TuneIn App on "Radiall"!)

Highland Springs returns from a bye week just under two points behind Hermitage for the top spot in Region 5B, and look to win their fourth straight over the Raiders, who likely face playoff elimination with a loss. A 4-6 record will likely not produce a playoff bid in the region formerly known as 5A South, which has produced the last four 5A State Champions (L.C. Bird's first title in 2012 was in the old Group AAA, Division 5 format). Tyler Warren needs a big night at quarterback for the Raiders, and so does Isaac Abel in the running game. Keep the Springers' offense off the field, that's the best defense for Atlee. The Springers have averaged nearly 52 points per game in their last three wins over Atlee. (TWITTER: @hanoversports, @henricosports)

NBC12 GAME OF THE WEEK: #8 Hopewell (6-1) at #6 Thomas Dale (5-2), 7pm: This is one of three games featuring ranked teams against each other. The Blue Devils travel across the Appomattox River Bridge west on Route 10 riding a six-game winning streak, while Thomas Dale needs a win to solidify their #3 seed currently in Region 6B behind leader Colonial Forge and Manchester. Hopewell has closed the gap some with I.C.Norcom, who lost last week to see Phoebus overtake them for the top spot in Region 3A. This game, as we mentioned on the "On The Sidelines Wednesday Playbook" with Marc Davis Wednesday on Facebook Live could be anything from a defensive slugfest to a track meet, with athletes all over the field on both sides in all three phases of the game. Special teams could drop a big difference-maker in this one. The good news for both teams is a loss won't damage playoff hopes, as both are closing in on first round home games. The Knights and Blue Devils have split their last two meetings. (TWITTER: @MattNBC12, @TheRVASportsNet and @cfieldsports)

#12 Varina (5-2) at #9 Lee-Davis (6-1), 7pm: These Blue Devils are coming off a tough home loss in the final minute to Henrico last week, failing to capitalize on the momentum coming off a big shutout win the week before at Patrick Henry. Lee-Davis comes off a great second half performance in their Stew Bowl win at Atlee. This is Lee-Davis' biggest test since Highland Springs four weeks ago, and that game didn't go well for the Confederates. The latest Region 5B standings go like this:

3) L.C. Bird: 27.571
4) Henrico: 27.429
5) Lee-Davis: 27.143
6) Varina: 25.571

The winner is guaranteed to vault over Henrico into fourth place, thanks to bonus points (two for every win). The Warriors face one-win Hanover. If Monacan knocks off L.C. Bird, the #3 seed is in play, which few people thought could happen. So, both teams are rooting for Monacan, and Hanover. Again, another game with playmakers everywhere, and another game where a special teams play may turn the tide. (TWITTER: @Cameron9408, @hanoversports, @henricosports)

#7 L.C. Bird (5-2) at #4 Monacan (7-0), 7:30pm: It's Senior Night for the Chiefs, whose senior class has been a catalyst to returning a winning tradition to Monacan. But one thing they haven't done is beat L.C. Bird. In fact, they haven't come close, losing by 30 plus points each of the last three seasons. You have to go back to 2010 for the last time the Chiefs lost by just one possession. The Chiefs seek their first win over the Skyhawks this century, while the Skyhawks seek to put last week's disappointing home loss to Manchester behind them. C.J. Donaldson had a big night against the Lancers, can L.C. Bird use a bit of James River on Monacan and try to dominate time of possession with their traditional ground attack? Remember, Monacan is dealing with three other unbeaten teams in their region, Region 4B, while the Skyhawks (see above) are fighting to keep the #3 seed in Region 5B while trying to keep hopes alive to move even higher. (TWITTER: @cfieldsports)

Douglas Freeman (4-4) at #1 Hermitage (8-0), 7pm: It's Senior Night for the Panthers, a class whose three-year regular season record stands at an astounding 27-1. Between them and 9-0 is a Rebel squad who has, by their recent standards, underachieved, but still enter the night as the eighth and final seed in Region 5B. Jack Pollard and Korey Cooper need big nights offensively, as Hermitage will get their points. It's the Panther defensive unit who is key here. If they shut down the Rebel offense, it could be a very happy Senior Night. But even with a loss, Freeman will still be playing for the postseason on their Senior Night next Friday against archrival Mills Godwin, who has a titanic game tonight themselves (see below). (TWITTER: @Noah9700 and @henricosports)

