George Mason (4-4, 1-2)

at Manassas Park (6-2, 2-1) Manassas Park figures it needs to win this homecoming game and knock off Brentsville next week to earn a Region B Division 1 playoff berth. The Division 1 field, composed of the smallest schools in the region, is tougher to crack this season than Division 2.

"We can't go 7-3 and get in," Manassas Park Coach Jeff Lloyd said.

The return of sophomore Jonathan Abrams this week could boost the Cougars. Abrams has been out with a separated shoulder since the fourth game. His involvement will help take the backfield load off junior Nick Bertrand and allow junior Walter Newman to concentrate on receiving.

Yesterday was Abrams's first day to practice in pads since the injury, so Lloyd was unsure how much the running back/rover would be able to play against George Mason.

The Cougars could have used Abrams last week against district front-runner Madison County in a 37-21 home loss. The Mountaineers scored 20 straight points in the second half.

"For a half, we beat 'em," Lloyd said with a chuckle. "We felt we had to play a perfect game against Madison to win, and we thought we were close to doing that."

If the George Mason series holds to form, this game will be a blowout one way or the other. The Mustangs won 47-7 last year--Manassas Park committed four second-half turnovers--and 48-6 the year before. The three seasons before, Manassas Park won 40-6, 46-0 and 27-0.

Brentsville (6-2, 2-1)

at Madison Co. (5-3, 3-0) Talk about a back-loaded schedule. After playing district kingpin Madison County, the Tigers still must face Manassas Park.

"You look at our league--it's back-loaded in itself," Brentsville Coach Mike Madison said in reference to the new and vastly improved Bull Run District. "But your schedule doesn't make the difference; your kids make the difference."

One such impact player for the Tigers has been senior Justin Thomas, who has rushed for 542 yards and has caught a team-high 14 passes for 316 yards. He padded each category last week in a 29-19 loss to Strasburg.

Madison County has beaten Brentsville each of the past three seasons, including 34-3 last season and 44-6 in 1997. The Mountaineers pulled out a 13-6 win in 1996.

Osbourn (1-7, 0-5)

at No. 2 Hylton (8-0, 4-0) Winning a game that easily could have been a loss, such as the 17-16 nail-biter over Gar-Field last week, should end up helping Hylton, Bulldogs Coach Bill Brown says.

"Even when you lose a game, if you can take the film and find out what you were doing wrong, you'll be a better team," he said. "When you have [blowouts], you don't pay attention to what you do right or wrong."

Hylton was down 10-0 in the fourth quarter to Gar-Field before rallying for the victory on an overtime extra point by senior Andy Wilfong. Senior Alex Mason and sophomore Stephen Ball had blocked Gar-Field's extra point attempt in overtime.

The victory, perhaps the game most in doubt during the Bulldogs' 24-game winning streak, also could boost the team's confidence should it find itself in a similar position in the postseason.

"You can talk about these things, but until you experience it, it doesn't do a lot of good," Brown said.

Had Gar-Field not scored on its overtime possession--Hylton won the toss and made the Indians play offense first--Brown said he likely would have trotted Wilfong out on first down to kick a field goal. And if there had been a poor snap or muffed hold or strong rush, he would have kicked on second down, too.

Osbourn lost, 10-3, last week to Osbourn Park and might have a tough time winning another game this season, with Hylton and Brooke Point left on the schedule.

Hylton has won all three games in the series with Osbourn, but none by blowout. The Bulldogs traveled 46 and 40 yards on two scoring drives last year in a 17-0 victory. They scored on two of their first three possessions. Osbourn managed just 102 offensive yards.

Osbourn Park (3-5, 2-2)

at No. 20 Gar-Field (6-2, 3-1) Gar-Field Coach Tony Labozzetta expects his team to be fully committed to beating Osbourn Park despite his Indians having to rebound from a wrenching 17-16 overtime loss to Hylton.

There are several angles to the game that likely will keep the Indians on their toes. For one, Gar-Field is still in line to make the playoffs. Two, the Indians are well aware that Osbourn Park thumped Potomac, a team Gar-Field needed overtime against to pull out a win. And three, Osbourn Park might be the only Cardinal District team with as much or more size than Gar-Field.

"We're in the playoffs right now, because if we lose, that could be it," said Labozzetta, whose team will close out the regular season against Woodbridge. "I think we'll play better Friday than we have all year."

Labozzetta said his team was plenty upbeat in practice Monday and is preparing for Osbourn Park as diligently as it prepared for defending Division 6 state champion Hylton.

"If they had blown us out, I think it would have been a lot harder," said Labozzetta, whose team lost twice to Hylton last year in lopsided games. "They feel we're both about equal. Maybe next time it will be different if we get the chance."

Osbourn Park, which has beaten Potomac and Osbourn the last two weeks, could win three consecutive games for the first time since 1993, not counting four straight 1997 victories the school had to forfeit for unknowingly using an ineligible player.

Gar-Field has won at least the past eight games in the Osbourn Park series, outscoring the Yellow Jackets, 233-78. The Indians won, 20-7, last year. The score was tied in the third quarter.

