Battlefield has lost its greatest number of regular season games since 2006, but they have been to Hylton (8-2) by 10, Stonewall Jackson (9-1) by four and North Stafford (9-1) by seven in overtime.
“Once we get to the playoffs, we always have expectations,” Cox said. “Our goal is to be practicing on Thanksgiving, which is [before] the regional championship game. That never changes. It’s always something we’re striving for.”
Senior Nick Newman leads the Bobcats in catches (39 for 865 yards and nine touchdowns) and tackles (74) and also has four sacks and two interceptions. He has taken on a greater role in the passing game since senior receiver Trent Saflin tore an ACL against Stonewall. Senior defensive end Jack Taylor has 10 sacks and at right tackle has enabled the Bobcats to feel confident running in either direction.
Woodbridge reached the playoffs by handing Stonewall its first loss last week.
Virginia AA Region II Division 4 quarterfinal: Woodgrove at Loudoun County, Friday, 7 p.m.
Woodgrove entered its Sept. 28 matchup with Loudoun County riding a five-game winning streak and averaging more than 50 points per game.
But the Raiders dealt the Wolverines a heavy dose of reality in the form of a 48-7 romp that forced the third-year program to regroup.
The two schools face off once more in the AA Region II Division 4 quarterfinals Friday night in Leesburg where the Wolverines (7-3) will find out how far they have come in the last six weeks.
“That was our first real test, and mentally, I don’t think we were fully prepared for it,” Woodgrove senior safety Atem Ntangtang said. “At the time, we might have thought a little too highly of ourselves. But we’re ready now.”
Loudoun County (8-2) carved up Woodgrove’s secondary with its spread attack as senior quarterback Jake Lokey completed 12 of 19 passes for 235 yards and five touchdowns. Senior wide receiver and all-Dulles District selection Brad Szoka was on the receiving end of three of those touchdowns, and that connection is one the Woodgrove secondary must contain.
“The connection between Brad Szoka and Jake Lokey is a pretty special one,” Ntangtang said. “We’ve got to give them different looks to give us some time to react and get to the receivers.”
Offensively, the Wolverines will be without starting quarterback Tucker Coil, who broke his leg in last week’s win against Loudoun Valley. Junior Will Koester will start in his place and could provide Woodgrove’s run-heavy offense with a bit more balance through the air.
But for the Wolverines to emerge with a win in their inaugural playoff appearance, they need another big night from district offensive player of the year Josh Sweet (1,709 yards, 25 touchdowns).