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Week 11 in the Northwest Region

With just a few impactful games on the schedule, Friday could get interesting if Riverbend loses at North Stafford.

The Bears could lock up a playoff spot with a win and stomp out any hope Gar-Field or Loudoun Valley have of making the Division 6 playoffs. But with a Riverbend loss and an upset by either Gar-Field or Loudoun Valley, the playoff picture would get more than a bit muddled.

In Division 5, Mountain View needs a win over Massaponax and some help, while third-seeded Brooke Point and fourth-seeded Osbourn face relatively safe matchups with Stafford (2-7) and Heritage (2-7).

Last Week: 7-2
Season: 47-10

Forest Park at Hylton, 7:30

Hylton had a chance to sneak into the playoffs by closing the season with a four-game winning streak. However, that plan was foiled with a 16-14 loss last week at Gar-Field. Now the Bulldogs just need to finish strong. Forest Park could end the season on a two-game winning streak after starting 0-8. This one features a pair of underrated linebackers in Forest Park’s Nate Brown and Hylton’s Jabari Neeley. I’m picking Hylton to finish at .500.

Pick: Hylton

Osbourn Park at Franklin County, 7:30

A possible playoff preview, this one could also determine who gets the home-field advantage for that game. Right now it looks as if Osbourn Park, with a win, would get the No. 4 seed, with Franklin County at No. 5. Without having seen Franklin County, I’m sticking with Osbourn Park, which has given up a total of 76 points this season. I’m also thinking that running back Gary Jackson, who was limited to just 12 yards during last week’s 9-3 loss to Woodbridge, gets back on track.

Pick: Osbourn Park

Potomac at Freedom-Woodbridge, 7:30

Freedom-Woodbridge hoped that this could be the year it finally posted a winning season. Potomac wanted to prove that last year’s 5-5 mark was an aberration. Well, Freedom-Woodbridge is still searching for its first win and .500 is a long way away for Potomac -- in the other direction. Remember, though, that Potomac has played several teams tough, including a 21-7 loss to Woodbridge two weeks ago and a 20-17 defeat at Battlefield on Sept. 3. I’m picking quarterback DeAirius Thomas and Potomac in this one.

Pick: Potomac

Gar-Field at No. 12 Woodbridge, 7:30

Woodbridge has won five of the six meetings since 2004, and those came by an average of 15.8 points per game. Gar-Field won six straight from 2001-03 by an average of 22.6 points per contest. What’s this tell us? Who knows. My closest guess, though, is that it means Woodbridge has been better as of late. The Vikings can wrap up their second straight undefeated regular season with a victory, and I’m thinking that they’ll do just that, even though they’ll be without top receiver Darius Smith, who’s serving the first part of a two-game suspension.

Pick: Woodbridge

No. 9 Battlefield at Loudoun Valley, 7:30

Loudoun Valley needs a win to keep its playoff hopes alive. It also needs Gar-Field and Riverbend to lose. Oh, and the Vikings need to knock off Battlefield, which is undefeated and has scored more than 40 points in the three of the last four weeks. The Bobcats have also allowed a touchdown or less in six of nine outings this season. Another interesting stat: quarterback Bo Revell attempted six passes during last week’s 42-0 win at Stonewall Jackson, completing five of them for 54 yards and a touchdown. Guess he’s well-rested.

Pick: Battlefield

Heritage at Osbourn, 7:30

Osbourn had its bye last week, giving the Eagles time to get healthy ahead of a possible playoff run. It looks as if Osbourn will be the No. 4 seed behind Brooke Point, giving the Eagles a likely first-round matchup with GW-Danville or William Fleming. Of course that all could be dashed with a loss to Heritage, which I’m sure Coach Steve Schultze has reminded his team of once or twice. Eagles QB Thomas Keith has had a strong second half of the season, and I’m thinking he’ll lead Osbourn to its fourth win in the past five games.

Pick: Osbourn

Brooke Point at Albemarle, 7

Brooke Point stumbled out of bed, didn’t bother to comb its hair and earned a 13-0 win over Stafford last week, committing 16 penalties and four turnovers to snap a three-game, midseason losing streak. After talking to Black-Hawks Coach Jeff Berry this week, I don’t envy what sort of practices Brooke Point had to endure this week. “Friday night isn’t how to play the game effectively,” Berry said. “Our will kids will get the point.” Suffice to say, a lot of that frustration will come out on Friday night against the Patriots.

Pick: Brooke Point

Stafford at No. 14 Colonial Forge, 7:30

Colonial Forge is about as dangerous a No. 3 seed as you’ll find. Barely behind second-seeded Woodbridge, the Eagles assuredly will be hoping that Woodbridge slips up against Gar-Field so they can secure that first-round bye. First, though, is Friday’s game against Stafford, which appeared to improve by keeping things close against Brooke Point. Still, watch out for the Frohnapfel brothers. QB Blake has 1,239 passing yards this season and 14 touchdowns; TE Eric has caught 25 passes for 592 yards and nine touchdowns.

Pick: Colonial Forge

Massaponax at Mountain View, 7:30

Mountain View, like Loudoun Valley and Gar-Field, needs a win if it hopes to make the playoffs. It could also use a loss by William Fleming against GW-Danville. In the Wildcats’ way is a Massaponax team that was outscored by 17 points in the second half of last week’s 23-13 loss to North Stafford, which could possibly cost the Panthers the top overall seed. I’m thinking Massaponax comes out and atones for last week’s mistake with a relatively easy win.

Pick: Massaponax

Riverbend at North Stafford, 7:30

This is the game that could -- or could not -- set everything else into motion. If Riverbend wins, there’s no discussion; they’re in. If Riverbend loses, they can still get in with Gar-Field and Loudoun Valley losses and some Powerpoint crunching. Even with a loss, North Stafford is pretty much assured a first-round bye. So let’s see: This game means the world to one team and it’s just a nice luxury to another. Maybe it’s just me, but I’m thinking that Riverbend won’t let its 7-0 start and magical turnaround become an afterthought by dropping this one.

Pick: Riverbend

By Jason Mackey  |  November 6, 2009; 10:28 AM ET
Categories:  Battlefield , Brooke Point , Cardinal District , Cedar Run District , Colonial Forge , Commonwealth District , Field Hockey , Football , Forest Park , Freedom-Woodbridge , Gar-Field , Heritage , 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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