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Northwest Region in Review

This week was not last week.

In 11 Week 3 contests, each victorious -- Post-covered -- Northwest Region football team won its game by an average of 7.1 points. This week that number swelled to 23.3 points over nine contests, more than tripling last week’s margin of victory.

Needless to say, there were a few blowouts and few close ones.

It was also a week dominated by superb rushing performances. Stonewall Jackson amassed 342 rushing yards, while Woodbridge, Colonial Forge, Battlefield and Osbourn all accumulated more than 200 yards on the ground.

This runs perpendicular to last week where the three quarterbacks on my QB Watch -- Battlefield’s Bo Revell, Woodbridge’s Frank Buckley and Colonial Forge’s Blake Froanapfel -- combined for 553 yards and eight touchdowns without an interception.

So without further delay, here’s my best swing at making sense of Week 5 in The Great Northwest (scores, schedule and standings first) …

Week 4 Scores
Thursday, Sept. 17
Osbourn Park 28, Hylton 7
North Stafford 17, Potomac (Va.) 3
Battlefield 26, Gar-Field 6
Heritage 12, Colonial Forge 40
Forest Park 7, Stonewall Jackson 23
Loudoun Valley 20, Brooke Point 0
Freedom-Woodbridge 7, Osbourn 40
Charlottesville 28, Albemarle 13

Friday, Sept. 18
Woodbridge 41, Stafford 0
Riverbend 20, Chancellor 3

Open: Massaponax, Mountain View

Week 5 Games
Friday, Sept. 25
Osbourn at Osbourn Park, 7:30
Forest Park at Potomac, 7:30
Gar-Field at Freedom-Woodbridge, 7:30
Hylton at Battlefield, 7:30
Woodbridge at Stonewall Jackson, 7:30
Heritage at Loudoun Valley, 7:30
Albemarle at North Stafford, 7:30
Brooke Point at Mountain View, 7:30
Massaponax at Colonial Forge, 7:30
Riverbend at Stafford, 7:30

Open: None

Standings

Cardinal District (Overall, District)
Woodbridge (3-0, 0-0)
Osbourn Park (2-1, 1-0)
Gar-Field (2-2, 0-0)
Hylton (1-2, 0-1)
Freedom-Woodbridge (0-3, 0-0)
Forest Park (0-4, 0-0)
Potomac (0-4, 0-0)

Cedar Run District
Battlefield (4-0, 0-0)
Loudoun Valley (3-1, 0-0)
Osbourn (3-1, 0-0)
Stonewall Jackson (2-2, 0-0)
Heritage (0-3, 0-0)

Commonwealth District
Massaponax (3-0, 0-0)
North Stafford (3-0, 0-0)
Riverbend (3-0, 0-0)
Brooke Point (2-1, 0-0)
Colonial Forge (2-1, 0-0)
Mountain View (1-1, 0-0)
Stafford (1-2, 0-0)
Albemarle (0-3, 0-0)

Who’s Beatin’ Who?
Commonwealth -- 15-8 (.652)
Cedar Run -- 12-7 (.632)
Cardinal -- 8-16 (.333)

Game of the Week

Because of so many not-so-close games, this is kind of a difficult one to pick, but I think I’ll go with Loudoun Valley’s 20-0 upset of Brooke Point, just because it pushed Loudoun Valley’s unlikely record to 3-1 and served as a semi-upset over the previously unbeaten Black-Hawks.

Though the Vikings didn’t exactly stifle Brooke Point -- they were outgained, 336-214 -- they did just enough to get by and, of course, pitch a shutout.

Ricky Simmons had 92 yards and a touchdown on the ground for Loudoun Valley, while Andrew Taylor completed five of his 13 passes for 73 yards and a score. But perhaps most impressive, Loudoun Valley held Brooke Point’s E.L. Smiling to only three catches for 17 yards.

The QB Watch

Bo Revell (Battlefield) -- Revell completed 11 of his 18 passes for 149 yards and a touchdown during the Bobcats’ 26-6 win over Gar-Field, setting season-best marks for attempts, completions and yardage.

Frank Buckley (Woodbridge) -- Buckley was 7 of 18 for 86 yards during a run-dominated, 41-0 rout of Stafford. He was also intercepted once.

Blake Froanapfel (Colonial Forge) -- Like Buckley, Froanapfel wasn’t his team’s main primary cog during a blowout win. Though Colonial Forge beat Heritage, 40-12, he only threw for 63 yards and was intercepted twice.

State of the Commonwealth

At the beginning of the 2009 season, significant talk centered about Osbourn Park’s shift to the Cardinal for the first time since 2001 and how stacked that district will now be. A little more than a month later, well, maybe let’s re-think that one.

With Osbourn Park at 2-1, the Yellow Jackets are one of only three Cardinal teams with a non-losing record; Woodbridge is 3-0 while Gar-Field clocks in at 2-2 after its loss to Battlefield last week.

On the other hand, many thought the Commonwealth District was going to struggle. But in 23 games, Commonwealth teams have walked away with 15 victories, good enough for a winning percentage of .652. To compare, Cardinal teams have won only one third of the games they’ve played.

The five-team Cedar Run has been successful but disparate, with Battlefield, Osbourn and Loudoun Valley a combined 10-2 while Stonewall Jackson is 2-2 and Heritage is winless in three attempts.

Run, Run, Run

Having Stonewall Jackson’s Sean Blackman and Osbourn’s Vidal Greene on your high school fantasy football team might not have been a bad thing this week. Blackman, though he suffered a shoulder injury (read more below) in the fourth quarter of a 23-7 win over Forest Park, still ran for 263 yards and a touchdown on 26 carries.

