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#1 Highland Springs (6-0) at #2 Manchester (5-0), 7pm: We fully expect this game to sell out, so CLICK HERE to buy tickets before they're gone. With the Lancers' move down to Class 5 this season, this game is a rare matchup between two defending state champions who now will fight each other come playoff time. Our key to this game? The first quarter. Both teams historically race out to leads early. Can either team do that here? 14-14 and 0-0 scores are both entirely possible Friday. A reminder that, when the season ends, we'll divide Highland Springs' power points by nine, not ten, as their game with Avalon of Maryland, a private school, does not count.
#3 Hopewell (5-0) at Petersburg (2-3), 5:30pm: Will the Blue Devil Express keep on rolling this week or does athletic Petersburg catch them in a daze after their big win over Thomas Dale last Friday? Will TreVeyon Henderston score his 20th touchdown of the season? Lots will be answered in this game, which, if seedings hold, could be a Region 3A First Round game.
GAME OF THE WEEK: #4 Varina (5-1) at Patrick Henry (4-2), airtime 6:30pm on 102.9 The Mater, or, CLICK HERE to listen online!
The Blue Devils are rolling, winners of five straight after their opening week double overtime loss to Manchester. Their 56-7 win over 757 power Lake Taylor was particularly eye-opening. But key to Varina's success this season is their ability to spread the ball around to lots of athletes who can score every time they get the football. That will be a tall task to slow down for the Patrick Henry defense. Win or lose, the Patriots can learn a lot about their team, and their abilities, against, arguably, the best opponent on their schedule. Both of these teams will play past November 8th in their respective regions. We look forward to bringing you this game on Friday night!
#5 Louisa (5-0) at Monticello, 7pm: Will the beat go on for the Lions? It should, facing a 1-5 Monticello squad. In fact, only one team currently over .500 remains on Louisa's schedule: Fluvanna. If Eastern View runs the table and goes 10-0, they'll have to beat Courtland, King George, Spotsylvania and Chancellor. Courtland is the only team under .500 entering Week 7. The race to the top in Region 4B seems to be settling into a two team race, unless Patrick Henry or Spotsylvania, who have a bye this week, can make some serious noise down the stretch.
#6 Deep Run (5-0) at #9 Douglas Freeman (5-1), 7pm: It's been awhile since these two teams have met with combined records such as these. Deep Run was considered a team on the rise, but many are surprised at the rapid rate of ascension up the Region 5B standings. Meanwhile, Douglas Freeman quietly went about their business after the departure of Mike Henderson to Powhatan, hiring from within, then bouncing back from an opening loss to Prince George to rip off five straight wins. If the Wildcats are able to control Andrew Bland and win the game, they'll be favorites in their final four contests. The Rebels, with a win, would also be favored in their final three games: Hermitage, John Marshall, and Glen Allen.
Meadowbrook (0-5) at #8 Thomas Dale (3-2), 7pm: Chris Tyree may, or may not, be back this week after missing the Knights' loss at Hopewell. They may not need him this week, and have the luxury to save him for another week as Thomas Dale has a plethora of weapons to use against a Meadowbrook team that has underperformed on both sides of the ball. The Knights dropped from second to fourth in Region 6A, and wants a win to stay in that top four, where you find yourself at home come First Round Friday on November 15.
Midlothian (1-4) at #7 Monacan (4-1), 7:30pm: The Trojans have struggled since winning their opener. Meanwhile, Monacan's only loss was to #2 Manchester. No shame there. You may recall that the Trojans took down the Chiefs for their biggest win of 2018 en route to their second straight playoff appearance. Monacan wouldn't mind a little revenge, and the ability to take a step forward in the Region 4B playoff race. A loss for Midlothian would make it that they'd likely need to win out and get help for a bid in Region 5B.
#11 Matoaca (4-1) at Dinwiddie (2-3), 7pm: Navy Nation got back on track with a win over Petersburg last week and now prepare to host Matoaca, the latest surprise team from the Central District that handed early season darlings Prince George a 33-14 defeat. Dinwiddie needs to stop Marcus Dreher after he accounted for all five Warrior touchdowns last week. It's simple for the up and coming Warriors. If you're in it in the fourth quarter, pull out all the stops, and believe you can win. For Dinwiddie, it's time to build off last week, get back to .500, and possibly, depending on other game results, return to the top eight in Region 4B.
