* PRICE IS RIGHT: When Potomac senior running back Rico Lloyd went down with an ankle sprain in the first half Friday night against Osbourn, the Panthers skipped nary a beat when they inserted sophomore Gary Price into Lloyd's position.
Price carried 20 times for 120 yards in the 19-0 win, and scored on a rushing touchdown and on a 76-yard blocked punt return, both in the third period. Lloyd's ankle sprain is not believed to be serious. Potomac Coach Keith King said there was little swelling but considerable soreness.
Price plays point guard in basketball, and King thinks there is a correlation between that position and running back.
"He probably has some of the best vision of any of our backs," King said. "Being a point guard on the basketball team helps him see the whole court, and he sees the whole field, too."
Price, who also starts at cornerback, agrees.
"When you play point guard, you have to see the whole defense, as well as the holes in the defense, just like in football," Price said.
Price's gutsiness and athleticism both were on display on the punt return. The kick was rolling dead with several Osbourn players in the area. Price initially was told to steer clear of the ball to avoid it hitting him.
"I saw nothing but my people in a big ol' wall, so I picked it up and just ran," Price said.
Potomac, which recorded three shutouts last season, has not allowed a point the past six quarters headed into its home game Saturday against Gar-Field. Senior linebacker Brian Freeman made several tackles for losses against Osbourn, and sophomore defensive tackle Ivann Parker also stood out.
* GIMME AN S . . . : The seven Cardinal District schools this week will play their games Saturday instead of Friday because students will be taking the Scholastic Assessment Test on Saturday morning.
The only area games on tap for Friday night are Culpeper at Stafford, Sherando at Brooke Point and Manassas Park at Colonial Beach.
* MAKING 'EM COUNT: Hylton senior quarterback Kenny Irby has thrown just 34 passes this season, about 150 fewer attempts than North Stafford senior Chris Ashinhurst and about a quarter of the number thrown by Woodbridge senior Abey Malave.
But it would be difficult to top Irby for efficiency. Six of his 19 completions have gone for touchdowns, including one Friday night in a 35-14 win at Stonewall. Irby connected on all seven attempts in the Bulldogs' 21st consecutive victory.
Hylton Coach Bill Brown said the modest number of attempts has nothing to do with Irby and everything to do with other factors.
"Kenny is Kenny," Brown said. "The first two or three games Kenny had to pull the ball down and run for first downs in crucial situations. Our passing game has evolved from better protection and getting receivers who play defense in condition enough to play hard on defense and be able to run routes on offense."
Hylton's top three wide receivers and top pass-catching threat out of the backfield, junior D.J. Walton, all start on defense.
"We're in better shape now because we've found other players to give them a rest [on defense]," said Brown, whose team hosts Woodbridge on Saturday.
* POINT, COUNTERPOINT: Brooke Point Coach Tom Berry cannot help but get a little flustered when trying to name the players most responsible for the Black-Hawks giving up a touchdown or less in four of five games this season.
Every time Berry tries to single out someone, so many other worthy names pop into his head that it becomes a moot point.
"That's why we're playing good defense," he said. "It's not just one or two kids; we've been sound throughout."
That was the case Friday night in a 12-7 win over Fauquier. The defense set up one of the touchdowns when junior Robert Gunning forced a fumble that senior Mike Kessler recovered. The only touchdown the Falcons scored came after Brooke Point fumbled the opening kickoff.
Fauquier personnel mentioned to Berry that they found senior middle linebacker Jack Burner almost impossible to block at times.
"We haven't had as many athletes on defense in the past as we have this year," Berry said.
The Black-Hawks, on the road for four of their first five games, play their next three at home, including Friday against winless Sherando.
* GRIN AND WIN IT: While many teams' game preparation was hampered by rain early in the week, Manassas Park senior quarterback B.J. Treuting thought the soggy conditions helped the Cougars prepare for their 22-14 home Bull Run District win over Strasburg.
If nothing else, the wet field offered them a chance to get giddy.
"Wednesday it rained really hard and we got to practice out in the mud and laugh and everything," said Treuting, who thought the bye week also helped the Cougars home in on a game plan for Strasburg.
The grins kept coming Friday night after Manassas Park beat a team that had owned the Cougars all decade. Treuting knows he cannot revise that history, but he can halt the trend.
"The past two years they really beat the snot out of us," said Treuting, who played a career game against Strasburg by completing 11 of 15 passes for 241 yards. "I'm hoping everybody looks at us not like the old Manassas Park but the Manassas Park that shows up and plays football every game, like Friday."
The Cougars play a non-district game Friday at Colonial Beach.
* TIME TO REGROUP: North Stafford Coach Chris Beatty, who in his postgame misery called the 49-28 loss at Culpeper the most disappointing moment of his life, was still fretting yesterday about his defense's inability to stop the Blue Devils.
About the only bright side he could find was that there are five games left to play. If such a loss had occurred at the end of the season, the Wolverines might have trouble regrouping for the playoffs.
"When we lost [to Culpeper in Week 9 last season], that took the wind out of our sails even though we came back and beat Stafford the next week," said Beatty, whose team plays Saturday afternoon at Osbourn Park. "With it not being toward the end of the year, we have a lot of improvements we can make."
