Friday, December 11, 2009
When: Saturday, 4:30 p.m.
Where: Virginia Tech's Lane Stadium, Blacksburg.
How they got here: Broad Run won its second consecutive Region II Division 4 title and last week trudged out a rainy 20-7 victory at Powhatan behind a dominant fourth-quarter drive. Amherst rolled through the regular season but only narrowly beat Christiansburg, 23-21, in the semifinals last week -- its closest margin of the season.
Playoff history: The Spartans are the defending Virginia AA Division 4 champions after having won just one playoff game prior to last season since the school opened in 1969. Amherst was the state champion in 2006 and 2007 but lost to Broad Run, 13-0, in last year's final.
When Broad Run has the ball: Running back T.J. Peeler (Pittsburgh) showed his ability last week when he rushed for 144 yards in the second half, including carrying the ball 14 times on the key game-clinching drive. He again will be a major factor, but keep an eye on sophomore quarterback Connor Jessop, who has come up with clutch plays several times in the playoffs, including the final touchdown last week.
When Amherst has the ball: The Lancers have a big-play offense that features a number of playmakers on offense spread all across the field. Broad Run must prepare for lots of motion, as well as double-handoffs and the occasional deep pass. Twin brothers Jamal and Jamar Glover are two key weapons.
X-Factor: Last year in the state championship game, it was two crucial passes to Syracuse-bound wideout Adrian Flemming that changed the game for the Spartans, including the opening score in the 13-0 win, and again on a fourth down on the game-clinching drive. Keep on eye on how the 6-foot-4 Flemming matches up with Amherst's diminutive defensive backs that often are left in man-to-man coverage.
-- Paul Tenorio