Greene, who has become Osbourn’s primary source of offense with quarterback Thomas Keith out because of a knee injury, ran six times for 159 yards and three touchdowns. In his past two contests -- both wins for Osbourn (3-1) -- Green has carried the ball 25 times for 260 yards and a total of seven touchdowns.

During Colonial Forge’s 40-12 win over Heritage, the Eagles totaled 272 rushing yards. Woodbridge used nine running backs to gain 274 yards on the ground while Osbourn had 226 and Battlefield finished with 214.

Maybe this links back to the amount of disparity in this week’s outcomes. With one team firmly in control of the game, naturally that team’s running numbers are going to be higher.

Who Are These Guys?

Think North Stafford, Loudoun Valley and Riverbend are enjoying Tuesday and Wednesday practices right about now? In 30 games between the three schools last year, North Stafford, Loudoun Valley and Riverbend combined for three wins and 27 losses.

In 2009, two of them -- North Stafford and Riverbend -- are 3-0 thus far, and Loudoun Valley sits at 3-1 with its only loss coming to undefeated and Post-ranked Woodbridge.

North Stafford has benefitted from the services of running back Torrey Hart, who has 387 yards and three touchdowns during wins over Halifax, Gar-Field and Potomac. He’s also had three touchdowns called back because of penalties.

Meanwhile, freshman Brandon Ravenel has been an impact player for the Wolverines, catching five passes for 75 yards and a touchdown during the team’s 17-3 win over Potomac last Thursday. He also returned an interception 45 yards for a touchdown.

“An extra year in the weight room and an extra year in the system … that’s been helpful,” said North Stafford Coach Joe Mangano, whose team returned 20 starters this season. “We’ve been able to implement things and the kids have worked really hard to redeem themselves.”

Riverbend has only allowed 18 points while scoring a total of 97. First-year Coach Todd Campbell, who spent 13 years alongside Lou Sorrentino at both Culpeper and Hylton, scheduled a tri-scrimmage with McLean and Hylton and a solo scrimmage with West Springfield. This, Campbell said, helped the players realize that they could compete with upper-echelon teams.

“I wanted to raise the bar for these kids,” Campbell said. “When they realized that they could play with these guys, I think it really made a difference for them.”

Loudoun Valley posted a 20-0 win over previously-unbeaten Brooke Point this week (see above) and has thrived under second-year Coach Danny McGrath.

Go See the Trainer

Injuries have become a much-discussed topic around the area with Osbourn quarterback Thomas Keith, Stonewall Jackson running back/defensive back Sean Blackman and Gar-Field running back Bryce Miller each having spent time in the training room lately.

Blackman, who rushed for 263 yards and a touchdown during the Raiders’ 23-7 win over Forest Park, left in the fourth quarter with a shoulder injury. I talked to Stonewall Jackson Coach Mike Dougherty Sunday evening and he said that Blackman will see a specialist on Monday.

Whenever Blackman took the initial hit, which capped a 50-plus yard run, the fear was obviously the worst: a separated shoulder. But, according to Dougherty, Blackman has regained full range of motion in his shoulder and would say nothing more than his status against Woodbridge this Friday is “day-to-day” and that practice time would not be a requirement for him to suit up.

Keith has been suffering from a sore right knee, the result of Osgood-Schlatter disease. Keith suited up for Osbourn’s 35-31 win over Mountain View in Week 3 but only recorded one carry; however, he sat out entirely during the Eagles’ 40-7 win over Freedom-Woodbridge this past Friday.

I talked with Gar-Field Coach Tom Gryder after his team’s loss to Battlefield last week, and he was able to rattle off his team’s list of injuries rather easily. Bryce Miller has been bothered by several injuries (lower back, hamstring and ankle); De’Vonte Piggott sprained his left ankle early against Battlefield; Austin Copeland, though he recorded eight tackles and forced a fumble, hurt his right ankle; John Neal had an asthma attack.

“I’m happy with what we have but when you don’t have it, that makes it a little bit more difficult,” Gryder said.

Backfield Carousels (It’s a Good Thing)

Besides being ranked by The Post, Battlefield and Woodbridge share a number of similarities. Both went undefeated during the regular season last year, both were upset by Osbourn in the Northwest Region playoffs and both have started the 2009 season with similar offensive setups.

While Battlefield graduated running back Adrian Ingram (Bridgewater), who was the Cedar Run District’s Offensive Player of the Year in 2008 after running for 1,260 yards, and Woodbridge said goodbye to Rutgers-bound De’Antwan Williams, both teams have replaced their prolific runners with a by-committee approach.

During Woodbridge’s 41-0 rout of Stafford on Friday night, nine backs combined for 274 yards on the ground, including 147 and three scores from fullback Michael Ford. Cedric Agyeman, Danny Drazl and Nagee Jackson from Battlefield helped the Bobcats rack up 13 rushing first downs, while Jackson scored three times -- two rushing touchdowns and once on a 12-yard dump pass at the end of the first half against Gar-Field.

“There’s only one football out there and we just say that we’re all gonna share it,” Woodbridge Coach Keith King said. “After the game, we look at it and need to balance it out because a lot of those guys are playing both ways.”

By Jason Mackey  |  September 20, 2009; 10:33 PM ET
Categories:  Battlefield , Brooke Point , Cardinal District , Cedar Run District , Colonial Forge , Commonwealth District , Football , Forest Park , Freedom-Woodbridge , Gar-Field , Heritage High School , Hylton , Loudoun Valley High School , Massaponax , Mountain View , North Stafford , Northwest Region , Osbourn , Osbourn Park , Potomac (Va.) , Riverbend , Stafford , Stonewall Jackson , Woodbridge  
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