North Stafford (3-0) at #1 Highland Springs, 7pm: It is, as of this time, closing night for Kreiter Stadium as the Springers have won 22 regular season games and 32 games in a row overall. North Stafford comes in after posting a 33-29 win at #12 Dinwiddie. It's another step in the land mine of a schedule the Springers made, on purpose, to get their team as prepared for the postseason as possible. The Highland Springs schedule gets crazy after this week, going to Greensboro, North Carolina to face Walter Hines Page High School next Friday, then to rival Henrico October 4th before the highly anticipated showdown between the #1 Springers and #2 Manchester Lancers October 11th.
Clover Hill (2-0) at #2 Manchester (2-0), 7pm: Gut check time for a Clover Hill team desperately wanting to be considered a serious contender in Region 5B. No better yet for that to happen than beating the defeating Class 6 state champions in their home opener. The Lancers haven't missed a beat, with a come from behind double overtime win at Varina, then, last Friday, a 34-12 victory over #11 Monacan. The winner keeps pace with the top of the pack in Region 5B.
#3 Hopewell (2-0) at #8 Henrico (2-1), 7pm: We welcome the new synthetic turf field at Chappell Stadium on the Henrico campus as the Warriors look to bounce back from their 35-24 loss at Deep Run last week. Hopewell looks to keep the pedal down on offense, specifically Treveyon Henderson, who scored four of his five touchdowns in the I.C. Norcom win with a minute to spare in the first half. This game features, perhaps, the top two players in the area for the Class of 2021, as the Blue Devil defense must figure out a way to slow down big tailback Eric McDaniels.
#4 Varina (2-1) at #9 Hermitage (2-1), 7pm: We were besieged with questions from Hermitage fans last Friday night on "On The Sidelines Extra" on the NBC12 Facebook page as to whether the Panthers would finally return to the polls. Indeed they did, debuting all the way up at #9. Another way to signal your program's return would be to hold serve at home against a very familiar non-district foe in Varina. The Blue Devils know how disappointing seasons feel in this decade. Stu Brown and company have things turned around and are a few plays away from being 3-0. Chester Fritz Stadium should be packed.
NOTE: Varina/Hermitage is the NBC12 "On The Sidelines Game of The Week"
GAME OF THE WEEK: #6 Deep Run (3-0) at Patrick Henry (3-0), 6:30pm, 102.9 The Mater (102.9 FM/1430 AM, @TuneIn Radio app on "Radiall")
CLICK HERE to listen live online to the Wildcats and Patriots!
This game features two of the top producing quarterbacks in the area in Bo Kite of Deep Run and Alex Sikkar of Patrick Henry. Both are threats in their passing game, but containing their rushing attack should be the higher priority of both defenses. The defense that wins the push at the line of scrimmage more consistently should lead its team to victory, unless a team commits too many turnovers and doesn't convert in the red zone.
These two teams have played some classic games on "The Mater" over the years, including back to back 21-20 overtime games, the 2005 game won by Patrick Henry, the 2006 edition won by Deep Run.
#11 Monacan (1-1) at James River (0-2), 7pm: No longer the "Henderson Bowl", the Chiefs look to implement improvements they saw on film after their loss to Manchester. No trip to James River is easy, but if the Chiefs play their best, they should improve to 2-1. That's important in the Region 4B playoff race, where Patrick Henry, Eastern View, #5 Louisa and Spotsylvania enter this week all at 3-0 already.
Atlee (1-1) at Douglas Freeman (2-1), 7pm: Here's a game between two Region 5B contenders much needed by both teams. The Rebels have the half-game advantage right now, one of nine teams ahead of Atlee entering Friday's play. It's simple. If you're Atlee, beat the Rebels to move a half-game ahead of them and draw closer to the top eight in the region. To do it, their offense must replicate their quick strike ability to eluded them in their opening loss to Deep Run, but was available in spades in their Game of The Week win over Mills Godwin. Four touchdown passes for Tyler Warren helped him to a night where he went 7-of-8 for 158 yards. The Rebels need to find the end zone with consistency. They struggled against an 0-3 Lee-Davis squad before finally putting the game away later.