Stonewall Jackson (2-6, 1-3)

at Woodbridge (3-5, 2-2) Last season was the first in the 1990s that neither Stonewall nor Woodbridge qualified for the playoffs. Neither team can qualify this season, either.

Stonewall won, 19-12, last year to snap a five-game losing streak in the series.

The Vikings will say goodbye Friday night to public address announcer Bob Steel, who will be working his final game after announcing there for the past 12 years.

Woodbridge was idle last week. Stonewall lost, 15-14, to Potomac.

North Stafford (7-1, 3-1)

at James Wood (1-7, 0-4) North Stafford senior quarterback Chris Ashinhurst, who as a sophomore attempted just a handful of passes per game, is now closing in on Virginia High School League passing records.

With a 346-yard performance Monday in a 62-34 win over Sherando, Ashinhurst bumped his season yardage total to 2,361 in eight games, just 216 yards behind the Virginia AAA record set by Ronald Curry of Hampton in 14 games two seasons ago.

Brian Partlow, of AA school Handley, set the record for passing at any Virginia level with 3,014 yards in 14 games in 1994. Partlow also threw for a state-record 38 touchdowns that season. The state record for completions in a season is 211 by Brandon Corso of W.T. Woodson in 10 games in 1990; Ashinhurst has 172 completions so far.

As a team, the Wolverines are establishing school records as well. The 62 points Monday broke the previous game-high mark of 52, in 1990 against James Wood. They also are creeping up on the high for points in a season, with 268, 17 fewer than the record, set in 1992.

Ashinhurst and company might be able to pad those totals against James Wood, which has allowed 244 points this season. The teams did not meet last year.

Potomac (4-4)

at Stafford (3-5) With a revamped offense, Potomac bounced back from its 34-0 loss to Osbourn Park by squeaking past Stonewall Jackson, 15-14. The Panthers inserted sophomore Gary Price at quarterback and got senior Rico Lloyd back from an ankle injury.

Stafford scored on its first play Monday but lost, 42-6, to Fauquier.

Potomac and Stafford did not meet last season.

Quantico (4-5)

at Kenston Forest (1-7) This game 30 miles outside of Petersburg is the season finale for Quantico. Kenston Forest has beaten the Warriors the past two years, including 40-24 in the 1998 season finale. Kenston's lone win this season was against Blessed Sacrament-Huguenot.

Sophomore Jeremy Maddy caught two touchdown passes and returned a punt for a score to lead Quantico to a 22-6 win over Colonial Beach last week.

STANDINGS

Cardinal District

Dist.

Over.

W-L

W-L

PF

PA

Hylton

4-0

8-0

203

87

Gar-Field

3-1

6-2

157

72

Potomac

3-2

4-4

102

115

Woodbridge

2-2

3-5

157

153

Osbourn Park

2-2

3-5

126

110

Stonewall

1-3

2-6

89

211

Osbourn

0-5

1-7

60

159

Bull Run District

Dist.

Over.

W-L

W-L

PF

PA

Madison County

3-0

5-3

219

183

Brentsville

2-1

6-2

207

120

Manassas Park

2-1

6-2

233

138

Strasburg

1-2

5-3

167

122

George Mason

1-2

4-4

195

156

Clarke County

0-3

0-8

39

304

Commonwealth District

Dist.

Over.

W-L

W-L

PF

PA

Culpeper

4-0

8-0

300

140

Brooke Point

4-1

6-2

158

52

North Stafford

3-1

7-1

268

147

Fauquier

2-2

4-4

123

141

Stafford

2-3

3-5

122

191

James Wood

0-4

1-7

77

244

Sherando

0-4

0-8

127

304

FRIDAY'S GAMES

Quantico at Kenston Forest, 7

Stonewall Jackson at Woodbridge, 7:30

Osbourn at Hylton, 7:30

Osbourn Park at Gar-Field, 7:30

Potomac at Stafford, 7:30

Brooke Point at Culpeper, 7:30

North Stafford at James Wood, 7:30

George Mason at Manassas Park, 7:30

Brentsville at Madison County, 7:30

Game of the Week

Brooke Point (6-2, 4-1)

at No. 12 Culpeper (8-0, 4-0)

This might have been the most exciting game in the area last season, with Culpeper squeezing out a 33-32 double-overtime win in Week 10 by knocking Daniel Davis out of bounds at the one-yard line on a two-point conversion attempt.

The victory gave the Blue Devils their third consecutive Commonwealth District title, earning them a trip to the Northwestern Region Division 5 playoffs. A Brooke Point win would have nudged the Black-Hawks to the district title. Instead, their season ended on the same play Davis's storied career did.

Davis scored all five Brooke Point touchdowns, including one with 31 seconds left in regulation. The teams were tied at 20 going into overtime.

"It had more peaks and valleys than any game I've been involved with," said Black-Hawks Coach Tom Berry at the time, and he still believes it. Berry has coached for 29 years.

