Charlotte Country Day (N.C.) at Woodberry Forest
When: 4 p.m.
Records: CCD 5-0, Woodberry 2-1
Last week: CCD defeated Ravenscroft, 41-7; Woodberry beat Paul VI, 39-14.
Keep an eye on: Charlotte CD quarterback Michael Radford, who is committed to Wake Forest. A star gunslinger, he has the attention of Tigers coach Clinton Alexander. “Wake Forest wants a double-threat, option-type guy,” Alexander said. “He can do both. He is a special kid, real fast, has a big arm. He has some real fast receivers.”
The skinny: Going up against North Carolina’s top team and a top-notch QB is never an easy task, especially when your four-star linebacker is still out. Notre Dame commit Doug Randolph, who has a stress fracture and an unknown return date, will not play in this game, so even more pressure will be on the Tigers defense. Tenacity and energy will have to be there from the get-go on defense for Woodberry, because the visitors score nearly 50 points per game, 20 of which almost always come in the first quarter.
Flint Hill at St. Anne’s-Belfield
When: 6:30 p.m.
Records: Flint Hill 1-2, STAB 0-4
Last week: Flint Hill beat Pope John Paul the Great, 37-6; STAB lost to Trinity Episcopal, 47-20.
Keep an eye on: The Flint Hill backfield duo of Connor Chess and Cameron Vaughn. On one side, St. Anne’s is coming off its highest points-allowed total of the season, and is giving up 36 per contest. Meanwhile, Chess (a senior) and Vaughn (a sophomore) each had 11 carries last week in the team’s first win and each rushed for over 100 yards in the process, combining for a total of 235 yards and three touchdowns.
The skinny: The Saints hope to put an end to their skid tonight against the visiting Huskies, a team that lost 21-6 to Episcopal in its only other road game so far. STAB fell to Flint Hill, 14-0, last season in Oakton. The Saints defense, led by seniors Walker Neil, Aaron Stinnie and Miles Davis, must contain the ground game to avoid a winless September.
Mountain View at Albemarle
When: 7 p.m.
Records: Mountain View 3-2, Albemarle 1-3
Last week: Mountain View beat Massaponax, 37-14; AHS beat Orange, 37-0.
Keep an eye on: AHS running back Nicholas Troche, who went off against the Hornets last week, scoring four touchdowns. A talented bruising back with speed, he can do it all and will need to be at his best to help the Patriots’ two quarterbacks get into a rhythm. Expect plenty of carries for Troche, mainly up the middle, as AHS looks to enter the weekend with a winning record in district.
The skinny: Momentum is high for Mike Alley's team after a great win last Friday, but the squad has to watch out for DaeSean Hamilton, a three-star athlete for the visitors, who can do it all. With offers from several big programs, including Virginia and Virginia Tech, Alley’s team has made Hamilton a focal point for tonight’s clash. Expect AHS to take it slow on offense, aim to win the time of possession battle and simply be efficient without risking much. Short throws, runs up the middle, Alley and company are looking for a textbook display to jump back into the race in the Commonwealth District.
Buckingham County at Nottoway
When: 7 p.m.
Records: Buckingham 4-0, Nottoway 2-2
Last week: Buckingham beat Amelia County, 41-6; Nottoway beat Bluestone, 21-13.
Keep an eye on: Nottoway senior running back Tre Burtt. Buckingham has a couple of horses of its own, but for the Cougars, it’s basically a one-man show. Burtt has gone for over 100 yards rushing in every game, with the highlight coming against Appomattox on Aug. 31, when he bulldozed for 309 yards and four touchdowns. If the Knights can counter with Peanut Johnson and Kyree Koonce, it could come down to which team’s defense holds up for four quarters.
The skinny: The Knights have looked like the team to beat in the James River District — and possibly all of Division 2 — thus far, winning by an average margin of 47-10. Buckingham won 54-19 in last year’s matchup between the teams. The Cougars have won two of their last three after a tough, one-point opening loss at Brunswick.
Nelson County at Appomattox
When: 7 p.m.
Records: Nelson 2-2, Appomattox 3-2
Last week: Nelson defeated Hargrave Military, 50-18; Appomattox beat Chatham, 30-20.
Keep an eye on: Appomattox running back Kendall Blankenship. After a slow start to the season, Blankenship has come alive for the Raiders in the last two weeks. The senior rushed for a total of 342 yards and five scores in the last two contests. The Raiders have a crowded backfield, but look for Blankenship to get the bulk of the carries.
The skinny: After suffering back-to-back losses, the Governors got back on track with a convincing win over Hargrave last week. Quarterback Tyler Vest returned to form with 188 yards on the ground and five total touchdowns. Tonight, the Governors conclude their five-game road stretch against district foe Appomattox. The Raiders are on a three-game winning streak and already have a district win under their belt. Tonight’s game will be a battle of two teams that rely heavily on the ground game. Appomattox quarterback Deon Edwards has only thrown for two touchdowns and five interceptions this season. Nelson has already equaled its win total from a year ago, and a win tonight would give the Governors solid momentum going into a clash with district power Dan River next Friday.
Western Albemarle at Monticello
When: 7:30 p.m.
Records: Western Albemarle 4-0, Monticello 4-0
Last week: Western Albemarle beat Spotswood, 42-21; Monticello beat Louisa, 34-27.
Keep an eye on: Monticello’s offensive line. In their win over Louisa Friday night, the Mustangs lost a critical part on their offensive line in Austin Mays, who left the game with a knee injury. Monticello has one of the biggest and most talented lines in the area. It will be tested Friday night against a Warrior front seven who has been impressive this season.
