The Huskies (9-1) rolled over the Pioneers, 41-21, in their season opener behind a season-high 274 rushing yards yards and three touchdowns from sophomore running back Noah Reimers. But in its second trip to the postseason, Tuscarora understands the need for balance.
Over the last two weeks, Tuscarora Coach Mike Burnett has called more passing plays and junior quarterback Nick Azzarita has delivered his most productive games of the season. With Millbrook (6-4) stacking the box to limit Reimers, Azzarita will need to step up for the Huskies to advance to a second straight region semifinal.
In the other two Division 4 quarterfinals, two-time defending state champion and top-seeded Briar Woods (10-0) hosts Powhatan (5-5) and Liberty (6-4) travels to Sherando (6-4) for another rematch of a regular season game won by the Warriors.
In Division 3, Loudoun Valley is back in the playoffs after a one-year hiatus and for the first time since they returned to AA. The seventh-seeded Vikings(4-6), who lost three of four to end the regular season, travel to No. 1 Skyline (9-1).
Virginia A Eastern Section Division 2 first-round game: Nandua at Manassas Park, Friday, 7
Four Manassas Park ball carriers have posted at least one 100-yard game this season, but the Cougars (7-3) do not have a grind-it-out offense. They have a big-play running game that will be on display Friday in a Virginia A Eastern Section Division 2 first-round home game against Nandua (8-2).
Manassas Park amassed 490 rushing yards last week in a 54-13 win over George Mason. Senior Chuck Moorman scored on all three of his carries, plays that covered 145 yards.
“We try to get our running backs in space and we’ve been able to break some,” Manassas Park Coach Joe McElfish said. “Usually, two or three or five or six plays and somebody breaks off one.”
Senior quarterback Ryan Kolb is the team’s leading rusher, followed by junior Nick Johnson, Moorman and senior Nick Coates. The Cougars are running behind an entirely new line; all five starters were seniors last year. Three sophomores and two juniors start on the line now, including junior Isaiah Browne, a two-way standout.
There are 16 teams in the Eastern Section playoffs.