Louisa County at Albemarle
When: 7 p.m. Friday
Last week: Louisa County (9-0) defeated Western Albemarle, 42-24. Albemarle (3-6) defeated Charlottesville, 27-23.
When Louisa County has the ball: The Lions clinched a third straight Jefferson District regular season title last week buoyed by a devastating running attack and a dominating defense. Offensively, Coach Will Patrick’s team has three running backs that have eclipsed 500 yards this season. Senior Jarett Hunter, who needs just 64 yards to reach 1,000 yards for the second straight year, will likely move to quarterback following last week’s potential season-ending injury to Landon Wilson. That means more opportunities in the running game for Robert Morgan IV (601 yards, 13 TDs) and Kalup Shelton (577 yards, 4 TDs). Defensively, Aaron Aponte, Derrick Barbour and Austin Sims anchor a unit that thrives on pressuring the quarterback and making plays behind the line of scrimmage.
When Albemarle has the ball: The Patriots have been one of the more explosive offensive teams in the second half of the season thanks to breakout performances from some of their younger players. Ebenezer McCarthy established himself as an every-down back for the Patriots this season, rushing for 949 yards and eight touchdowns. Quarterback Jacob King has thrown for 868 yards and 11 touchdowns, while Torry Green, Robert Jones, Nolan Pitsenberger and Aquon Sims provide plenty of weapons in the passing game.
The skinny: This week’s game is all about seeding for the teams heading into their respective regional playoffs. Louisa County is still the No. 1 seed in Region 4B, but need a win and a Monacan loss to assure home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. If Monacan defeats playoff-bound Clover Hill, the Lions will most likely slip to the No. 2 seed based on rider points. Albemarle is tied with Brooke Point for sixth place in the Region 5D playoffs. A win for the Patriots would secure a No. 6 seed, but a loss and a Black-Hawks win could drop them to the No. 7 seed.