Fork Union at Bishop O’Connell
When: 1 p.m. Saturday
Last week: Fork Union (0-0) was off. Bishop O’Connell lost to Archbishop Curley, 35-0.
When Fork Union has the ball: The Blue Devils have experience and attitude up front on both sides of the ball. Nick Lampro anchors the offensive line and is a presence in the trenches along with Abraham Ulrich and Calvin Graves. V’Jon Hampton is an elusive athlete at tailback. Freddie Sposato and Corey Frazier give Fork Union options for young quarterback Alex Williams. Defensively, Myles Brickhouse is a beast at the point of attack.
When Bishop O’Connell has the ball: The Knights return three first team all-conference performers, including defensive back Bryce Jackson and offensive lineman Jack Murphy. RB Darius Brown was a second team all-conference selection and is the featured back along with Kai Bowers. Ben Jeffrey is another veteran presence on the offensive line.
The skinny: The Mark Shuman era at Fork Union starts Saturday and the Blue Devils are eager to erase the memory of last season’s 2-8 campaign. The program has undergone a transformation under Shuman, with plenty of new faces in new places. Shuman preaches intensity and his team understands the importance of winning the battle in the trenches.
Bishop Sullivan at Woodberry Forest
When: 2 p.m. Saturday
Last week: Bishop Sullivan (1-1) lost to Benedictine, 49-26. Woodberry Forest (0-1) lost to Georgetown Prep, 30-14
When Bishop Sullivan has the ball: The Crusaders are stacked with playmakers, especially on the offensive side of the ball. Receiver Nehiki Meredith, an N.C. State commit, and Valerian Johnson are talented wide receivers that can make big plays. Junior QB Colt Minson, who has multiple college offers, including one from Wisconsin, is a prototypical pocket passer. Altrique Barrow is the leader on the offensive line.
When Woodberry Forest has the ball: The Tigers struggled to run the ball last season, but that looks to have changed in 2019. Rhys Logan rushed for nearly 100 yards and had a long touchdown run in the season opener. A consistent running game should help open up the secondary for QB Ben Locklear to make plays down the field. Defensively, Mathieu Masse-Pelletier continues to add to his highlight reel tapes of big hits.
The skinny: After spending nearly the first month of last season on the road, Woodberry Forest is excited to have home football games early in its schedule this season. Locklear struggled at times with a new set of receivers last week, but he has the arm strength and talent to win games for the Tigers.