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Thursday, October 14, 2021


Are you ready?

It's time to kick off the final four weeks (already?!?) of the 2021 high school football season, filled with twists, turns, changes, more changes, and a lot of unanswered questions. Precious few will be answered this week, but maybe we'll get some clues as to what to expect the rest of the way.


--Cosby has scheduled another game against L.C. Bird, whom they've never defeated, for Friday. Cosby officials tell RVA Sports Network they preferred to play a game this week rather than accept the forfeit from their originally scheduled game against Huguenot because it is their Homecoming weekend. That's perfectly understandable. Just ask Prince George.

--James River has appealed their two forfeit losses from September due to use of an ineligible player. The Virginia High School League (VHSL) will make a decision at some point. Entering this week, the Rapids, once 5-2, are now 3-4.


HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL FRIDAY NIGHT: #11 Hermitage (3-2) at #12 Douglas Freeman (6-1): Our radio game this week on Rejoice 101.3 FM and 990 AM features two of the top four teams in Region 5C, the homestanding Mavericks, ranked third behind Midlothian and Highland Springs, and the Panthers, coming in fourth. With both Glen Allen and Mills Godwin looming behind Hermitage in fifth and sixth and both with big games this week, while neither the Panthers or Mavericks winning are good news, a Douglas Freeman win could draw them closer to Hermitage. You can't climb to the #3 seed until you've been #4.

#2 Manchester (4-1) at #9 Midlothian (5-0): Each team currently leads their regions, the Lancers in 6A, the Trojans in 5C, and both have legacy teams nipping at their heels, Oscar Smith in 6A and Highland Springs in 5C. This is Midlothian's moment. To be considered a true threat to supplant the Springers down the line in Region 5C, they must defeat a Manchester team who lost in their opener to Highland Springs 27-20, and haven't been defeated since.

#1 Highland Springs (5-2) at Hanover (3-2): It is a tough enough task for Sam Rogers' Hawks, if they have to go to battle without quarterback Cole Elrod, all the worse. The Springers are playing their second game this week after defeating Henrico 35-0 on the road on Tuesday. 

#3 Varina (5-0) at Atlee (4-2): It's Homecoming at Atlee (and several other locations), but the Raiders have a tall task trying to bring down one of three unbeatens left in Class 4, Region B. The Blue Devils saw their third place position in Region 4B taken away by Matoaca due to midweek results, so not only are they trying to keep Dinwiddie and King George in their sights, they deal with Matoaca, too. For Atlee (and Hanover above), a chance to pull a big upset and skyrocket in the Region 4B standings.

Monacan (3-3) at James River (3-4): The Chiefs are young, feisty, and trying to remain in the Region 4B playoff race. Currently in tenth, over a point behind Atlee and Hanover, who are tied for eighth, this game would have had four extra VHSL rider points at stake had the James River forfeits not happened. For the Rapids, a win here could help create some separation with rival Cosby and Floyd Kellam, who enter this week tied for 8th in Region 6A at 22 points. James River is a 22.714.

#10 Hopewell (3-2) at #6 Thomas Dale (5-1): The Knights will be dangerous the rest of the way, as they continue to deal with so many emotions. Head Coach Kevin Tucker and his staff is doing a good job so far in making sure the emotions do not become distractions, but rather motivations. The Knights are #4 in Region 6A with Ocean Lakes just a half-point behind them. For Hopewell, they lose to unbeaten Dinwiddie, then forfeit their earlier postponed game to Petersburg, temporarily putting the Crimson Wave ahead of them in Region 3A (#6 vs #7). The Blue Devils are used to being near the top of their region, and have serious work ahead of them to even earn one home game come playoff time. A win in this game would go a long way to keeping them in the conversation.

#5 Matoaca (5-1) at Prince George (1-4): This game will likely be sneaky good. Prince George had a monster early schedule, finally getting a first victory last week. Tahir Johnson and Curtis Allen can score at any time. But so can "the Brothers Johnson" of Matoaca. A Royals win likely propels them into the top eight in Region 5C (they're currently 10th at 19.4 points. #8 J.R. Tucker is at 20.2), while the Warriors are desperately trying, with one loss, to keep up with the three unbeatens in 4B: Dinwiddie, King George and Varina.

#4 Dinwiddie (4-0) at Petersburg (4-2): The Generals are rolling, and look to continue to do so on the road against a Petersburg team that has everything to play for here. An upset of the unbeatens sends the Crimson Wave a major step closer to the Region 3A playoffs. It would also help keep Hopewell, and even New Kent, at bay. Right now in 3A, Phoebus is lapping the field.

Eastern View (3-2) at Spotsylvania (3-3): Two teams north of Richmond, both in Region 4B and on the outside looking in entering Week 8. The Cyclones are normally among the best teams in the region, but they struggled in the spring season, and are struggling, by their standards, again this fall. The Knights had a chance to move up last week, but fell in a mild upset to Culpeper County.

Chancellor (2-1) at King George (5-0): We'll get a much better idea who Chancellor really is as they travel to the defending Region 4B champions, who get a forfeit win from Caroline, and, yes, they are still trying to figure out a way to complete the suspended 14-14 tie with Lafayette from late August, way back in Week 1. Teams like Patrick Henry and Powhatan, who want to make a late run for the top four and the right to host a first round playoff game on November 12, need a King George win.

Powhatan (4-2) at Clover Hill (2-4): The Indians, coming off their most disappointing game of the season falling hard to James River, look to right the ship against the Class 5 Cavaliers, who, with a win, can, like Prince George, get right back into the top eight in Region 5C. Powhatan is keeping a sharp eye on Monacan this week as they get James River, and will keep track of Atlee and Hanover as well, while Clover Hill wants a win, losses for L.C. Bird and J.R. Tucker, and a Matoaca win over Prince George.

J.R. Tucker (3-2) at Thomas Jefferson (5-1), Saturday, 12pm: The Tigers have been exposed the last two weeks with big losses at the hands of rivals Hermitage and Glen Allen. They also have a precarious roster situation with most players having to play both ways, especially along the lines. This program hasn't seen the postseason in ages, and, after their best start in 29 years, they don't want to see it slip away. The Vikings enter with an extra week's preparation knowing wins over Class 5 schools give them critical extra rider points fighting the likes of Nottoway, Amelia, and King William for playoff position at the top of Region 2A.


Glen Allen at Fauquier
Mills Godwin at Deep Run
Mechanicsville at Henrico
Armstrong at #8 Patrick Henry
Colonial Heights at Meadowbrook
Goochland at Monticello
Louisa at Western Albemarle
Cumberland at Amelia
New Kent at Grafton, at Bailey Field
Lafayette at King William
Essex at Colonial Beach
Nottoway at Buckingham
Woodberry Forest at St. Christopher's, Saturday, 2pm
Collegiate at Benedictine, Friday, 3:45pm

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