Now, heading into the second half of the season, the Bulldogs will set out to prove if they are cut out for a postseason push. Beginning with Friday’s road contest against crosstown rival Chantilly, Westfield will take on a four-game stretch against teams with a combined record of 17-3.
“It’s a heck of a string of games, but I’m excited to see how we match up against them,” Simmons said. “I think we’re a good team but I’m not sure if we’re a great team yet.”
Just how good the Bulldogs’ defense is will be tested against a Chantilly squad that excels out of the option offense. Led by DeAndre Harris’s 518 rushing yards, the Chargers have totaled 1,474 yards and 17 touchdowns on the ground.
“Westfield is very fast on defense and their line is powerful,” Chargers Coach Mike Lalli said. “We have to be able to handle their pressure with power and speed because we didn’t do a good job of that last year.”
The last meeting, a 40-14 Westfield victory, hasn’t been forgotten by the Chargers, who are hoping to exact some revenge while starting off their Virginia AAA Concorde District schedule on the right note.
“This is a big game for us and it’s all we usually talk about,” said running back Ross Simms, who has scored a team-high seven touchdowns. “Our front line versus their front line will be the hardest part of the game. Both teams want those bragging rights, so we’ve got to come out strong.”
Around the Northern Region
W.T. Woodson, celebrating its 50th anniversary, will host T.C. Williams for homecoming at 1:30 p.m. Saturday and then that night induct its inaugural W.T. Woodson Athletic Hall of Fame class.
Among the football inductees is Andy Heck, who played for 12 years in the NFL and for the past seven seasons has been the Jacksonville Jaguars’ offensive line coach. Another inductee is former Woodson football and wrestling coach Paul Labazzetta, who for the past several years has been a football assistant at Battlefield.
Perhaps the best-known name on the list is former basketball standout Tommy Amaker, who played at Duke and is the head coach at Harvard after stints at Seton Hall and Michigan.
The plan Saturday is for some of the football alumni to run on the field with the current Cavaliers (0-5, 0-2), who the past two weeks have lost Virginia AAA Patriot District games by a total of seven points, with a 10-7 loss to Lee and a 14-10 loss to West Springfield.
“We just want the kids to feel like there’s not any crazy expectations they have to live up to,” Woodson Coach Joe Dishun said. “They’ve gotten better every week and we want to keep that going. Our kids are seeing [the weekend hoopla] as fun.”