Hanover (0-2) at Mills Godwin (1-2), 7pm: The homestanding Eagles were uncharacteristically undisciplined in their Atlee loss last Friday. They'll need to clean that up. Hanover finally found the red zone in the second half of their loss at Chancellor. For a team building for the future, every step is important. The Hawks' assignment this week is to win the war with your defensive line. You need possessions, you need to limit turnovers and, when you drive deep into Mills Godwin territory, you better cash it in. Expect a better night for quarterback Grayson Hanks.
Cosby (1-1) at Huguenot (2-0), 7pm: The Falcons are another team under deep consideration to enter the Big 12 poll. One drawback is they've only played six quarters of football so far this season. But their last four were mighty impressive, by going to Chester and holding the L.C. Bird Skyhawks to a single-digit point total. The Falcons can score, so Cosby, coming off their shutout win over James River, should be prepared for an aerial attack and a plethora of weapons that may remind them, to a point, of their opening opponent, Thomas Dale.
George Wythe (0-1) at L.C. Bird (0-2), 7pm: Speaking of the Skyhawks, they're unranked for the first time since we began the NBC12/RVA Sports Network High School Football Big 12 Poll. Their problem? No offense. They hope to right the ship Friday at home against a likely undermanned Bulldogs club who will find life tough in Region 4B.
Powhatan (1-1) at Midlothian (1-1), 7pm: The Trojans need a bounce back win as they welcome the newest member of the Dominion District. Both teams are 1-1, neither can afford to be 1-2 in their respective regions (Powhatan in 4B, Midlothian now in 5B). We cannot overemphasize the advantage being 2-1 will be in the winning team's respective playoff race.
Thomas Jefferson (2-1) at Greensville (1-1), 7pm: After narrowly missing out on a 3-0 start, falling 46-40 in overtime to perennial Region 2A power Amelia, the Vikings hit the road again, this time south towards the North Carolina border, to battle Greensville. It's yet another good test for Coach P.J. and his team. They've shown they can score with everyone so far. Future games still in the Colonial District (Glen Allen, J.R. Tucker, etc.) should give the Vikings a chance to have a winning record this season. Back in Region 3B, that could mean the top seed. In 2A, it's much more difficult.
Cumberland at Goochland (1-1), 7pm: This season has not started the way head coach Alex Fruth and the Bulldogs thought it would. First, a big loss in their opener, then, losing a game two weeks ago as Fork Union had overbooked their schedule. Now coming off an overtime scare with Buckingham, Goochland is in desperate need of a statement win, a win that was the norm each regular season over the past several years.
Flint Hill at Collegiate (1-1), 4pm: (Pregame Coverage at 3:30pm on 102.9 The Mater): This is another VISAA affair that likely will put up a lot of points. The Cougars won 41-33 with Catholic last week to even their record, and, before hitting the road to Episcopal next week, Nigel Williams and company need to keep the offense rolling, and find a way to help the defense slow down Flint Hill.
J.R. Tucker (1-1) at Matoaca (1-1)
Caroline (1-1) at King William (3-0)
Warhill at New Kent (2-0)
Southampton at Colonial Heights (0-3)
Essex at Franklin
Amelia at Prince Edward
Armstrong at Booker T. Washington
Sussex Central at Colonial Beach
King & Queen Central at Chincoteague
John Marshall at I.C. Norcom, 2pm
Norfolk Academy at St. Christopher's, 1pm
Bishop McNamara at Trinity Episcopal, 1pm
FRIDAY NIGHT AFTER THE GAMES:
9:30PM: RVA Sports Network Scoreboard Show on Game of The Week LIVE on 102.9 FM, 102.9 The Mater, plus online by clicking HERE and on the @TuneIn Radio app on "Radiall"! You'll hear from the winning head coach live, we'll get a live preview of "On The Sidelines" on NBC12 with Marc Davis, and the Luck Chevrolet Scoreboard will catch you up on all the Week 4 action!
11:15PM: "On The Sidelines" with Marc Davis on NBC12! Catch tons of highlights, get all the final scores, plus bonus coverage of NASCAR action at Richmond Raceway!
11:34PM: "On The Sidelines Extra" on the NBC12 Facebook page. You can join in the conversation! Bring us your questions and comments on the Week 4 action, plus we'll look ahead to Week 5, talk playoff implications and much more! It's #TheFinalWord on high school football every Friday night, so end your Football Friday with Marc Davis and Rob Witham LIVE by CLICKING HERE!