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Examining Northwest Region quarterfinals

Is it called being a homer or just fiercely loyal? Let’s settle for being smart.

I’m picking all of our local teams and none from the Western Valley District this weekend -- I know, quite the shocker -- but I just can’t see how GW-Danville, a team that lost by 36 to Battlefield, can beat Osbourn, which was a two-point conversion away from taking the Bobcats to overtime.

If my picks pan out, here’s what the semifinal round will look like:

Div. 5: Brooke Point at Massaponax, Osbourn at North Stafford
Div. 6: Riverbend at Battlefield, Colonial Forge at Woodbridge

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves; check out this week’s games first. For the record, I was 10-0 last week for a total of 57-10 since I started this before Week 5.

Note: The first three games will be played at Liberty High School in Bealeton, the fourth at Osbourn Park.

Division 5

No. 3 Osbourn (7-3) vs. No. 6 George Washington (5-5), Saturday, 7

Osbourn had a rock-solid second half of the regular season, winning four of five while scoring 39 points or more in every one of those victories. Let’s not forgot, too, that Osbourn reached the Virginia AAA championship game last fall, losing to Oscar Smith. The Eagles also won it all in 2006. GW-Danville, on the other hand, lost to Battlefield, 42-6, on Oct. 2 and allowed 229 rushing yards to the Bobcats. Between quarterback Thomas Keith (776 rushing yards, 9 TDs) and running back Vidal Greene (680 yards, 16 TDs), Osbourn possesses a potent ground attack. Plus, as I wrote about earlier this week, there are just too many people contributing for the Eagles right now. I'm picking Osbourn to cruise.

Pick: Osbourn

No. 4 Brooke Point (6-4) vs. No. 5 William Fleming (7-2), Saturday, 3:30

Think William Fleming has seen an offense like Brooke Point’s in the Western Valley District? Doubt it. The Colonels definitely haven’t seen a wide receiver like Brooke Point senior E.L. Smiling, a Virginia Tech recruit with 37 catches for 727 yards and seven touchdowns this season. Quarterback Gary Pisall has been excellent running the spread, too. Pisall has connected on 170 of his 286 passes for 2,304 yards and 19 scores. After losing three straight in the middle of the season, Brooke Point has been victorious each of the past two weeks and smashed Albemarle last Friday, 69-14. I think the strong stretch will continue for the Black-Hawks. And look out: If we get a chalk-filled weekend of games, you could have Brooke Point playing Massaponax next week, the team that started the Black-Hawks’ three-game slide with a 54-7 shocker on Oct. 9.

Pick: Brooke Point

Division 6

No. 3 Colonial Forge (9-1) vs. No. 6 Franklin County (8-2), Saturday, Noon

Tight end Eric Frohnapfel is gaining more and more attention for Colonial Forge. Of course having 27 catches for 640 yards and nine touchdowns as a 6-foot-5 junior helps considerably, too. When I wrote a feature on Colonial Forge Coach Bill Brown a few weeks back, I remember quite a few folks down there telling me that their goal isn’t to win the Commonwealth District or even a regional playoff game. They think they have the squad to go farther, and I’m not arguing. A win here is a starting point and one that I don’t really see causing too many problems for the Eagles, who are a five-overtime loss to Woodbridge away from being 10-0 right now. As further evidence, Colonial Forge’s nine wins have been by an average of 27 points per game.

Pick: Colonial Forge

No. 5 Riverbend (8-2) at No. 4 Osbourn Park (8-2), Saturday, 7

It’s been a while for both of these teams since they’ve been to the postseason. For Osbourn Park, it’s been since 2003 when the Yellow Jackets reached the Northwest Region Division 6 championship game, only to suffer a 14-7 loss to Hylton. For Riverbend, this is the Bears’ first foray into the playoffs since the school opened in 2004. Watch out for Riverbend’s Kirkland Nelms, who made it on our All-Met Watch list this week. He’s scored a total of 14 touchdowns and done so four ways. In addition to playing a hybrid-type role on offense, Nelms is a ball-hawking defensive back that has six interceptions this fall. Osbourn Park will need a strong outing from Gary Jackson, who was held to only 12 yards during a loss two weeks ago to Woodbridge. I’m thinking with all Riverbend has gone through -- 1-9 to playoff Cinderella -- that the don’t-pinch-me journey continues for one more week.

Pick: Riverbend

By Jason Mackey  |  November 13, 2009; 4:01 PM ET
Categories:  Battlefield , Brooke Point , Cardinal District , Cedar Run District , Colonial Forge , Commonwealth District , Football , Massaponax , North Stafford , Northwest Region , Osbourn , Osbourn Park , Riverbend , Woodbridge  
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