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Thursday, September 12, 2019

Week 3 Football Preview

Let's take a look at the games this week, many of which could come into play when we're crunching the numbers for playoff spots in early November!

Meadowbrook (0-2) vs. #1 Highland Springs (2-0), 7pm: The Springers pass one of their toughest tests in a revamped regular season schedule with a huge defensive performance in their 13-6 win over Oscar Smith Saturday night in Virginia Beach. They'll have an easier time with Meadowbrook, struggling out of the gate, and still searching for their first win since 2017.

#2 Thomas Dale (2-0) at Hermitage (1-1), 7pm: The Knights have yet to allow a point this season in wins over Region 6A rival Cosby and longtime rival L.C. Bird. Now it's a trip north to Chester Fritz Stadium against an improve Hermitage squad that took #6 Henrico to overtime before falling 20-14 last week.

#3 Manchester (1-0) at #7 Monacan (1-0), 7:30pm: The Chiefs come off an opening 27-0 win at Hanover, but take a huge step up in competition with a Lancers squad who had over two weeks to learn from their come from behind, double overtime win before Labor Day at #5 Varina. J.J. Allen must have a fantastic game at quarterback and the Monacan defense can't let the Lancers get a two-possession lead. Be within a touchdown in the fourth quarter, and anything can happen.

I.C. Norcom (2-0) at #4 Hopewell (1-0), 7pm: Merner Field should be rocking Friday, as the Blue Devils, who shut out Norcom to open the 2018 campaign, only to lose to them 14-12 in a shocking first round playoff exit to end last season, look for a measure of revenge. More importantly, Hopewell looks to keep pace at the top of Region 3A, with a long way to go and teams like Thomas Dale, Dinwiddie, and Petersburg still to come.

Matoaca (1-0) at #5 Varina (1-1), 7pm: The homestand continues for these Blue Devils, as the Warriors come in with a 1-0 start for the first time since 2017. However, that first win, over Cosby two years ago, was followed by a five-game losing streak. Matoaca will have to find the end zone more, only scoring one touchdown in their overtime win over Powhatan, 9-6, last Friday.

#6 Henrico (2-0) at #11 Deep Run (2-0), 7pm: This is the NBC12 On The Sidelines Game of The Week as Eric McDaniels and the Warriors visit Bo Kite and the Wildcats. This game has it all, and will be won, as many games are, across the line. The team that gets the push for their rushing game gets the advantage. On what could be a wet evening, possession of the football will be key, too. Turnovers could play a big role. Henrico finally gets to open their new Chappell Field next week against Patrick Henry. The winner here has a nice advantage in Region 5B going into their district schedules.

North Stafford vs. #8 Dinwiddie (1-1), 7pm: The Generals are not afraid of a strong schedule. First, a win over George Washington, then, a loss at perennial Class 5 contender Massaponax. Now, here comes a quality North Stafford team that also is in the mix up north in Class 5. Dinwiddie's top priority is finding their footing on defense after giving up 89 points in their first two games.

Massaponax (2-0) at #9 Louisa (2-0), 7:30pm: This could be the game of the night. The Panthers come in over the home win with Dinwiddie, while Louisa has already notched two wins over Region 4B rivals and is one of five 2-0 teams in the region (Patrick Henry, Spotsylvania, Eastern View, King George). We'll be surprised if this game isn't in the 30's.

Huguenot (1-0) at #10 L.C. Bird (0-1), 7pm: The Skyhawks battled Thomas Dale hard for a half, then the Knights' athleticism took the game over. L.C. Bird gets a tricky test from Kevin Gayles and the Falcons, who have only played one half of football, seeing Jamestown "call" their opener two weeks ago after a half due to player participation issues. Can the Falcons pull off the upset? Or, do the Skyhawks get in gear?

