Park View (6-0)
at Potomac Falls (4-2) Friday, 7:30.
Last meeting: Sept. 18, 1998. Park View won, 41-14.
Key for the Patriots: Continue to play good defense. The Patriots' offense has been impressive this year--averaging 42.3 points and 426 yards per game--but the defense has been equally impressive. Park View is giving up only 5.3 points per game--best in the Washington area.
Key for the Panthers: Get off to a good start. Potomac Falls has trailed at halftime in each of its past two games--20-0 against Loudoun County Oct. 1 and 18-0 against Loudoun Valley Oct. 8. While the Panthers pulled off a terrific comeback against the Vikings, winning 22-18, they can't afford to dig themselves into a big hole against Park View. The Patriots have given up a total of nine points after halftime in six games.
Notable: Park View has won the only two meetings between the Sterling rivals by a combined score of 89-21.
at Warren County (2-4) Friday, 7:30.
Last meeting: Oct. 16, 1998. Liberty won, 39-6.
Key for the Eagles: Contain Warren County senior running back Travis Diamond. "He's got real good speed," Coach Joe Trabucco said. "He's dangerous. Warren County is a lot like us, though; they're up and down."
Notable: Liberty has won three of its five previous meetings with the Wildcats, but the Eagles are 0-2 in Front Royal.
Loudoun Valley (3-3)
at Broad Run (2-4) Friday, 7:30.
Last meeting: Oct. 6, 1995. Loudoun Valley won, 13-8.
Key for the Vikings: Attack. "At the beginning of the year, we got after people," Coach Mike Barton said. "But somewhere along the way, we lost that. We're at a point where we can't worry about who we're playing. We've got to get ourselves back on track."
Key for the Spartans: Contain Loudoun Valley senior fullback Ben Cross. Cross rushed for 99 yards in Friday's 22-18 loss to Potomac Falls--while playing only three quarters.
Notable: Loudoun Valley junior split end Greg Carlson is sidelined with broken ribs and could miss the remainder of the season. Loudoun Valley senior offensive lineman Steve Dellinger was scheduled to have season-ending ankle surgery yesterday.
North Stafford (5-1)
at Fauquier (3-3) Friday, 7:30.
Last meeting: Not available.
Key for the Falcons: Slow down the North Stafford passing attack. The Wolverines are averaging 28 points per game out of their no-huddle offense. North Stafford senior quarterback Chris Ashinhurst completed 21 of 29 passes for 345 yards and 3 touchdowns in a 33-20 win over Osbourn Park on Saturday.
Notable: Fauquier senior fullback Eric Bailey rushed for a season-high 146 yards and scored his first two touchdowns of the season in Friday's 17-7 win at James Wood.
Loudoun County (5-1)
at Handley (5-1) Saturday, 1:30.
Last meeting: Oct. 16, 1998. Handley won, 27-10.
Key for the Raiders: Pass defense. The Loudoun County defense has been tough against the run this season (giving up 60.7 rushing yards per game), but Handley is a team that runs and passes equally well. Handley senior running back Adam Woods rushed for 196 yards, and senior quarterback Lang Campbell threw for 198 yards in last week's 35-14 win at Liberty.
Notable: Loudoun County has won three of its past four meetings with Handley.
The Raiders' Fearsome Foursome
Jason Spring, Eric Gaskins, Taylor Ashby and Michael Stocks are used to being grouped together. All are Loudoun County High School seniors, defensive linemen on the football team and three-year varsity starters.
They're also best friends. They have classes together, work together at the same Reebok store in the Leesburg outlet center and often can be seen squeezed into Stocks's 1972 red Pontiac LeMans.
"We eat, sleep and live football. All we talk about is football," Stocks said. "We study our opponents, and we go out there with the passion to win. It helps being best friends. We love to play together, and we love to dominate together."
That's exactly what they've done this season. Loudoun County is giving up an average of just nine points per game, and the Raiders have held their opponents to an average of 60.7 rushing yards per game. Loudoun County's starting defense has not allowed a touchdown since the second game of the season, a 28-21 overtime loss to Loudoun Valley on Sept. 3.
