Liberty (1-0) at No. 18 North Stafford (1-0)
North Stafford Coach Chris Beatty is not overly concerned with how much running his players do in practice this week. But he does want to jog their memories.
The Wolverines thumped Stonewall Jackson, 44-6, Friday night. Just two years ago, Beatty points out, they were on the losing end of a 38-3 game with Stonewall. His message: Don't get too big for your britches.
"A lot of times kids have a short memory," Beatty said. "They don't remember they were part of that team that got their butts whipped."
In fact, North Stafford lost, 21-13, to Bealeton school Liberty last season--after beating Stonewall the week before. One key play in the game last year came when the Eagles, after kicking the go-ahead extra point in the fourth quarter, recovered a squibbed kickoff at the North Stafford four-yard line.
Allen Woodbridge, who scored both touchdowns in last year's Liberty game, and Beatty have called a news conference for 1 p.m. Monday, at which time the cornerback is expected to announce his signing with Boston College.
Finishing drives will be a point of emphasis this week for North Stafford. Even though the Wolverines offense had its way with Stonewall, the unit still had to settle for three field-goal attempts when drives fizzled.
Liberty, a Virginia AA school, is coming off its first Northwestern District title and an 11-win season that ended with a loss to Lafayette in the Division 4 semifinals. The Eagles dropped their opener, 10-7, to Fauquier on a field goal with 1 minute 32 seconds left. Senior fullback Thomas Walker carried 20 times for 137 yards.
Liberty has beaten North Stafford all three years since the series began in 1996.
Fauquier (2-0) at Gar-Field (1-0)
To say the kicking game could decide the outcome of this game would be an understatement. Gar-Field junior Scott Gvozdas kicked a 46-yard field goal in a 9-7 win Aug. 27 at George Washington-Danville, and both of Fauquier's wins have come on field goals by junior Ben Yolda.
Yolda connected on a 35-yarder with two minutes left in a 17-14 win over Lafayette two weeks ago and kicked a 21-yarder with 1:32 left in a 10-7 win over Liberty last week.
Fauquier junior running back George Minor carried 22 times for 143 yards to help avenge the two losses Liberty handed the Falcons last season. Senior fullback Eric Bailey rushed for 73 yards.
Gar-Field was idle last week.
Osbourn (0-1) at Stonewall Jackson (0-1)
Hylton and Potomac, Gar-Field and Woodbridge, and Osbourn Park and Stonewall Jackson all decided to play each other just once this regular season. Osbourn and Stonewall, however, have decided to continue to play twice each fall.
"I think we did it out of necessity because we couldn't find another game," Stonewall Coach Jim Powell said.
This game does not count toward the Cardinal District standings; the one Oct. 9 at Osbourn will.
Osbourn, idle last week, will have the services of senior running back/defensive back Jon Latimer for this game. Latimer sat out the 26-15 loss at King George because of missed practices. Relegated to the sideline, he made a contribution by offering pointers to junior Belart LaRochelle, who rushed for 169 yards.
Stonewall is coming off a 44-6 loss at North Stafford. The Raiders were guinea pigs of sorts for the Wolverines' new pass-happy, no-huddle offense.
Osbourn and Stonewall split their games last year. Osbourn won the early nondistrict game, 6-2, and Stonewall won the second meeting, 42-6.
Potomac (0-1) at Brooke Point (1-0)
In some ways, this game marks Potomac's opener, because its 15-7 loss last week to Fork Union Military Academy had no bearing on the Virginia High School League power points.
"It was a game you wanted to win to build confidence, but it didn't mean anything," Potomac Coach Keith King said.
Headed into these teams' season openers, it appeared as if Potomac had the more proven rusher in senior Rico Lloyd. But Fork Union stuffed Lloyd, and Brooke Point junior Larry Smith enjoyed a breakout debut with 139 yards in a 14-3 win over touted Virginia AA team Spotsylvania. That, however, might be more indicative of Brooke Point's veteran offensive line than the skill of either back.
This game last year--a 44-24 win for Brooke Point, its fifth in a row in the series--went in the history books as the night Daniel Davis broke the Virginia AAA state rushing record. He had 311 yards and four touchdowns against the Panthers. Potomac led 24-22 in the fourth quarter.
Osbourn Park (1-0) at Stafford (0-1)
Osbourn Park Coach Mike Feldman does not want to make too big a deal out of his team's season-opening 34-0 win over Broad Run. But he does not want to downplay it, either.
"We took a step forward instead of taking steps backward," he said. "But it was only one step, and we have a long way to go."
A 2-0 start is not out of the question for a team that coming into the season had won two games in four years. Senior quarterback Frankie Hogan, a transfer from Osbourn, gained 213 offensive yards--170 on the ground--against Broad Run.
Stafford beat Osbourn Park, 14-8, last season in overtime on an 11-yard sweep by Dural Dawson. Each team missed a field goal late in the fourth quarter. Counting an Osbourn Park victory overturned by forfeit in 1997, Stafford has won the past five games in the series.
Dawson ran for 177 yards last week in a 21-10 loss to James Monroe.
Eleanor Roosevelt (1-0) at Woodbridge (0-2)
Woodbridge has the edge in preparation time in this one, having played Thursday in a 35-23 loss to Robinson. Greenbelt school Roosevelt was beating Riverdale Baptist, 50-0, when the game was cut short by lightning with 6:24 to play Saturday.
