“They’ve had to go through a lot to get here,” said Potomac Coach Jerry Roadcap, whose team has won three straight. “They deserve a shot and they’ve earned it. To play for a district championship is really big for these kids. They can go and let it all hang out and just enjoy the experience.”
With All-Met senior lineman Donta Wilkins and a strong supporting cast, Potomac has stopped the run all season and in recent games has gotten standout rushing performances from junior Torrey Dixon, who has 562 yards the past two weeks.
Dixon’s production has coincided with an offensive tweak that’s spurred the running game.
“He’s got a chance to see his blocks set up a little bit better and he’s been making the right choices,” Roadcap said. “Instead of hitting the sideline, he’s heading upfield. He’s got confidence now that that’s the way to run.”
The Panthers currently have the third-highest VHSL power points ranking among Division 5 teams in the Northwest Region. If they get to host a postseason game, it will be played at Freedom-Woodbridge High, less than three miles from Potomac.
Around the Northwest Region
Woodbridge (5-3), which took a lead in the final minute last week against Hylton only to give up a kickoff return for a touchdown in a gut-punch of a 20-15 loss, missed the playoffs last season with a 6-4 record. The Vikings host Forest Park (3-5) on Friday and then host No. 16 Stonewall Jackson (8-0) in the regular season finale. Woodbridge has nine consecutive wins against Forest Park, which had a bye last week. Forest Park will have to wait at least another year to post the first winning season in the school’s 12-year varsity football history.
Two tough games stand between Stonewall and an unbeaten regular season. The Raiders, who have trailed in the second halves of the past two games, play at Broad Run (4-4) and at Woodbridge. Broad Run currently holds the sixth and final Northwest Region Division 5 playoff berth. The Spartans’ losses have been to No. 7 Briar Woods, Woodbridge, No. 2 Stone Bridge and Battlefield — teams with a combined 27-5 record.
Osbourn Park (4-4) has a shot at its second winning season in seven years. The Yellow Jackets host Gar-Field (2-6) this week and Hylton next. Gar-Field senior Shakeem Copeland has rushed for 315 yards in losses the past two weeks.
Battlefield (6-2) hosts North Stafford (7-1) in a game that pits the three-time defending Northwest Region Division 6 champion Bobcats against the reigning Division 5 region champs.
Osbourn (4-5) will conclude its regular season, and perhaps season period, Friday at Freedom-South Riding (3-5). Osbourn has beaten Hylton and Potomac and led Stonewall in the third quarter but might be left out of the postseason for the first time since 2007. The Eagles are the seventh-rated Division 6 team in the region; six qualify for the playoffs.
Could be a tough loss for Freedom-Woodbridge (1-7) to bear if first-year varsity program Patriot (2-6) rolls in and beats the Eagles. Freedom is 10-68 since fielding its first team in 2005; Patriot the last two games has come within two touchdowns of Broad Run and led Stonewall late. The Pioneers were idle last week. Freedom-Woodbridge’s lone win was 25-22 over Freedom-South Riding, a team Patriot beat, 57-0.
Loudoun County responded to a frustrating home loss to Tuscarora on Sept. 21 by shifting its focus from a run-heavy attack to a wide-open spread offense. The Raiders are 4-0 since and senior quarterback Jake Lokey is thriving with the ball in his hands. County hosts Leesburg rival Heritage on Friday, a team that has given up 43, 54 and 51 points in its last three contests. If the Raiders win, they will play Briar Woods with at least a share of the district title on the line in next week’s regular season finale. ...
No. 7 Briar Woods (8-0) had its bye last week and hosts Loudoun Valley on Friday in Brambleton. The Falcons took their bye in Week 1 last season and then dropped their opener against Broad Run before reeling off 14 straight victories to capture a second straight state championship. But several of the team’s top players — including running back Cory Colder and linebacker Matt Rolin — have fought through injuries this season, and an extra week of rest should re-energize them for another playoff run....
Despite its 2-6 record, Potomac Falls is still alive in the Region II Division 4 playoff hunt. The Panthers (17.25 power points) close out their schedule with a pair of winnable games against Sterling rivals Park View and Dominion, but they will need Powhatan (4-3, 20.14) or Liberty (4-4, 20.13) to falter in order to sneak in as the eighth and final seed.