Going into the game Friday night, Beatty was more concerned about Culpeper's school record-setting passing attack than he was the Blue Devils' running game, because it was the air game that had most hurt the Wolverines last season. Friday, it was both facets, but mostly the running game.
Defensively, Culpeper dropped its linebackers to force North Stafford senior quarterback Chris Ashinhurst to throw to receivers underneath the coverage. Ashinhurst completed 26 passes, but take away a 38-yard catch-and-run by Allen Woodbridge, and the Wolverines averaged just 5.9 yards a completion, less than half their 13.7 norm through four games. The Blue Devils did not allow North Stafford's slithery receivers to squirt away after making catches.
* HEALTHY CONCERN: Ashinhurst yesterday was scheduled to compete in the 14th annual Jerry Gardziel Fall Classic, a baseball showcase tournament for players angling for college or pro offers.
Ashinhurst's involvement placed more pressure on North Stafford baseball coach Craig Lopez than on Ashinhurst.
"He better not get hurt out here, or we're in deep trouble," Lopez said, figuring the fate of the Wolverines' football season rests largely on Ashinhurst's right arm. "I won't go back to school."
BY THE NUMBERS
Series that Hylton's starting offense played in the second half of a 35-14 win at Stonewall Jackson.
Points Strasburg had scored against Manassas Park in shutting out the Cougars the previous two seasons.
Points Strasburg scored Friday night in a 22-14 loss to Manassas Park.
Players who caught passes in the North Stafford-Culpeper game.
Quotable: "They get tired of hearing me. I'm not very pleasant or diplomatic when voicing my concerns [about] complacency. If nothing else, getting me off their backs would be worth it." -- Hylton Coach Bill Brown on his team refocusing for a strong outing Friday night at Stonewall Jackson after a subpar performance the week before
J. Atkinson, Gar-Field
A. Woodbridge, N. Stafford
L. Atkinson, Gar-Field
G. Price, Potomac
L. Smith, Brooke Point
D. Dawson, Stafford
D.J. Walton, Hylton
B.J. Treuting, MPark
K. Irby, Hylton
C. Ashinhurst, N. Staff.
D. Rosinski, Stonewall
N. Ilaoa, North Stafford
T. Bucher, North Stafford
P. Edwards, North Stafford
B. Jenkins, Manassas Park
J. Baldwin, North Stafford
J. Puvogel, Stonewall
W. Newman, Manassas Park
J. Thomas, Brentsville
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
The Stafford defense helped cause six turnovers Friday night in a 26-17 road victory over Sherando that boosted the Indians' record to 3-2 overall, 2-0 in the Commonwealth District. That ties them with Culpeper for the top spot headed into their home game next week against the Blue Devils.
Senior outside linebacker Chris Hilleary forced two fumbles and recovered one of them. Sophomore Derek King pounced on a loose ball, and senior Dural Dawson and junior Jason Dauch each intercepted passes. Dawson returned his 50 yards for a touchdown.
Dawson also helped key the offense by scoring on a 37-yard run. Coach Roger Pierce said sophomore quarterback Brad Hayes sustained late possessions on keepers that helped the Indians eat up the clock.
The schedule now stiffens for Stafford, whose three wins have come against teams (Osbourn Park, James Wood and Sherando) with just two victories among them. Four of the last five games are against teams with winning records--Culpeper (6-0), Brooke Point (3-2), Potomac (3-2) and North Stafford (4-1).
George Mason 36, Quantico 26
Hylton 35, Stonewall Jackson 14
Potomac 19, Osbourn 0
Woodbridge 20, Osbourn Park 9
Gar-Field 17, Chantilly 0
Brooke Point 12, Fauquier 7
Culpeper 49, North Stafford 28
Stafford 26, Sherando 17
Manassas Park 22, Strasburg 14
James Monroe 21, Brentsville 8
Page County 40, Clarke County 6
Madison County 34, Luray 15
Culpeper at Stafford, 7:30
Sherando at Brooke Point, 7:30
Manassas Park at Colonial Beach, 7:30
North Stafford at Osbourn Park, 1:30
Quantico at Christchurch, 3
Brentsville at Clarke County, 6
Stonewall Jackson at Osbourn, 7:30
Woodbridge at Hylton, 7:30
Gar-Field at Potomac, 7:30
Gar-Field at Stonewall Jackson, 7:30
Woodbridge at Osbourn, 7:30
Oakton at Hylton, 7:30
Osbourn Park at Potomac, 7;30
Stafford at Brooke Point, 7:30
North Stafford at Fauquier, 7:30
Manassas Park at Clarke County, 7:30
Brentsville at George Mason, 2
Quantico at Maret, 3:30
Potomac at Stonewall Jackson, 7:30
Osbourn at Osbourn Park, 7:30
Gar-Field at Hylton, 7:30
James Wood at Brooke Point, 7:30
Sherando at North Stafford, 7:30
Fauquier at Stafford, 7:30
Madison County at Manassas Park, 7:30
Strasburg at Brentsville, 7:30
Manassas Park wide receiver Walter Newman (10) catches a pass from B.J. Treuting en route to a 68-yard gain during Friday night's win over Strasburg. The pass catcher was misidentified in yesterday's Extra.