An 0-3 start for Woodbridge would be an abomination for a program that reached the playoffs every year from 1992 to 1997. Roosevelt went 7-3 last year and returns most of its offensive linemen and junior running back Edwin Rios, who ran for 136 yards and three touchdowns in the opener.
Woodbridge quarterback Abey Malave-Lopez has passed for 331 yards in two games.
Manassas Park (2-0) at Page County (0-1)
A dramatic overtime victory against Page County last season halted a 12-game Manassas Park losing streak and maybe got the Cougars thinking they could win such games more often. They pulled out another nail-biter last week by beating Luray on the game's final play.
The circumstances of the two triumphs were somewhat similar. Last year against Page, Manassas Park took its final possession at its own eight-yard line. Quarterback B.J. Treuting threw a 92-yard touchdown pass and kicked the game-tying extra point to force overtime. Playing their first game in their newly renovated stadium, the Cougars scored on their overtime possession, and Walter Newman intercepted a pass to seal the win.
Last week, Treuting directed the game-winning, two-play drive with a 38-yard completion to Newman and a 13-yard touchdown pass to Brett Jenkins as time expired to snap a three-game losing streak in the series with Luray.
Cougars Coach Jeff Lloyd thinks that's just great, but . . .
"If we don't win [at Page], then beating Luray doesn't mean anything," he said.
Page lost, 23-14, last week to Brentsville.
Brentsville (1-0) at Luray (0-1)
Luray losing to Manassas Park last week could make this an even more difficult game for Brentsville, because the opener was a game Luray easily could have, and maybe even should have, won.
"It made our lives a lot tougher, but that's the way it should be," Brentsville Coach Mike Madison said, figuring the Bulldogs will be mighty spirited in their home opener.
Luray has beaten Brentsville the past two seasons; before that, the Tigers had reeled off three consecutive victories in the series.
Brentsville won its eighth season opener in nine years with a 23-14 victory over Page last week. Four Tigers rushed for 35 yards or more. Luray, in its loss, had four rushers with 40 yards or more.
Broad Run (0-1) at Colonial Forge (0-1)
This was an opportune scheduling move for both teams: Broad Run is looking for its first win since Halloween 1997, and first-year school Colonial Forge is looking for its first win, period. Forestville (Md.) administered a 58-3 hazing to the Eagles last week.
The players "were very upbeat, and I think they're starting to figure out that to me it doesn't matter if you win by 50 or win by one--a win is a win," Colonial Forge Coach Karl Buckwalter said. "And whether you lose by 50 or lose by one, a loss is a loss. I think that's something they had to see."
Despite the lack of offense, Buckwalter would like to keep his punter as idle as possible.
"We're not going for cosmetic scores to make things look good," he said. "When we're down, we're going for first downs because first downs lead to touchdowns."
Broad Run is coming off a 34-0 loss to Osbourn Park. The Spartans have just five seniors; Colonial Forge has none.
North Cross (1-0) at Quantico (1-1)
Sophomore Jerard Anderson (192 yards) and senior Keon Williams (123 yards) helped Quantico forget its season-opening blowout loss to Manassas Park by leading the Warriors to a 44-6 win over Massanutten Military Academy last week. Williams scored three touchdowns.
Quantico this week faces a new opponent in Roanoke school North Cross, which won its opener against Blessed Sacrament-Huguenot last week, 13-10. North Cross senior running back Matt Stover rushed for 82 yards, and junior Charlie Glenn threw a touchdown pass.
GAME TO WATCH: No. 4 Friendly (0-1) at No. 3 Hylton (1-0)
A rare interstate game between two defending state champions, this fine pairing is not necessarily the juicy circle-your-calendar tiff it could have been.
While Hylton lost a lot off its Virginia AAA Division 6 state championship team, the Bulldogs returned a lot, as well.
Friendly, the Maryland 3A state champion, was not as fortunate. The Patriots brought back just two starters--offensive linemen Tiant Thomas and Stephen Posey.
"That was last year--we enjoyed it, and it was great," said Friendly Coach George Earley, whose Patriots are the first state champion to hail from Prince George's County since 1988. "But it's over. . . . We've got guys who really don't know each other. They're talented, but it's different."
Hylton has won 17 consecutive games, including a 19-15 victory at Petersburg Aug. 27. Friendly had its 13-game winning streak unceremoniously snapped last week in a 35-0 loss to unranked High Point.
Even so, Hylton Coach Bill Brown figures the Patriots must be capable of beating his Bulldogs.
"When we came off last year, we had three open dates and had an extremely difficult time scheduling games," Brown said. "Everybody that contacted me to play us, I knew was contacting us because they had a good football team. They weren't going to call us . . . if their team was mediocre."
THIS WEEK'S GAMES
Osbourn at Stonewall Jackson, 7:30
Friendly at Hylton, 7:30
Osbourn Park at Stafford, 7:30
Eleanor Roosevelt at Woodbridge, 7:30
Fauquier at Gar-Field, 7:30
Potomac at Brooke Point, 7:30
Broad Run at Colonial Forge, 7:30
Brentsville at Luray, 7:30
North Cross at Quantico, 4
Liberty at North Stafford, 7:30
Manassas Park at Page County, 7:30
Staff writer Josh Barr contributed to this report.
CAPTION: Robinson's Chris Anderson (23), Mark Clayton knock ball from hands of George Preston of Woodbridge, which is in danger of falling to 0-3 after reaching playoffs from 1992 to 1997.