This year's game might not prove to be as thrilling, but it is plenty important for Brooke Point, with the district title, or at least a share of it, on the line. As of now, the Black-Hawks are the odd team out in the region Division 6 postseason chase: Hylton is likely to win the Cardinal District, and George Washington-Danville has all but sewn up the Western District title. That leaves two wild-card spots, and right now North Stafford and Gar-Field boast superior Virginia High School League power ratings, and neither has a team with a winning record left on its schedule.

As productive as last season's Culpeper team was, Berry says this year's squad is even more difficult to defend. The Blue Devils average 37.5 points; the Black-Hawks give up just 6.4 a game.

"I think they have a lot more speed running the ball than they did last year," Berry said. "Last year we didn't think their running game could hurt us as much outside."

Brooke Point junior Larry Smith tied one of Davis's school records by rushing for five touchdowns Saturday in a 42-0 win over James Wood. That is a feat Davis accomplished five times. Smith has rushed for 100 yards or more in every game but one, including 301 against James Wood.

"The thing that's helped Larry most is that he's gotten a little better each week and has a better understanding of what we want," Berry said.

Culpeper was idle last week.

In last year's game against the Blue Devils, Brooke Point missed two extra points and had to take a safety when a snap sailed over the punter's head. Culpeper quarterback Mike Jenkins, now a senior, threw touchdown passes to three receivers.

Season Leaders

Rushing

School

Gms.

Att.

Yds.

TD

Larry Smith

Brooke Point

8

167

1,231

14

Nick Bertrand

Manassas Park

8

141

1,215

14

Jerard Anderson

Quantico

9

185

900

5

Allen Woodbridge

North Stafford

8

120

855

7

Larry Atkinson

Gar-Field

7

83

824

8

Dural Dawson

Stafford

8

96

661

5

D.J. Walton

Hylton

8

72

622

12

Addam Jordan

Osbourn Park

7

123

613

5

Jamar Atkinson

Gar-Field

8

95

605

6

Rico Lloyd

Potomac

6

95

565

4

Greg Faith

Brentsville

8

83

549

5

Justin Thomas

Brentsville

8

81

542

6

Passing

School

Gms.

Comp.

Att.

Int.

Yds.

TD

Chris Ashinhurst

North Stafford

7

172

271

8

2,361

19

Abey Malave

Woodbridge

8

64

145

7

948

10

Kenny Irby

Hylton

8

41

78

2

841

7

B.J. Treuting

Manassas Park

7

39

93

3

765

8

Chris Jenkins

Brentsville

8

36

67

6

668

7

Dan Rosinski

Stonewall

8

34

86

6

476

6

Ryan Smith

Gar-Field

8

34

82

5

434

5

Jesse Schenkoske

Quantico

9

24

74

12

401

3

Receiving

School

Gms.

Rec.

Yds.

TD

Nate Ilaoa

North Stafford

8

57

932

6

Paris Edwards

North Stafford

8

47

569

7

John Puvogel

Stonewall

8

25

388

7

Josh Baldwin

North Stafford

6

23

245

2

George Preston

Woodbridge

8

21

373

4

Terron Williams

Potomac

8

21

254

2

Lamar Lane

Woodbridge

8

20

266

5

Tim Bucher

North Stafford

6

20

254

0

Allen Woodbridge

North Stafford

8

18

176

3

Justin Thomas

Brentsville

8

14

316

3

VHSL Power Ratings

These are the Virginia High School League Weekly Ratings used to help determine postseason qualifiers.

Teams earn 12 points for a victory over a Virginia AAA school, nine for beating a AA school and six for defeating a A team. Teams also earn one additional point for each win the opponents they beat notch against VHSL competition. The rating is a team's total points divided by number of games played.

District champions automatically reach the playoffs; the power ratings determine the remainder of the four-team postseason field in each division.

Virginia AAA Northwestern Region

Division 6

Hylton 14.5

North Stafford 12.1

Gar-Field 11.3

George Washington-Danville 10.9

Brooke Point 10.1

Potomac 8.4

Woodbridge 5.4

Franklin County 5.1

Osbourn Park 5.0

Stafford 4.8

Stonewall Jackson 3.4

Division 5

Culpeper 13.4

William Fleming 12.9

Cave Spring 8.8

E.C. Glass 7.4

Fauquier 6.6

Pulaski County 6.4

Patrick Henry-Roanoke 4.8

Albemarle 3.4

Osbourn 1.8

James Wood 1.1

Halifax 1.1

Sherando 0.0

Virginia A Region B

Division 2

Madison County 6.5

Brentsville 6.1

Buckingham County 4.8

Amelia County 4.6

Buffalo Gap 4.3

Prince Edward 3.4

Randolph-Henry 2.1

Page County 2.0

Wilson Memorial 2.0

Clarke County 0.0

Division 1

Riverheads 9.0

Central 8.0

Stonewall Jackson-Quicksburg 7.8

Manassas Park 6.1

Luray 6.0

Strasburg 5.6

George Mason 2.7

Goochland 1.6

Cumberland 0.0