MASSANUTTEN MILITARY AT COVENANT
When: 4 p.m.
Records: Massanutten Military 0-3, Covenant 2-1
Last week: Massanutten Military lost to St. John’s Catholic Prep, 42-22; Covenant beat Hargrave Military, 48-13.
Keep an eye on: Covenant quarterback Jay Gaffney. After a shaky week one, Gaffney has flourished in the Eagles’ last two wins and accounted for four touchdowns last week against Hargrave Miltary.
The skinny: Things looked bleak for Covenant after a shutout loss in week one, but coach Dave Rocco has his team playing much better heading into its game against Massanutten Military. The Colonels have struggled this season, failing to register a victory in their first three games.
ST. ANNE’S-BELFIELD AT TRINITY EPISCOPAL
When: 4 p.m.
Records: STAB 0-2, Trinity 0-3
Last week: St. Anne’s lost to Bishop Sullivan, 49-22; Trinity lost to Norfolk Academy, 49-43.
Keep an eye on: The ground attack for each side. The Saints seemed to find a groove last week as senior Derek Kaschak toted the rock 14 times for 92 yards and a score, a week after the team posted just under 40 total rushing yards in the season opener. Trinity lost Bryan Black from last year's team, but has senior Abraham Ferrell-Logan in the backfield to help quarterback Neeshant Parikh move the Titans down the field.
The skinny: The good news for one of these winless schools is that somebody's got to win the game. The bad news for one of these schools is that someone's got to lose, too. The Titans, who were outscored 78-14 in their first two contests, are coming off a 7-4 season that included a postseason appearance, and will be champing at the bit for the first 'W' of 2013 after a close loss a week ago. St. Anne's has had to wait a lot longer since it last tasted victory, and John Blake's young group keeps getting closer to ending the long losing skid.
MONTICELLO AT TURNER ASHBY
When: 7 p.m.
Records: Monticello 2-0, Turner Ashby 0-2
Last week: Monticello beat Fork Union Military, 58-38; Turner Ashby lost to Rockbridge, 35-34.
Keep an eye on: Monticello DB/K Josh Malm. The Mustang secondary struggled against Fork Union's offense last Friday. Although Monticello has the offense to stay in any game, the defense, particularly the secondary, needs to play better. Malm is a key member of the secondary and, with the availability of T.J. Tillery unknown, he will need to step up and guide the defense this week.
The skinny: The Mustangs are one of the top teams in Central Virginia and should provide a show to fans in the Shenandoah Valley tonight when they travel to Bridgewater to take on Turner Ashby. Kyree Koonce has made his presence felt in his first year as a Mustang and will provide a challenge to the Knights’ defense.
PATRICK HENRY (R) AT ALBEMARLE
When: 7 p.m.
Records: Patrick Henry (Roanoke) 2-1, Albemarle 1-1
Last week: Patrick Henry defeated Pulaski County, 21-14; Albemarle defeated Stafford, 20-10.
Keep an eye on: The running games. Senior Trevor Mike heads up a strong Patrick Henry rushing attack and quarterback Anthony Merritt is also a strong rusher who has the potential to be a threat in the passing game as well. Albemarle has shown well in both of its games and last week running back Drake Bryant turned in over 150 yards on the ground in the win.
The skinny: While it doesn’t necessarily impact the play on the field, the home field advantage in this one may be limited. Patrick Henry will be playing its fourth game of the season on the road and assumingly is prepared to not let the crowd be a major factor. On the field, the Albemarle defense against the Patrick Henry running attack will likely be the largest factor in determining the victor.
MADISON COUNTY AT EAST ROCKINGHAM
When: 7 p.m.
Records: Madison 0-2, East Rockingham 2-0
Last week: Madison fell to Culpeper, 26-7; East Rockingham beat James River, 34-12.
Keep an eye on: Madison’s ability to limit turnovers. Quarterback James Graves had another solid outing last Friday night, and his team possessed the ball for two thirds of the game, but the Mountaineers coughed up the football three times in a loss. Madison will need to hang onto the ball against a tough East Rockingham defense that has only surrendered 12 points in two games.
The skinny: After back-to-back losses to start the season, Madison will face its toughest test of the season to date in East Rockingham. The Eagles sit at 2-0 and have outscored opponents by a combined total of 55-12. Friday night marks the final non-district game of the season for the Mountaineers, who will open league play at home next Friday night against Manassas Park.
HARGRAVE MILITARY AT NELSON COUNTY
When: 7 p.m.
Records: Hargrave 1-2, Nelson 0-2
Last week: Hargrave fell to Covenant, 48-13; Nelson lost to Riverheads, 56-6.
Keep an eye on: Hargrave quarterback Jason Fields. Fields is a dual-threat QB. The senior has accumulated 577 total yards and six total touchdowns in Hargrave’s first three games.
The skinny: Last Friday night, the Governors ran into a buzz saw against Riverheads, which scored on its first six drives in a blowout win. Tonight is the third contest of a three-game home stretch for the Governors. Nelson has managed just two touchdowns in its last two games, but tonight provides another chance to get the offense going. The Governors will face a Hargrave defense that is giving up an average of 41 points per game. Last season, Nelson put up its second highest point total of the season on Hargrave, crushing the Tigers, 50-18.
