Football Night in Loudoun County
It's the last week of the regular season which means it's make or break time for the teams straddling the playoff cutoff. Dominion and Loudoun Valley both must win to reach the postseason and complete massive turnarounds from 1-9 records with first-year coaches in 2008. Meanwhile Loudoun County, Park View and Stone Bridge will look to hold onto home field advantage in the first round or, in the Bulldogs' case, throughout the region playoffs.
There's plenty to play for this week in Loudoun, so let's break it down.
Game of the Week
South Lakes (5-4) at Stone Bridge (8-1), 7:30
Three weeks after dropping their first game to a Liberty District opponent, the Stone Bridge Bulldogs find themselves atop the Northern Region Division 5 playoff picture and one win away from locking up a fifth straight Liberty District title outright.
Led by back-to-back 200-yard efforts from junior tailback Marcus Harris, the Bulldogs take on a South Lakes team that has dropped three straight after a surprising start to the season. A Stone Bridge victory on senior night in Ashburn would assure the Bulldogs of the top seed in the region and home field advantage throughout.
Players to Watch:
SB - RB Marcus Harris (214 carries, 1,297 yards, 12 TDs; 11 rec. 191 yards, 2 TDs), QB Kyle Gouveia (20-47-468-1, 6 TDs; 62 carries, 322 yards, 5 TDs), WR Spenser Rositano (14 rec., 360 yards, 3 TDs; 27 carries, 114 yards, TD)
SL - RB Ja'Juan Jones (117 carries, 1,134 yards, 16 TDs), QB Shawn Rana (47-96-775-1, 6 TDs), RB Darius Smith (71 carries, 503 yards, 5 TDs; 8 rec., 260 yards, 3 TDs), WR Sean Price (22 rec., 417 yards, 5 TDs)
Here are the results from the four meetings between these two teams since Stone Bridge joined the Liberty in 2005:
05 - SB 35-14
06 - SB 42-8
07 - SB 54-12
08 - SB 51-6
That's total score of 182-40 with an average margin of victory of 35.5 points. Needless to say, the Bulldogs' history of dominance over the district has been tested all season with tight contests against league opponents. You have to figure the Seahawks see this as their best opportunity yet to knock off the bullies from Ashburn.
No. 9 Battlefield (9-0) at Loudoun Valley (6-3), 7:30
The Vikings must pull the upset to reach the postseason and complete one of the most impressive one-year turnarounds in the area. Fresh off his first 200-yard effort since week three, junior quarterback Andrew Taylor (85-178-1147-10, 15 TDs) must have his best game yet for Valley to knock off the ninth-ranked team in the area. The Bobcats have plenty of motivation themselves, knowing a win would lock up the top seed in the Northwest Region Division 6 playoffs.
Dominion (4-5) at Briar Woods (3-6), 7:30
This is another win-and-you're-in game for the Titans, who were trounced on senior night against Park View and need to knock off Briar Woods to reach the playoffs for the first time in program history. Deandre Reaves was held to a season-low 24 yards on 21 carries against the Patriots and the Falcon defense will be looking to bottle up Dominion's elusive junior back once again. The Titans currently hold a narrow 0.7 point advantage over Skyline for the sixth and final Region II Division 3 spot. Don't expect Briar Woods to lay down on senior night, though, not with their hard-nosed defense and upstart RB-turned-QB Michael Brownlee (158 carries, 918 yards, 7 TDs) leading the way in Brambleton.
Heritage (2-7) at Osbourn (6-3), 7:30
After playing one of the most challenging schedules around, the Pride close up shop in 2009 against an Osbourn team looking to secure a first-round home game in the Northwest Region Division 5 playoffs. Heritage should have sophomore QB Austin Nelson (flu) back in the lineup, whose absence derailed the Pride's offense in a blowout loss to Loudoun Valley one week ago.
Potomac Falls (3-6) at Loudoun County (7-2), 7:30
The Raiders are locked into the No. 3 seed in the Region II Division 4 playoff picture win or lose, but Todd Hill's crew will be looking to continue their momentum heading into the postseason. Senior quarterback Austin Campbell delivered the biggest performance from a Loudoun QB all year with five touchdown passes last week in a 45-10 win over Freedom-South Riding. His favorite target - senior Michael Ayoub (49 rec., 724 yards, 8 TDs) - leads the district in receptions and yardage and has really come on down the stretch. The Panthers hope to end their season on a high note and send senior wideout Tarrell Owens (36 rec., 539 yards, 6 TDs) out with a bang.
Freedom-South Riding (2-7) at Park View (5-2), 7:30
The Patriots are assured at least the third seed in Region II Division 3, meaning they could see Sterling rivals Dominion - the team they beat 31-0 last week - in the first round should the Titans hold their position. Park View rebounded nicely from a lopsided home loss to Briar Woods and has plenty of confidence heading into the postseason. Friday's matchup with reeling Freedom should provide them an opportunity to try out some new things and prepare themselves for what they hope will be a lengthy second season.
November 5, 2009; 4:23 PM ET
Categories: AA Dulles , AAA Cedar Run District , AAA Liberty District , Briar Woods , Dominion , Football , Freedom South-Riding , Heritage , Loudoun County High School , Loudoun Valley High School , Park View , Potomac Falls , Stone Bridge High School
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