Fork Union Military (0-0) at Potomac (0-0)This odd pairing came about by necessity. When Potomac found out it no longer was going to play Hylton twice each regular season, the Panthers launched a statewide search for a Virginia AAA public school opponent. With none available, Potomac scheduled boarding school Fork Union Military Academy. The game will have no Virginia High School League power point implications.
This is not the Fork Union postgraduate team. This is the "prep" team of players in grades nine through 12. That's not to say the prep squad is devoid of talent. Perhaps the top Fork Union player is 6-foot-2, 220-pound running back Chris Perry, who has been offered scholarships by Ohio State, Michigan and Virginia Tech, Fork Union Coach Micky Sullivan said. In 17 games the past two seasons, Perry has scored 31 touchdowns and rushed for 2,000 yards.
"He reminds me a lot of Daniel Davis," Potomac Coach Keith King said of Perry, comparing him with the 1998 All-Met Offensive Player of the Year.
Fork Union, 10-1 last season, has won four consecutive state independent school championships in Division II (1995-1997) and Division III (1998).
Potomac senior running back Rico Lloyd scored four touchdowns in a scrimmage against Washington-Lee, but he is not joined in the backfield by track teammate Damien Johnson. Johnson, a fullback out for football for the first time, blew out his knee in the scrimmage and is out for the season. Junior Javarre Chapman replaces him.
Osbourn Park (0-0) at Broad Run (0-0) These are two teams that would just love to begin the season with a win. Osbourn Park went 1-9 last year, beating Stonewall in its finale. A victory Friday would give the Yellow Jackets their first two-game winning streak since 1994, not counting four victories they had to forfeit in 1997.
Broad Run went 0-10 last season and has not won a game since Oct. 31, 1997.
Osbourn Park would seem to have the upper hand, with 21 seniors to the Spartans' five. One of those Yellow Jacket seniors is Osbourn transfer Frankie Hogan, who will start at quarterback.
Osbourn Park's second scrimmage, against Langley, was canceled because of lightning. So the team will enter the opener perhaps a tweak or two short of being fine-tuned.
"I'm not as upset about it with more of a veteran ballclub than if we were a little bit younger," Osbourn Park Coach Mike Feldman said. "We didn't get anybody banged up, so in that regard, we're in good shape."
Woodbridge (0-1) at Robinson (0-0) With its season opener spoiled with a loss to Culpeper, Woodbridge will try to do some spoiling of its own Thursday night at Robinson.
The Vikings forced four turnovers last week in the 21-20 loss but turned just one of the take-aways into points. They led 20-9 midway through the fourth quarter before the Blue Devils rallied for the win.
Robinson, the 1997 Division 6 state champion, went 5-5 last season. Cornerback/running back Scott Sanden, who also returns kicks, has committed to Penn State.
Brooke Point (0-0) at Spotsylvania (0-0) Spotsylvania is a Virginia AA team with Virginia AAA ability, thanks in great part to senior 1,100-yard rusher Dennis Thornton. In fact, the Knights have the largest enrollment among Region I Division 4 schools with 1,012 students, according to Virginia High School League figures.
The teams last met in 1997, when a Spotsylvania loss to Brooke Point was a mere bump on the way to the Knights winning the state title.
Brooke Point is looking for candidates to help rack up the 2,000 yards gained and 32 touchdowns scored last season by All-Met Offensive Player of the Year Daniel Davis. Fortunately for the Black-Hawks, they have an offensive line conducive to such a back emerging.
Stafford (0-0) at James Monroe (0-0) Just because Stafford Coach Roger Pierce became the father of triplet sons last week, he said, he is not about to step down from coaching.
"I plan on staying," Pierce said. "It's my livelihood. I have to feed people."
Pierce and the Indians are hungry themselves, coming off a 2-8 season. One of the setbacks last year was a 33-22 loss to eventual Virginia AA playoff qualifier James Monroe. The highlight of that game for the Indians came when Chris Hilleary returned a kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown. He also ran for 130 yards on just six carries.
James Monroe's top offensive returnee is senior Ralph Brown, a 1,300-yard rusher.
Page County (0-0) at Brentsville (0-0) Because of renovations around the school, Brentsville players were forced to dress for practice in their cars for part of the preseason. Maneuvering in such cramped quarters could make flexibility a team strength.
