Lake Braddock (3-2, 3-0 Patriot District) and South County (1-4, 1-1) have met seven times. Five of those games have been decided by a touchdown or less, including the past two seasons. Five Lake Braddock players have rushed for touchdowns, and five have caught touchdown passes. The only player on both of those lists is senior Aaron Hollins, who this season has touchdowns on a 96-yard kickoff return, 64- and 21-yard passes and a 96-yard run.
The first five weeks of Loudoun Valley’s 2012 season did not go exactly according to plan.
The Vikings (2-3, 1-2 AA Dulles District) entered their bye week with a 1-3 mark instead of the 3-1 or 2-2 record they targeted, and entered the second half of the season without starting running back Bryce Wince, who they lost to a broken leg in Week 2.
But through early disappointment, the Vikings found a commodity they hope will ignite a second-half run: Sophomore running back Andrew Cordani.
In his first varsity game, against James Wood on Aug. 31, Cordani eclipsed 100 yards and scored four touchdowns on only seven carries. Last week, he rushed for 227 yards and three more scores in a convincing 43-14 win against Heritage. And on Friday night at Dominion, Cordani will once again be the focus of the Valley offense — and the Titans’ defense.
“They’re a big, strong, physical team. They come off the ball extremely well,” Dominion Coach Karl Buckwalter said. “We’re going to have to come off the ball and not let those guys wear us down, which I think is their forte.”
The Vikings have done just that in their recent meetings against the Titans (2-3, 2-2), which included a 58-7 rout in 2010 and last year’s 21-0 whitewashing. But Dominion, which is coming off a sloppy but essential win at Park View, can also pound the football behind seniors Matt Valenzuela and Garrett Robinson.
“We call him Larry Csonka,” Buckwalter said of the 6-3, 220-pound Valenzuela. “He’s just a horse. He’s a tough, tough kid. And then Garrett gives us that outside threat that you’ve got to contend with.”
“This is probably the best Dominion team that I’ve seen — offensively and defensively — in the last few years,” Vikings Coach Danny McGrath said. “It should be a good one on Friday, we’re not expecting anything less.”
This week McGrath and Buckwalter are stressing the goal of extending the season beyond the next five weeks, or, as both coaches put it, their final 12 guaranteed practices.
Both the Vikings and Titans were shut out of the playoffs last season after making the postseason in 2010, and for one team, Friday’s contest could be a springboard back into the playoff picture.
“We were a little disappointed in the way we started,” McGrath said, “but we have some big matchups down the road and we want to be a team that plays an 11th game.”....
Woodgrove (5-1, 3-1) stormed through its first five games of the season, piling up points and lopsided victories along the way. But Loudoun County snapped the Wolverines’ streak with a 48-7 blowout in Purcellville last Friday. Now the third-year program faces the daunting task of bouncing back on the road against two-time defending Division 4 champion Briar Woods.
The 10th-ranked Falcons (6-0, 4-0) mauled Tuscarora’s vaunted run game last week and will present Woodgrove’s talented offensive line with its biggest test yet as the Wolverines try to create holes for junior running back Josh Sweet.