Football Night in Loudoun County
Broad Run carved out some breathing room in the Dulles District last week while Stone Bridge remained undefeated and tied atop the Liberty. This week features several more critical matchups for teams looking to improve their playoff positioning as we approach the home stretch.
Here's a look at the six Friday matchups in Loudoun plus a Saturday matinee featuring Loudoun Valley...
Game of the Week
Madison (3-3) at No. 11 Stone Bridge (6-0), 7:30
The 2009 Bulldogs haven't bludgeoned opponents the way Stone Bridge has in recent seasons, but once again they're past the halfway pole with a zero in the loss column. Last week, they survived Liberty newcomers Fairfax in a 28-20 contest that featured a whole lot of running from the Bulldogs and not much else. Junior QB Kyle Gouveia - filling in for injured starter Briar Rody - completed only 1 of 4 passes for 20 yards. That didn't stall the offense, however, as they once again leaned on junior Marcus Harris, who put up his second 200-yard rushing effort of the season and is second in the league with 862 yards and 11 touchdowns. Establishing the running game will be key for the Bulldogs if they plan on keeping the Warhawks from putting together the long, clock-consuming drives they're known for.
"They limit your offensive snaps, so you better be a little more efficient than we have been," Stone Bridge Coach Mickey Thompson said. "We're not going to get that many chances to figure things out, because they're such a ball control offense. I think it's just a balance. We need to get off to a better start, force some turnovers and keep them from getting on really long drives."
It's homecoming at Ashburn and the Warhawks have been waiting for a chance to catch Stone Bridge in a "down year" since the Bulldogs joined the Liberty so this looks like a potential trap game from the periphery. But expect Thompson to have his players ready to play as always and the running game and defense will try to keep them unbeaten.
Dominion (3-3) at Loudoun County (5-1), 7:30The Raiders rebounded from a tough loss at Park View by beating Briar Woods, 23-3, behind two touchdown passes from Austin Campbell to Michael Ayoub. Over the past two weeks, the senior wide receiver has amassed 242 receiving yards on 17 receptions. Look for Campbell to get more targets as the Raiders try to spread out Dominion's defense. The Titans failed to stop Broad Run's rushing attack in a 34-9 loss at home, but at 2-1 in the Dulles District, they're still in a good position to make a run at the school's first playoff appearance. With junior quarterback Trey Baxter likely to be out with an injury to his throwing shoulder, the success of the offense will once again rest squarely on the shoulders of junior running back DeAndre Reaves.
No. 3 Broad Run (7-0) at Freedom-South Riding (2-4), 7:30
The Spartans used defense and a balanced attack to knock off the Titans and take over sole possession of first place in the district. Meanwhile, the Eagles are reeling after their surprising 2-0 start and this week provides no respite. Look for Broad Run to roll as they gear up for next Friday's big matchup with Loudoun County.
Martinsburg (W.Va.) (5-1) at Park View (4-2), 7:30
The Patriots are picking up steam in the Dulles District after back-to-back wins over Loudoun County and Briar Woods. This week they step out of the league to host one of the top teams in West Virginia in Martinsburg. Park View senior quarterback Brandon Lee is really coming on and senior tailback Daryus Beale will be looking for a follow up to his best game of the season. Martinsburg has already hammered Potomac Falls and Briar Woods and are looking to make it three straight against teams from the Dulles. This one will be a very good test for the Patriots as they continue to improve their Division 3 playoff positioning.
Briar Woods (1-6) at Potomac Falls (2-4), 7:30
Both the Falcons and Panthers are coming off blowout losses and will look to bounce back this week in Sterling. Briar Woods has been competitive all season and feature a strong defensive front. The problem has been putting points on the board - especially through the passing game. The Panthers were stung by a slew of injuries to key players early on, but are finally getting healthy. Both squads lost a great deal from the teams that combined for an exciting 42-27 come-from-behind win for Potomac Falls, but this one should be a scrappy battle between two young teams looking to find a foothold in the district.
Heritage (2-4) at Hylton (2-4), 7:30
The Pride picked up their first Cedar Run victory a week ago against Stonewall Jackson and now venture back out of the district for a matchup with Hylton. Sophomore quarterback Austin Nelson has put up great numbers in his first season under center and Heritage will likely dial up more passing plays to receivers Scott Pratz and Dan Dykema to take advantage of mismatches downfield. The Pride aren't out of the Division 5 playoff hunt just yet and a road win at a Division 6 school would certainly bolster their chances.
Stonewall Jackson (3-4) at Loudoun Valley (3-3), Saturday, 1:30
The Vikings took a 29-24 lead into the fourth quarter Friday night against Osbourn but were outscored 15-0 in the final frame, dropping their second straight contest after a surprising 3-2 start. They need a win on Saturday to even their record in the Cedar Run and keep their playoff hopes alive. Junior quarterback Andrew Taylor tossed three more touchdown passes to bring his season total to 12 and continues to be the most consistent offensive producer for the Vikings. The Raiders lost, 19-13, at Heritage in their Cedar Run opener despite 206 rushing yards and two touchdowns from junior Jerry Budd.
October 15, 2009; 12:39 PM ET
Categories: AA Dulles , AAA Cedar Run District , AAA Liberty District , Briar Woods , Broad Run , Dominion , Football , Freedom South-Riding , Heritage , Loudoun County High School , Loudoun Valley High School , Madison , Park View , Potomac Falls , Stone Bridge High School
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