The third-year starter did not throw for more than 162 yards in any of the team’s first four games. Over the last five weeks, he is averaging nearly 310 yards through the air and has thrown 19 touchdown passes.
“He’s athletic, and that concerns me,” Briar Woods Coach Charlie Pierce said. “We have to understand our pressures and lanes. He’s very good at getting out in space, and the receivers are very good at reacting when he’s out of the pocket. When he improvises, he can hurt you.”
Lokey and wide receiver Brad Szoka present challenging matchups, but the Briar Woods defense remains one of the area’s best. The Falcons have held opponents to 41 percent passing while allowing five passing touchdowns — three of them coming in the fourth quarter of blowouts with many of their starters already off the field.
On the other side of the ball, Loudoun County will have its hands full trying to slow down a balanced offense led by junior quarterback Trace McSorley (1,671 yards, 22 touchdowns, one interception) and senior running back Cory Colder (753 yards, 12 touchdowns). But the Falcons know to expect plenty of pressure from an active Loudoun County defensive front.
“They’re a pressure defense. They’re going to bring a lot of guys in the box,” Pierce said. “We’ve got to be able to keep the ball and sustain long drives.”
Around Prince William
Forest Park (4-5) could tie for the best record in school history with a home win over Potomac (6-3), the only team with an unbeaten Virginia AAA Cardinal District record.
Hylton needed a last-minute kickoff return for a touchdown to beat Woodbridge two weeks ago and then fell to Potomac in overtime last week. The Bulldogs have beaten Osbourn Park in 10 of 11 meetings since 2001. The Yellow Jackets are vying for their second winning season in seven years.
First-year varsity program Patriot has wins this season over Brooke Point, Freedom-South Riding and Freedom-Woodbridge and gets its first official crack at rival Battlefield, which has lost three regular season games (to Hylton, Stonewall and North Stafford) for the first time since 2006. Patriot led unbeaten Stonewall in the fourth quarter two weeks ago. Battlefield senior Nick Newman has caught at least one pass in 16 consecutive games. All but one of those have been multi-catch outings.
Gar-Field has given up only a touchdown in each of its last four wins over Freedom-Woodbridge.
Through nine games, each of Brentsville’s opponents has a winning record. Those teams are 71-19 counting the 7-2 record twice for Kettle Run, the Tigers’ season-opening and season-closing opponent. Brentsville has lost 28 consecutive games.
Potomac Falls heads into Friday’s rivalry game with Dominion with an outside shot at reaching the postseason for the first time since it advanced to the region final in 2008. The Panthers (3-6) need a win coupled with a Powhatan loss and several other results to fall their way to claim the eighth and final spot in the Division 4 field, but they can only control their own result.
Facing a must-win scenario last week against Park View, senior quarterback Michael Fischetti threw touchdown passes in all three overtimes to lead the Panthers to a thrilling 28-27 win. Fischetti completed 30 of 53 pass attempts for a career-high 312 yards and four touchdowns — three to senior Kareen Watson — in the game. He will be tasked with keeping Potomac Falls’s season alive again on Friday in Sterling.
Elsewhere in Division 4, third-year programs Tuscarora (8-1) and Woodgrove (6-3) can improve their seeding with wins over Heritage and Loudoun Valley respectively....
Loudoun Valley has secured a Division 3 berth regardless of its result on Friday, but the Vikings (4-5) can move up to the seventh spot with a win against Purcellville rival Woodgrove and a Charlottesville loss.