"They adjusted well to what was going on," Tigers Coach Mike Madison said. "They didn't use it as an excuse, and we wouldn't allow them to."
The question is, can Brentsville give non-district opponent Page a dressing-down for the sixth consecutive season? The Tigers won, 18-6, last year by totaling 247 offensive yards, their seventh opening night win in the past eight years.
Page's top two players are quarterback/defensive back David Shenk and running back/linebacker Kevin Roudabush. Both are four-year starters. The Panthers went 1-9 last season.
Luray (0-0) at Manassas Park (1-0) With 33 first-quarter points, Manassas Park beat Quantico, 54-6, last week, but the Cougars know full well what it's like to be on the other end of such scores. Luray humbled them the past two seasons by winning 68-0 in 1997 and 57-14 last year for its third consecutive win in the series.
"This game will be a lot closer," Manassas Park Coach Jeff Lloyd said. "This is the first year we've had the athletes to match up with them. We need to get our kids to believe we're as good as they are and that we have a chance to win.
"Even though it's only Week 2, this is a big game. They're [Virginia A] Division 1 just like we are, and a win would go a long way toward our goal of making the playoffs."
Luray lost several key players off its 9-3 team that lost to Strasburg in the Region B final.
Quantico (0-1) at Massanutten (1-1) After seeing talented Manassas Park skill position players last week in a 54-6 loss, Quantico will be pleased to know that two of Massanutten's offensive standouts will be unable to play in this game because of Delaney Athletic Conference rules. One is too old, the other too young.
Eric Jenkins, with 40 carries for 417 yards and three touchdowns, will be unavailable to play because he is a second-year senior. Receiver Ronnie Hendry, with three catches, is too young because he is in seventh grade.
The top available Massanutten player will be senior quarterback Travis Reed, who has rushed for 120 yards and thrown for 121.
Quantico and Massanutten finished first and second, respectively, last season in the four-team DAC. Quantico knocked off the conference runner-up, 34-10.
Forestville, Md., (0-0)
at Colonial Forge (0-0) Originally scheduled to take place on the road, the first game in Colonial Forge history instead will take place at the new Stafford County school because all systems are go at the facility.
"That's huge," Colonial Forge Coach Karl Buckwalter said. "It's very rare to get to open a brand new school with a home football game at the same time."
The inaugural game will take place against a Forestville team that reached the Maryland 1A state championship last season. The squad returns all five of its offensive line starters.
As a new school, Colonial Forge has no starters to return, and no seniors, either. The Eagles will play three varsity games--Forestville, Broad Run and Brentsville--before settling into a junior varsity schedule.
Game of the Week
* Stonewall Jackson (0-0) at North Stafford (0-0)
A dramatic 22-21 comeback win over Stonewall Jackson in Week 2 last season snapped a six-game losing streak in the series and helped push North Stafford toward its first playoff berth since 1992--the last year it beat Stonewall Jackson. The victory earned first-year Coach Chris Beatty a shoulder ride around the field.
"I think that was the biggest win of the season for us," Beatty said yesterday. "Coming from behind gave us the feeling we were never out of a game."
The Wolverines scored 15 unanswered points in the fourth quarter on two touchdown passes by quarterback Chris Ashinhurst and his decisive two-point conversion toss with 1:51 left.
Ashinhurst is back. Stonewall Jackson's Ricky Smith, who rushed for 170 yards against the Wolverines last season, is not. That pretty much sums up each team's current station. The Raiders are looking for yet another 1,000-yard rusher (Antwoin Saunders? Richard Bailey?).
North Stafford has proven impact players in Ashinhurst and running back/defensive back Allen Woodbridge, who is being courted by Georgia Tech, Boston College, Wisconsin and Maryland.
"Last year nobody really expected us to win," Beatty said. "This year we expect to win--just like [the Raiders] expect to win."
This Week's Games
Woodbridge at Robinson, 7:30
Stonewall Jackson at North Stafford, 7:30
Osbourn Park at Broad Run, 7:30
Fork Union at Potomac, 7:30
Brooke Point at Spotsylvania, 7:30
Stafford at James Monroe, 7:30
Forestville (Md.) at Colonial Forge, 7:30
Luray at Manassas Park, 7:30
Page County at Brentsville, 7:30
Quantico at Massanutten Military, 2