Christchurch at Blue Ridge
What: VISAA Division II semifinals
When: 2 p.m. Saturday
Last week: Christchurch (6-2) lost to North Cross, 28-14. Blue Ridge (7-3) defeated Bishop O’Connell, 20-14.
When Christchurch has the ball: The Seahorses had won four games in a row before falling last week to playoff-bound North Cross in their regular season finale. Quarterback Jaylen Wood is a dual-threat for Christchurch and is especially effective in the running game near the end zone. Fullback Lawrence Porter is tough to bring down and is a bona fide run-stopper at linebacker. Kristopher Barnum is another option in the running game, while Jackson Swanner is a threat in the passing game and in the secondary.
When Blue Ridge has the ball: The Barons snapped a two-game losing streak last week with a home win, which should give them confidence heading into Saturday’s playoff game. Kenyon Carter has been a pleasant surprise in his first season at Blue Ridge, throwing for 1,669 yards and 24 touchdowns. He also showcased his defensive ability last week with a pick-6. Trammell Thompson and Andy Nwaoko are physical specimens on both sides of the ball. Lance Gaskins, Iceysis Lewis and Maliq Brown are three athletic targets in the passing game.
The skinny: Blue Ridge returns to the playoffs after a year hiatus and is eager to make some noise in the postseason. Coach Jimmy Wills’ team has averaged 30 points a game this season and proven that they can hang with most teams offensively. Carter is an experienced quarterback and thrives in big moments.