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Forecasting Saturday’s Division 6 state semifinal

After his team was presented with the Northwest Region Division 6 championship trophy last Saturday afternoon following a 32-27 come-from-behind win over Osbourn Park, Battlefield Coach Mark Cox called his players over for a brief meeting. Almost dramatically, he asked, “You know what we get to do now, right?”

The answer -- I thought at least -- was something close to practicing for another week or hanging onto their equipment just a bit longer, with the third-ranked Bobcats set to host No. 7 Lake Braddock on Saturday at 3 p.m. for a Virginia AAA state semifinal.

But Cox had a different idea. It was time, he’d say, to fix the field.

Yep. Major mojo killer there.

So the entire Battlefield football team walked up and down what was a muddy mess, pulling wads of grass and mud upward, sort of like golfers replacing their divots.

And with rain and snow in the forecast for Saturday’s contest -- coupled with the fact that Lake Braddock won its Northern Region championship game over W.T. Woodson on, to put it nicely, a muddy field -- the playing surface has become a bit of a discussion point lately.

“As everybody knows, we played in the Mud Bowl last week, so we’re used to it now,” Lake Braddock lineman Khamrone Kolb said. “I don’t think there’s anything worse than what was out there. That was pretty bad.”

Boiled down, there’s the argument that both teams have to deal with the same mud-caked issues, negating any possible advantage.

“Either way you look at it, we’re both going to be playing on the same field,” Cox said. “Football is football, you just have to show up and play.”

True enough. But part of what makes football football is opposing styles of play, which we certainly have here.

Battlefield (12-0) is more of a north-south team, content to rely on between-the-tackle running plays while featuring two junior running backs, Nagee Jackson (226 carries, 1,183 yards, 18 TDs) and Cedric Agyeman (84 carries, 529 yards, 8 TDs).

The Bobcats also have a sturdy quarterback in 6-foot-6 senior Bo Revell, who’s completed 105 of his 184 passes this season for 1,554 yards and more than a 2:1 touchdown-to-interception ratio (14:6).

Lake Braddock (11-2), though, is a bit more creative and features a dynamic quarterback in junior Michael Nebrich, who’s a threat to run or throw in the Bruins’ high-powered, Bill Renner-infused offense.

And by the way, Nebrich’s stats -- 3,854 total yards, 40 TDs -- are nutty. Look at this:

Completions: 202
Attempts: 379
Completion Percentage: 53%
Yards: 2,769
Passing TDs: 18
Carries: 237
Rushing Yards: 1,085
Rushing TDs: 22

But the passing game is only part of the equation.

Lake Braddock features a monstrous offensive line, which is led by Kolb, a 6-foot-6, 325-pound Penn State recruit. Battlefield, though not as big up front, has had Prince William County’s strongest offensive line all season and has been forced to block bigger defensive lineman for the past 12 games.

The last part here is the weather, which may render any sort of conjecture done on Thursday useless. As of now, we’re looking at a high temperature of around 37 degrees and a 70 percent chance of snow.

With that said, who do you guys think the inclement weather favors? Or will the weather not be a factor at all?

By Jason Mackey  |  December 3, 2009; 12:58 PM ET
Categories:  Battlefield , Football , Lake Braddock , Northern Region , Northwest Region  
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