St. Anne’s-Belfield vs. Covenant
What: VISFL championship game
When: 6 p.m. Saturday at STAB’s Frank Addonizio turf field
Last week: St. Anne’s-Belfield (8-1) defeated Virginia Episcopal, 48-18. Covenant (8-0) defeated Greenbrier Christian, 54-21
When St. Anne’s-Belfield has the ball: The Saints earned a berth in Saturday’s state title game thanks to a power run game that wore down opposing defenses. Amani Woods has rushed for a career-high 1,166 yards and 18 touchdowns as the featured back in the offense. Gabe Decker has been a nice complementary back with 318 yards and four touchdowns as a short-yardage specialist. Quarterback Nolan Bruton has thrown for nearly 700 yards and nine touchdowns and done a good job protecting the football. Nic Reese could be an X-factor for the Saints. He’s amassed more than 1,000 yards from scrimmage and scored 14 touchdowns as a running back and receiver.
When Covenant has the ball: The Eagles have been nothing short of sensational this season as they’ve averaged more than 52 points a game en route to their second straight Virginia Independent Schools 8-man Football League final. Quarterback Jonas Sanker has amassed nearly 2,000 yards of total offense and is responsible for nearly 40 touchdowns on the season. Michael Asher and Nic Sanker give Covenant two explosive options in the passing game and Cole Finley has been a steady force in the backfield. Defensively, the Sanker brothers anchor a unit that has yielded just 14 points a game and that can force turnovers and flip them into points in a hurry.
The skinny: Saturday’s matchup will mark the fifth meeting between the two programs in the past 12 months in what has quickly emerged as the most heated rivalry in the VISFL. This is a rematch of last year’s state title game and both coaches will more than likely have some new wrinkles ready for their opponent. Covenant is an explosive team that feeds off big plays on both sides of the ball. The Eagles have won the four previous matchups between the two programs and outscored their opposition 260-110.