The skinny: This could be the Jefferson District’s game of the season after the Mustangs knocked off Louisa, which was the feature game of the year thus far, last Friday night. The winner will be in the driver’s seat to take the district crown. If last year’s contest is any sign of things to come, we should see a lot of points scored in a game featuring two of the area’s best quarterbacks in Jhalil Mosley and Kent Henry. It could come down to which defense can make a key stop.
Fluvanna County at Charlottesville
When: 7:30 p.m.
Records: Charlottesville 1-4, Fluvanna 1-4
Last week: Charlottesville lost to Liberty (Bealeton), 38-14; Fluvanna lost to Kettle Run, 52-0.
Keep an eye on: Charlottesville’s Rashad Davis. The Black Knight quarterback is coming off a decent game against Liberty (Bealton). Davis has had monster games, including a six-touchdown performance against Culpeper. He could have another big night against a Fluvanna team that has struggled on defense all season long.
The skinny: It’s been a disappointing season for both Fluvanna and Charlottesville as both teams sit at 1-4. After totaling less than 100 yards of total offense in a loss to Kettle Run, Fluvanna will be looking for more production out of skill players Dashon Tibbs and Jovan Burton.
Louisa County at South Lakes
When: 7:30 p.m.
Records: Louisa 2-3, South Lakes 1-3
Last week: Louisa lost 34-27 to Monticello; South Lakes fell 31-15 to Fairfax.
Keep an eye on: The Lions’ focus. How will Louisa react after a heartbreaking loss to the Mustangs? Will they be up for this one, even against a non-district opponent in a game that means little? Coach Jon Meeks, as always, will have his guys ready pre-game, but when you get onto the field, it’s a different story.
The skinny: It doesn’t matter who you play, winning on the road is as tough as it gets, no matter the level. That said, LCHS has the athletes to run away with this one as the Seahawks have lost each game by at least two touchdowns, a couple of which were by at least 38 points. The offense of the Reston team has been poor, scoring just 22 points in the last two games. If there was ever a time for the Lions to get on track, it’s here, especially with a date with Fluvanna looming.
George Mason at Madison County
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Records: George Mason 0-4, Madison 2-2
Last week: George Mason fell to Central (Woodstock), 42-19; Madison lost to Manassas Park, 48-14.
Keep an eye on: Madison wide receiver Ashton Weakley. Weakley has been the spark on offense and special teams for the Mountaineers in the past two weeks. The junior caught four passes for 70 yards, including a 43-yard strike in last week’s game against Manassas Park. Weakley also displayed his explosiveness on special teams against Page County two weeks ago with an 85-yard kick return for a touchdown.
The skinny: After only allowing a combined 35 points in its first three games, the Mountaineer defense gave up 48 in last week’s loss at the hands of Manassas Park. Tonight, Madison gets a visit from winless George Mason for the annual homecoming game. This game will give the Mountaineers a chance to open up the offense a little more as the Mustangs are giving up an average of 40 points per contest.
Brooke Point at Orange County
When: 7:30 p.m.
Records: Brooke Point 0-4, Orange 1-3
Last week: Brooke Point was idle; Orange lost to Albemarle, 37-0.
Keep an eye on: The Orange defense. The unit, which gave up 68 points to the Black Hawks on the road last season, is allowing just over 30 points a game this season. Winless Brooke Point has struggled, averaging 13 a game in 2012, and may represent the best remaining shot at Orange’s first and possibly only Commonwealth District victory.
The skinny: The Hornets dropped a tough loss at the hands of the Patriots last Friday despite showing vast signs of improvement in their prior two contests. Orange, which will play four of its final five games on the road (against teams with a combined record of 17-6), must make use of home field advantage. The next and only other time the team will play at Porterfield Park after tonight won’t be until Oct. 26 versus Mountain View.
William Monroe at Strasburg
When: 7:30 p.m.
Records: William Monroe 0-4, Strasburg 5-0
Last week: WMHS was idle; Strasburg beat Clarke County, 20-13.
Keep an eye on: William Monroe’s defensive front. Coach Mark Sanford has talked plenty about the players’ issues simply with lining up correctly and knowing their assignments. Miscues have led to an out-of-sync defense that has struggled to get pressure at the point of attack and really make a mark. Will that change tonight?
The skinny: The Rams are averaging 35.4 points per game this season. The Greene Dragons are allowing over 57 points per game. The math is simple. Against an undefeated district foe, it could be another long, long night for the Greene Dragons unless some players emerge on defense.
Valley Forge Military (Pa.) at Fork Union Military
When: 1 p.m., Saturday
Records: Valley Forge 0-3, Fork Union 4-1
Last week: Valley Forge lost to Mount St. Joseph, 36-12; Fork Union beat Christchurch, 21-7.
Keep an eye on: FUMA quarterback Christian Hackenberg. While you could say Hackenberg could be the player to watch every week, the highly touted quarterback has struggled a bit in his senior season and the Blue Devils have relied on a running game that has been very solid, especially in their last four games, all wins. Hackenberg will need to start showing more consistency through the stretch run of the season and that starts Saturday against Valley Forge.
The skinny: FUMA has been nearly flawless during their four-game winning streak with three straight impressive wins over Goochland, Powhatan and Christchurch. While Valley Forge has yet to win a game this season, the Trojans should not be taken lightly. They have played some of the best teams from the states of Pennsylvania, Maryland and in the district with a loss to Friendship Collegiate. The Trojans will make the trek from Wayne, Pa., to Central Virginia.