Glen Allen (0-1) at Patrick Henry (2-0), 7pm: Suddenly, this becomes a marquee game this week. The reason? Devin Flowers and the Jaguars can ill afford to start 0-2 in crowded Region 5B. New Patriots head coach Ken Wakefield has his offense rolling, with 85 points in their two victories. But Flowers should provide a top test for Patrick Henry's front seven defensively. Force the Jags into a pass first game, and the advantage could be with Patrick Henry. Conversely, what if the Jaguars slow down red hot Alex Sikkar of the Patriots? What would be Plan B?

Mills Godwin (1-1) at Atlee (0-1), 7pm: Our Game of The Week in prime time is an early test in Region 5B, as the Eagles look for back to back wins while the Raiders look to square their record in the midst of a three-game homestand to start their season. Any team starting 0-3 in Region 5B finds themselves in big trouble early in the race for the eight postseason positions. The Eagles have avoided that, now the Raiders must do so, as Douglas Freeman looms next week.

Douglas Freeman (1-1) at Lee-Davis (0-2), 7pm: Region 4B has a similar problem. With sixteen teams now, five, as mentioned above, are already at 2-0. Lee-Davis is one of five teams at 0-2. Will Michael Joyce be back at quarterback? Can Lee-Davis avoid the turnover bug, which plagued them in losses to Deep Run and Mills Godwin? The Rebels really need to be 2-1 with region rivals Atlee and Mills Godwin to finish September.

Midlothian (1-0) at Clover Hill (1-0), 7pm: No one saw this game coming in June. Now, two newcomers to Region 5B look to plant their flag in the crowded playoff race, the Trojans off their come from behind 21-17 win over Glen Allen, while the Cavaliers beat Mills Godwin to open 2019 26-7. The winner joins several teams with 2-0 starts. Highland Springs, Prince George, and the Deep Run/Henrico will could all be 3-0 by the time we're live on "On The Sidelines Extra" on the NBC12 Facebook page late Friday night. Three of the last four games were decided by one possession, and the Cavs look for their first win in the series since 2015.

Prince George (2-0) at Churchland, 7pm: The Royals are making noise! With some young talent, especially in the offensive game, Prince George will prove themselves to be a real playoff contender in the Region 5B gauntlet should they return from Tidewater at 3-0. They've won with defense (Douglas Freeman) and offense (J.R. Tucker) at home. Now they must hit the road to prove worthiness in the discussion.

Thomas Jefferson (2-0) at Amelia, 7pm: If the Vikings, who open 2-0 for the first time since 2013, want to be in the discussion for a high seed in their first season in Region 2A, there's no better way to prove it than to go to Amelia and beat a Raider team that annually is fighting for the top of the region. With Goochland now in Region 3B, could we see these two play again come November?

George Wythe at Powhatan (0-1), 7pm: Mike Henderson's crew, coming off a disappointing opening loss in overtime, look to square their record in a battle of now Dominion District AND Region 4B rivals. The Indians' next two games? At Midlothian and at Clover Hill. It's a new world for Powhatan.

Hanover (0-1) at Chancellor (0-2), 7pm: There were a lot of positives for Hanover in their first game, albeit a defeat to a superior Monacan team. They can drive the football, they made good defense adjustments during the game. They can't afford injuries. It's a young roster with just four seniors, and little depth. A win Friday would provide a ton of confidence with much tougher opponents, even better in some cases than Monacan, just around the corner.

Catholic at Collegiate (0-1), 4pm: Our afternoon Game of The Week broadcast features a Cougar team needing a win to avoid a losing record in a three-game homestand to start the season. Catholic, formerly known as Bishop Sullivan Catholic, lost earlier in the season to Benedictine. They will provide a great test for the Cougars, led by Nigel Williams, who verbally committed to Wake Forest earlier this week.

ALSO:

Booker T. Washington at Petersburg (1-1)
Colonial Heights (0-2) at Park View-South Hill
Goochland (0-1) at Buckingham
Nottoway at Cumberland
King William at Essex

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