Petersburg (3-4) at #2 Dinwiddie (7-0), 7pm: The Generals seek to take another step closer to another 10-0 regular season as the Crimson Wave enter on the outside looking in in Region 3A, in 11th place, 1.52 points behind #8 Park View-South Hill. Dinwiddie is atop Region 4B, looking at fellow unbeatens Monacan, Louisa and Eastern View right behind them. A Dinwiddie win and a Monacan win likely gives the Chiefs the #1 seed, for this week. Get the job done tonight, Generals, and you'll have the chance to retake #1 next week against Hopewell. (TWITTER: @TheRVASportsNet)

#5 Manchester (6-1) at Clover Hill (2-6), 7pm: The Lancers are sky high after surviving in Chester last week, and still hoping that maybe, with a win tonight and next Friday against a possible 9-0 Hermitage could pull them up to current #1 seed Colonial Forge (8-0) in Region 6B. Two late losses by Forge would do the trick. But the Cavaliers have a lot to play for, too, behind #6 Franklin County by 2.25 points, and leading #8 Cosby by just 1.214 points. If Cosby knocks off Midlothian, Clover Hill, even with a head-to-head win over the Titans earlier this season, could be on the outside looking in with two weeks to go. (TWITTER: @callieyost45 and @cfieldsports)

#10 Henrico (5-2) at Hanover (1-6), 7pm: The Hawks are in "win now" mode, running out of time to enter the top eight in Region 4B, currently ninth, two points behind Courtland. Henrico looks to not get caught in a "trap game" on the schedule after an emotional victory last week at Varina. Lawrence Chambers looks to have a big night, but Hanover did score a season-high 20 points last week when their comeback effort at Patrick Henry fell just short. Henrico's defense, however, continues to impress, and will pose a big test for Hanover. Henrico hosts Lee-Davis next Friday on the Game of The Week. (TWITTER: @andy_loce15 @hanoversports and @henricosports)

Randolph-Henry (0-7) at #11 Goochland (7-0), 7pm: The Bulldogs are within a point of the top seed in Region 2A, but a win tonight over a winless team wouldn't yield any bonus points. The more important news is that their margin over #3 seed Amelia is at nearly four points. They want that cushion as big as possible as their date with the Raiders looms in two weeks on Goochland's Senior Night. Coach Joe Fowler's crew looks to keep the ship moving in the right direction. (TWITTER: @TheRVASportsNet)

Midlothian (4-3) at Cosby (1-6), 7pm: Cosby is another team whose time is running out. It's Senior Night for the Titans, with trips ahead to James River and L.C. Bird. One victory may be enough to sneak into the #7 seed in Region 6B if Clover Hill can't win another game. But it will be difficult against a Trojan team firmly in the playoff mix in Region 4B in one of their most competitive seasons in recent years. With Patrick Henry and Huguenot nipping on their heels, the fifth-seeded Trojans need a win to prevent a fall to sixth or even seventh, with tough games ahead with both Monacan and James River. (TWITTER: @cfieldsports)

George Wythe (0-7) at Huguenot (3-4), 5pm: The Falcons look to keep pace with Midlothian and Patrick Henry in the second half of the top eight in Region 4B. No bonus points for beating a winless team, but tons of confidence for Huguenot with any victory, as they look ahead and see Clover Hill and Monacan left on the schedule. The Falcons' last three games? All at home. (TWITTER: @TheRVASportsNet)

Patrick Henry (4-3) at Armstrong (2-5), 7pm: The Patriots righted the ship last week beating Hanover, and even though they fell one position in Region 4B, they're on the right track for the playoffs. Getting a road win at the Wildcats' Homecoming won't be easy. Armstrong can put up points, and they dare not get in a track meet with them. Look for Samandre Williams and Terrance Oxendine to be keys to the Patriot offense. With Highland Springs and Lee-Davis still ahead, this is an important game for Patrick Henry to win. Armstrong is in a tie for sixth in Region 3B, and could use one more win to ensure a playoff berth. (TWITTER: @hanoversports, @TheRVASportsNet)

