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Examining the Northwest Region semifinals

The good news: My trip to Virginia Beach following last weekend’s triple-header was fantastic. The bad news: My picks weren’t. I went 2-2 last week, with Franklin County’s upset and Dominique Terrell making me look awfully dumb.

Hopefully this week will be better, although it’s going to be incredibly tough to top last weekend’s quarterfinal round of games. Every one of these semifinal contests, though, provides some sort of intrigue.

Like the run and hate the pass? Check out Brooke Point-Massaponax. Can Osbourn live up to its reputation as a postseason lock?

Osbourn Park and Woodbridge will match offense versus defense, while Battlefield will look to, believe it or not, win a playoff game. Little known stat: the Bobcats are 0-2 in the postseason since the school was built in 2005.

Last Week: 2-2
Season: 59-12

No. 3 Osbourn (8-3) at No. 2 North Stafford (7-3), Friday, 7:30 p.m.

While I’ve been as impressed as anyone with Osbourn’s offense (41.3 ppg) over the past six weeks, this one’s going to hinge very strongly on one matchup: Osbourn LB Tyler Del Rosario against North Stafford running back Torry Hart, who has carried 193 times for 1,207 yards and 14 touchdowns this season.

Del Rosario won’t be solely responsible for any Hart-stopping antics (sorry, couldn't resist), but if the Eagles hope to reach their third Northwest Region final in the past four years -- they were in Division 6 when they made it in 2006 and 2008 -- Hart has to be contained. North Stafford is trying to win its first playoff game since 2004 when the Wolverines captured the Division 5 region title.

Keep an eye on Osbourn junior Timmy Keith, whose older brother Thomas quarterbacks this unit. The younger Keith, though, has been getting more carries recently to go along with his 23 catches and six total touchdowns.

Pick: Osbourn

No. 4 Brooke Point (7-4) at No. 1 Massaponax (8-2), Friday, 7:30 p.m.

As I wrote last week, Black-Hawks quarterback Gary Pisall broke his left collarbone early in an 44-35 win over William Fleming and is done for the season. That means sophomore Zach Deutel will step under center again, but the key matchup here is Brooke Point’s defense against the Massaponax triple-option offense.

The Panthers rely on three backs: Najee Harris, Andre Wyche and Jauan Latney. And while the numbers aren’t excessive, they’re balanced. Check it out:

  • Harris: 79 carries, 657 yards, 14 TDs
  • Wyche: 65 carries, 446 yards, two TDs
  • Latney: 53 carries, 571 yards, eight TDs

Last week the Black-Hawks surrendered 35 points to a run-first Colonels attack, but the Panthers will provide a much tougher, stronger test and beat Brooke Point, 54-7, on Oct. 9.

If nothing else, this one features two offenses that are on opposite ends of the spectrum: Brooke Point, which averages around 29 pass attempts per game, wouldn’t mind chucking it on every down, while Massaponax -- with less than 80 attempts all season -- wouldn’t mind avoiding the passing game altogether.

Pick: Massaponax

No. 4 Osbourn Park (9-2) at No. 2 Woodbridge (10-0), Friday, 7:30 p.m.

These two teams met in a playoff preview two weeks ago, with Woodbridge squeaking out a 9-3 victory thanks to Collin Frazer’s screen pass-turned-touchdown. Osbourn Park quarterback Dominique Terrell broke loose during Monday night’s 28-13 win over Riverbend and totaled 271 yards (225 rushing, 46 passing). Last time out against the Vikings, Terrell was limited to 80 yards on 19 carries.

If the Vikings can keep Terrell in check again, I think a second straight trip to the Northwest Region Division championship game awaits. If not, it could be Osbourn Park’s first trip there since 2003 when the Yellow Jackets suffered a 14-7 loss to Hylton.

Look for Woodbridge quarterback Frank Buckley, who could have had a bigger game last time but fought through five dropped passes by his receivers, to play a pivotal part. Buckley has completed 95 of his 186 passes this season for 1,390 yards and 17 touchdowns. He was also recently named the Cardinal District’s Offensive Player of the Year.

Pick: Woodbridge

No. 6 Franklin County (9-2) at No. 1 Battlefield (10-0), Friday, 7

Franklin County had its fun, knocking off third-seeded Colonial Forge last week on a last-second field goal. However, I think I see the Eagles’ run ending here.

Running back Tae Gilbert had 252 total yards (207 rushing, 45 receiving) and four touchdowns last week, but I’m guessing that Battlefield’s defense, which has surrendered an average of 10 points per game this season, saw that on film and will make a few adjustments to keep him in check.

Though Colonial Forge attempted only 11 passes against Franklin County, it was able to beat Franklin County downfield on several plays. Look for Battlefield to go to the air -- and likely complete a few to gain an early lead.

Take note of Battlefield’s three receivers:

Blaine Mason -- 21 catches, 334 yards, three TDs
Jamie Robinson -- 22 catches, 357 yards, two TDs
Bobo Beathard -- 24 catches, 342 yards, three TDs

Why, you ask? One will have a breakout game and by doing so will lead the Bobcats to their first-ever region title game.

Pick: Battlefield

By Jason Mackey  |  November 19, 2009; 9:19 PM ET
Categories:  Battlefield , Brooke Point , Cardinal District , Commonwealth District , Football , Massaponax , North Stafford , Northwest Region , Osbourn , Osbourn Park , Woodbridge  
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Next: Catching up: Culbreath fights a tough fight


Osbourn - 20
N.Stafford - 3

Go Eagles!!!

Posted by: BigDog6 | November 20, 2009 11:04 PM | Report abuse

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