#12 Thomas Jefferson (4-1) vs. John Marshall (3-2), Saturday, 1pm, Huguenot HS: First, congratulations to the Vikings for making the NBC12/RVA Sports Network Big 12 High School Football Poll for the first time! TJ enters this rivalry showdown as the top seed in Region 2A. In fifth stands John Marshall, a program desperately trying to follow the footsteps of Thomas Jefferson when it comes to turning a program around and becoming a consistent playoff team. Huguenot should be rocking on Saturday!
Atlee (2-3) at Henrico (3-3), 7pm: A quick look at the Region 5B Region Standings show you how important this game is for the Raiders. They stand in eleventh place. The two teams in front of them also out of the top eight, #9 Clover Hill and #10 L.C. Bird, face off Friday. So, a win over Henrico vaults Atlee back into the playoff talk. However, a Henrico win will force Atlee to have to beat Lee-Davis, Hanover and either Varina or Highland Springs down the stretch to have a chance at the poseason. A 4-6 record likely won't cut it. Henrico realizes this, too, and will certainly look to Eric McDaniels to have a big night, as the Warriors try to keep the Cavaliers, Skyhawks and Raiders all at bay and keep that final playoff berth.
Hermitage (2-4 at Glen Allen (2-3), 7pm: It is crunch time for both teams, on the outside looking in in Region 5B. The Jaguars sit in 13th, 2.7 points out of eighth place, while the Panthers are 12th, just under two points away from eighth. Clover Hill, Atlee and L.C. Bird are all between them and that eighth and final seed. The Jaguars finally looked like the team that won nine games in 2018 in their victory over Mills Godwin last week, while Hermitage was rocked by Maury, who will likely go very deep in the Class 5 playoffs out of Region 5A. Can The Herm slow down Devin Flowers? That's the top question going into this one.
Powhatan (3-2) at Cosby (4-1), 7:30pm: Who saw Cosby's four-game winning streak coming out of such a rough opening night loss at Thomas Dale? We did not. Now, they host a Powhatan team that fell in the Region 4B standings after their loss last week. The loser hear takes a hit in their respectively region standings but should still be in good shape for the stretch run. For both teams, defense is critical, and the better defense should win. Don't be surprised if a special teams play makes a difference.
Colonial Heights (1-5) at Prince George (3-2), 7pm: The Royals will have a chance to bounce back from the loss at Matoaca, hosting the Colonials, who earned their first win last week 14-11 over Meadowbrook. If the Royals are for real, they don't allow a hangover from the Matoaca game, go home, and get their business taken care of. If you're the Colonials, it's simple. Build on the Meadowbrook win, the confidence derived, and try for a 2-5 record as Matoaca comes in next Friday to Colonial Heights.
L.C. Bird (3-2) at Clover Hill (3-2), 7pm: This may be the game of the night when all is said and done. The reason? The teams are ninth and tenth in Region 5B. A win, and a 4-2 record entering the homestretch of the regular season, is huge. A loss, and a 3-3 mark, isn't season shattering, but wins will become more important. Teams who want to make the playoffs in Region 5B should plan on having a minimum of six wins. This game will tell us if the Cavaliers have "arrived" on their comeback tour, while for the Skyhawks, this is a game they historically win to help them clinch a postseason bid. Will that trend continue?
#10 Benedictine at Collegiate, 3:30pm (CLICK HERE to listen live, or listen on 102.9 The Mater): The Cadets, despite a loss to Georgetown Prep, remains atop the VISAA Division I poll,but their lead over St. Christopher's, who are second, is now very slender. Enter the Collegiate Cougars, who ranked third, less than a half point out of second, six-tenths of a point from first. Will Nigel Williams be ready after missing the second half and overtime in last Friday's win over Woodberry Forest? We'll find out live on The Mater on radio and the RVA Sports Network online.
NOTE: St. Christopher's is at Flint Hill and Trinity Episcopal is at Fork Union, both on Saturday at 1pm.
OTHER GAMES OF NOTE:
James River (0-5) at Huguenot (2-3), 7pm
J.R. Tucker (1-4) at Mills Godwin (2-4), 7pm
Armstrong (1-5) at Lee-Davis (1-4), 7pm
George Wythe (0-5) at Hanover (0-5), 7pm
Goochland (4-1) at Prince Edward (1-4), 7pm
Caroline (1-4) at Chancellor (3-3), 7pm
King William (4-1) at Warhill (5-0), 7pm
Central Lunenburg (3-3) at Amelia (3-2), 7pm
Northumberland (4-1) at Essex (4-1), 7pm
King & Queen Central (5-0) at Mathews (1-4), 7pm