These four--all big, strong and physically dominating players--are the ones who have led the defense:
No. 57, DT Jason Spring (6-4, 245): 48 solo tackles, 21 assists, 21 tackles for losses, three sacks, eight fumbles caused, four fumble recoveries, one blocked kick.
"They're strong, and the person who makes them click is Spring," said Potomac Falls Coach Wes Driskill, whose team was held to just three yards rushing by the Raiders in a 31-12 Loudoun County victory Oct. 1. "I think he's the best player on that line."
No. 74, DE Eric Gaskins (6-2, 250): 31 solo tackles, nine assists, 10 tackles for losses, one sack, four fumble recoveries, one interception, one blocked kick.
"Eric is very quick for a big man," Ashby said. "He just runs down plays. He's also strong."
No. 78, DE Taylor Ashby (5-11, 315): 13 solo tackles, nine assists, three tackles for losses.
"Taylor is the trash-talker," Stocks said. "He yells at the players on the line and gets people mad. We call him 'Billy Bob' after that guy in [the movie] 'Varsity Blues.' "
No. 52, DT Michael Stocks (6-4, 248): 21 solo tackles, 15 assists, 10 tackles for losses, one fumble caused, two fumble recoveries.
"He's the smartest one," Ashby said. "He knows what he's doing."
Loudoun County is 5-1 overall and 3-0 in the Northwestern District, tied for first place with undefeated Park View. The Raiders face one of their toughest tests of the season when they travel to Handley (5-1, 2-1) on Saturday.
"They have played an enormous role in our success," Loudoun County Coach Pat McManus said of his four linemen. "They've given our offense a chance to figure itself out. I don't think we would have had the kind of success we've had without those guys."
AA Northwestern District
Liberty at Warren County, 7:30
Loudoun Valley at Broad Run, 7:30
Park View at Potomac Falls, 7:30
AAA Commonwealth District
Culpeper at James Wood, 7:30
North Stafford at Fauquier, 7:30
Stafford at Brooke Point, 7:30
AA Northwestern District
Loudoun County at Handley, 1:30
LAST WEEK'S RESULTS
AA Northwestern District
Handley 35, Liberty 14
Potomac Falls 22, Loudoun Valley, 18
Park View 42, Warren County 6
Loudoun County 48, Broad Run 0
AAA Commonwealth District
Culpeper 28, Stafford 18
Fauquier 17, James Wood 7
Brooke Point 21, Sherando 7
North Stafford 33, Osbourn Park 20
DT Andrew Hoffman, Park View, Sr., vs. Warren County: Blocked a punt in the fourth quarter of Friday's 42-6 victory over the Wildcats; teammate Joey Weisen returned the ball 43 yards for a touchdown.
DB Anthony Long, Loudoun Valley, Sr., vs. Potomac Falls: Returned an interception 46 yards to the Potomac Falls 16-yard line to set up the Vikings' second touchdown in a 22-18 loss Friday.
DL Brock Lowery, Fauquier, Jr., vs. James Wood: Blocked a punt in the second quarter of Friday's 17-7 victory that set up the Falcons' first touchdown of the game.
ON THE BOARD
Last week's top performances
RUSHING: Eric Bailey, Fauquier, Sr., vs. James Wood: 29 carries for 146 yards and 2 TDs.
PASSING: Grant Harris, Loudoun County, Soph., vs. Broad Run: completed 3 of 3 passes for 100 yards and 2 TDs.
RECEIVING: Jonathan Lincoln, Loudoun County, Sr., vs. Broad Run: caught two passes for 85 yards and 2 TDs.
BY THE NUMBERS
Field goals (out of 14 attempts) made by Loudoun County senior place kicker Cary Greenfield this season. Greenfield made two field goals (of 19 and 35 yards) in the Raiders' 48-0 win over Broad Run Saturday.
Games in which Park View has scored more than 40 points, dating to the start of the 1998 season.
Combined record of the five teams that have beaten Liberty this season (Fauquier, North Stafford, Spotsylvania, Park View and Handley).
CAPTION: Loudoun County's Jonathan Lincoln goes over head of Broad Run's Matt Gordy to grab a pass. The Raiders (5-1) have tough test Saturday against 5-1 Handley.