Meadowbrook (2-5) at Matoaca (2-5), 7pm: This is an elimination game for the homestanding Warriors, while the only reason it is not for the Monarchs is due to their rugged overall schedule yielding more bonus points. Remember, if a team you lose to wins, you get a bonus point per win in the VHSL ratings formula. They've played L.C. Bird, Varina, Thomas Dale, Dinwiddie and Highland Springs. However, Meadowbrook would need all Colonial District Region 5B teams (Freeman, Deep Run, Godwin, Glen Allen, J.R. Tucker) to somehow go 4-6, and that's not likely. Matoaca, Glen Allen, and Atlee all face virtual elimination with a sixth loss tonight. (TWITTER: @cfieldsports)

Glen Allen (2-5) at Mills Godwin (3-4), 7pm: Another elimination game, this one for Glen Allen, who is hoping Devin Flowers will be to Glen Allen what Wesley Duggar was for most of last year with Mills Godwin. He scored five touchdowns last week in the win over John Marshall. If Flowers and the Jaguar rushing attack gets going, that's not good for an Eagles team which has struggled to produce consistently on offense this season. A loss severely hurts Mills Godwin's chances, but a loss for Glen Allen likely ends theirs. Our Robbie Witham will be live at Axselle Stadium with updates all evening. (TWITTER: @henricosports)

J.R. Tucker (3-4) at Thomas Jefferson (4-3), Saturday, 12pm: The Tigers have not seen the postseason this century, and in past years, this game would be a win J.R. Tucker could count on. Not this year. It's possibly the best season for the Vikings in a generation, seeking their first overall winning season in 41 years. The Tigers will have to do what Glen Allen and Deep Run couldn't do the past two weeks, stop Thomas Jefferson's offense. 55 against the Jaguars, 29 at Deep Run. The Vikings are the top seed in Region 3B and are for real. The Tigers have the advantage of playing last, knowing exactly what implications will be in Region 5B with a win, or, a loss. Thomas Jefferson won this game a year ago. (TWITTER: @henricosports, @TheRVASportsNet)

John Marshall (1-6) at Deep Run (3-4), 7pm: Last week's hiccup to Thomas Jefferson hurts Deep Run, but didn't knock them out of the top eight in Region 5B. The Wildcats need a win here, and will root for Hermitage over Douglas Freeman, Thomas Jefferson over J.R. Tucker, and Matoaca and Glen Allen to beat Meadowbrook and Mills Godwin respectively. First things first, take care of the Justices, who looked good in their opening game, but have lost six straight since, but, with a win here, vaults into the Region 3B playoff conversation, one they haven't been a part of. Yet. (TWITTER: @TheRVASportsNet, @henricosports)

Prince George (3-4) at Colonial Heights (3-4), 7pm: The Colonials have fallen out of the top eight in Region 3A, and tonight could be their last best chance to get a much needed victory, as Appomattox is 6-1, Dinwiddie is 7-0. But they host a Royals team squarely in the middle of the craziness at the bottom part of the Region 5B race, currently tenth, less than a point out of the eighth and final playoff spot. The Colonials won this game in 2015, Prince George took the win a year ago. (TWITTER: @TheRVASportsNet)

OTHER GAMES:

Collegiate at Fork Union, 3:30pm
Caroline at Chancellor, 7pm
Louisa at Orange, 7pm
Powhatan at Monticello, 7:30pm
Essex at Lancaster, 7pm
Amelia at Central-Lunenburg, 7pm
Middlesex at King William, 7pm
Charles City at King & Queen, 7pm

IDLE: James River

6B WATCH: Colonial Forge (IDLE), Mountain View at Riverbend, Franklin County at George Washington

4B WATCH: Eastern View (IDLE), James Monroe at Courtland, Spotsylvania at King George

3A WATCH: Maury at I.C. Norcom
2A WATCH: Poquoson at Bruton
1A WATCH: Sussex Central at Brunswick, West Point at Mathews

CLICK HERE to see the latest VHSL Football Standings.


















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