BUCKINGHAM COUNTY AT BLUESTONE
When: 7 p.m.
Records: Buckingham 1-1, Bluestone 1-2
Last week: Buckingham beat Amelia County, 50-20; Bluestone lost to Goochland, 28-16.
Keep an eye on: Buckingham's Leon Ragland. With the offseason departure of Kyree Koonce, Ragland has stepped into the role of teaming up with Kenneth "Peanut" Johnson to form another monstrous one-two punch out of the backfield. Last week against the Raiders, it was Ragland who logged a team-high 168 rushing yards on 20 carries (8.4 yards per carry) to go with his two scores. Johnson wasn't too shabby himself, adding 149 yards on 18 carries (8.3 a rush), while scoring four touchdowns and tacking on a two-point conversion of his own.
The skinny: The Knights travel to Skipwith tonight to face an improved Barons squad that won three games in 2012. Buckingham cruised, 60-8, in last year's meeting at home, while the Knights blanked Bluestone 54-0 in 2011. Look for a less-lopsided result this evening, but the Knights should have a realistic chance to move to 2-0 in James River District competition.
ORANGE COUNTY AT RIVERBEND
When: 7 p.m.
Records: Orange 0-2, Riverbend 3-0
Last week: Orange lost to Eastern View, 35-9; Riverbend beat King George, 42-17.
Keep an eye on: Orange's ability to keep the chains moving. It hasn't worked out as well as planned in the first two games for the Hornets, but signs of progress were seen despite last week's lopsided loss. Running back Mikael Wallace came through with some nice gains, including a 37-yard touchdown. If the rest of the offense can buckle down and fight for the tough extra yards and avoid mistakes, Orange could keep things interesting on the road.
The skinny: It's still a work in progress for coach Keita Malloy's squad, as the Hornets remain on the quest for win No. 1 and will try again this evening against a somewhat familiar opponent. The Bears defeated Orange in each of the last two seasons during the Hornets' short stint in the Commonwealth District (35-14 in 2011, 35-0 last season). This will likely mark the biggest challenge of the season for OCHS, and would be a huge boost if the Hornets can come away with a win over its only Division 6 opponent on the schedule.
CHARLOTTESVILLE AT WILLIAM MONROE
When: 7:30 p.m.
Records: Charlottesville 1-1, William Monroe 0-2
Last week: CHS did not play; Monroe lost to Broadway, 38-8.
Keep an eye on: The Charlottesville defense. The Black Knights have given up yards and points in bunches in their first two contests, but have had an extra week to prepare for the former Jefferson District foe Greene Dragons. Monroe will look to Cody Perkins and Malik Mallory to utilize the ground game against the opposition, and with a lot of CHS guys playing on offense as well, conditioning and endurance will be a factor if Charlottesville wishes to emerge victorious heading into district play.
The skinny: After being shut out the last time they were on the field two Fridays ago, the Black Knights have indirectly received a gift of sorts. Their opponent that night, Culpeper County, has since reported an ineligible player on the roster, which in turn equals a forfeit victory for Charlottesville. Despite plaguing themselves in both games thus far with penalties and giveaways, the Knights will look to regroup. The Dragons, meanwhile, will be fighting tooth and nail for a momentum-building win in front of the home crowd after last week's defeat.
CULPEPER AT FLUVANNA COUNTY
When: 7:30 p.m.
Records: Culpeper County 1-2, Fluvanna County 0-2
Last week: Culpeper County beat Madison County, 26-7; Fluvanna County did not play.
Keep an eye on: Fluvanna’s special teams. The Flucos surrendered a punt return for a touchdown in their week one loss and didn’t look much better two weeks ago in another loss to Spotsylvania. The punt and kick coverage has to get better for Fluvanna or Culpeper will be handed great starting field position all game long.
The skinny: Culpeper is much improved. That was shown in a 31-0 win over Charlottesville two weeks ago. Unfortunately for the Blue Devils, that win was vacated due to an ineligible player that was used. With that being said, Culpeper is still pretty talented and will provide another challenge for an undermanned Fluvanna team. If the Flucos get off to another slow start, it could be an 0-3 start for Fluvanna and head coach Jason Barnett.
LOUISA COUNTY AT KING GEORGE
When: 7:30 p.m.
Records: Louisa County 1-1, King George 2-1
Last week: The Lions lost to Courtland, 42-7. King George lost to Riverbend, 42-17.
Keep an eye on: King George's quarterback. Corey Henderson has been an outstanding linebacker in the Battlefield District but he also has been a solid signal caller for the Foxes. Henderson is a thundering runner who has the ability to throw when needed.
The skinny: This game will be predominantly measured by the ground attacks of both teams and you can expect Henderson and running back Jacoby White to complement each other for the Foxes. On the other side, it will be important for Louisa to get Markel Groomes back on track after being bottled up for most of the game last week. Groomes had 170 yards rushing in the opening game and he will need another big performance to help his team get back on track. In addition to Groomes, look for Deion Johnson to get a steady workload.