Broad Run (2-6, 1-4)
at Liberty (1-7, 1-4)
Last meeting: Oct. 20, 1995. Broad Run won, 15-7.
Key for the Spartans: Control the football. The Spartans want to keep Liberty's big offensive line and dangerous tandem of quarterback Kurt Iverson and wide receiver Matt Childress off the field.
Key for the Eagles: Play with enthusiasm. The 1999 season has been difficult, at times, compared with the euphoria of last year's Northwestern District championship season. The Eagles have battled and played well against two of the district's top teams--Park View and Loudoun County--despite losing both games. "Any time we've played with enthusiasm, we've done well," Coach Joe Trabucco said. "But we've been very up and down."
Notable: Broad Run junior Dion Mitchell's 30-yard touchdown run in Saturday's 49-6 loss to Handley was the first Spartan touchdown since Oct. 1, when Broad Run beat Warren County, 14-13.
Fauquier (4-4, 2-2)
at Sherando (0-8, 0-4)
Last meeting: Sept. 25, 1998. Sherando won, 32-21.
Key for the Falcons: Control the line of scrimmage. The Falcons were able to run the ball in Monday's 43-6 victory over Stafford: Senior fullback Eric Bailey rushed for 119 yards on 18 carries, and the Falcons scored five rushing touchdowns, each one by a different player.
Notable: Fauquier's victory over Stafford marked the most points scored (43) and the largest margin of victory (37) for the Falcons since Oct. 27, 1995, when they beat Warren County, 48-0. . . . The Falcons have beaten Sherando only once in five meetings since the start of the 1995 season (a 7-0 win in 1996).
Potomac Falls (5-3, 3-2)
at Handley (7-1, 4-1)
Key for the Panthers: Establish a pass rush. The Panthers want to pressure Handley quarterback Lang Campbell (77 for 152, 1,197 yards, eight touchdowns, five interceptions) but at the same time make sure the mobile senior doesn't hurt them by scrambling.
Notable: If Potomac Falls can win its final two games--no easy task, considering it has to travel to Winchester (Handley) and Bealeton (Liberty)--the Panthers would finish with the best record in the school's three-year history and would have an outside shot at the Group AA Region II Division 4 playoffs.
Warren County (3-5, 4-1)
at Loudoun Valley (4-4, 1-4)
Last meeting: Oct. 30, 1998. Loudoun Valley won, 35-14.
Key for the Vikings: Better execution inside the red zone. Loudoun Valley drove inside the Park View 15-yard line three times during Friday's 35-0 loss but came away with zero points. Quarterback Anthony Long was stopped on a fourth-and-goal run from the 5-yard line in the second quarter; a fumbled snap ended a third-quarter drive on the 6-yard line; and Long was sacked by Park View junior Jeff McDonald on fourth and six from the 14-yard line in the fourth quarter.
Notable: In two previous games against Warren County, Loudoun Valley senior Ben Cross has carried the ball 35 times for 373 yards and four touchdowns.
Raiders, Patriots Showdown Has Lots on the Line
Loudoun County senior defensive end Eric Gaskins has spent extra time this week watching film to prepare for tomorrow's home game against Park View, a testament to the Raiders' opponent and to what is at stake.
Park View is undefeated with an 8-0 overall record and a 5-0 record in the Northwestern District. The Patriots have outscored their opponents, 330-32, and their average margin of victory in district games is 35.6 points.
"I've been looking forward to this game since two-a-days," Gaskins said. "This game is very important; it could have district championship implications."
Loudoun County is 6-2 overall and is tied with Handley (7-1) for second place in the district with a 4-1 record. A Raiders win could create a logjam atop the district standings between Park View, Loudoun County and Handley.
The game also has playoff implications; the Raiders need to win one of their final two games to assure themselves a playoff spot. Park View, which essentially has wrapped up a playoff berth, is playing to hold onto the region's top seed.
Last meeting: Sept. 1, 1995. Loudoun County won, 30-13.
Key for the Patriots: Run the ball. Loudoun County's defense is notoriously tough against the run--the Raiders are holding opposing teams to an average of 72.6 rushing yards per game and an average of only 2.6 yards per carry--but why change what works? Park View is averaging 325.8 rushing yards per game and has six players who have rushed for more than 200 yards for the season.
"Their [defensive] front four is as good or better than any team we've faced," Coach Mickey Thompson said. "But we're not going to change. We're focused on being patient and staying with our game plan."
Key for the Raiders: Force turnovers. The Raiders have intercepted 12 passes and have recovered 15 fumbles in eight games. Park View's single-wing offense rarely stalls on its own (the Patriots have punted only three times in eight games), so Loudoun County needs to find a way to gain control of the ball.
"Defense has been our strength, and hopefully they'll be able to give us the ball back," Coach Pat McManus said. "Park View's big play ability is a concern. If we don't make the plays when we have to, it's going to be a long night."
Notable: Loudoun County and Park View have been the top two teams in the county throughout the 1990s. Both teams have put together eight winning seasons (including this year) in this decade.
VHSL POWER POINTS RATINGS
NOTE: An asterisk (*) indicates a district leader. A total of four teams advance to the regional playoffs in each division. District champions automatically qualify for the playoffs; the remaining teams are determined by the power point ratings.
AA REGION II DIVISION 4
1. Park View*
2. Loudoun County
6. Potomac Falls
AAA NORTHWESTERN REGION DIVISION 5
2. William Fleming
3. Cave Spring*
4. E.C. Glass
ON THE BOARD
Last week's top performances
RUSHING: Ben Cross, Loudoun Valley, Sr., vs. Park View: ran for 168 yards on 30 carries.
PASSING: Kurt Iverson, Liberty, Jr., vs. Loudoun County: completed 11 of 28 passes for 169 yards, 1 TD and 1 Int.
RECEIVING: Matt Childress, Liberty, Jr., vs. Loudoun County: caught four passes for 92 yards and 1 TD.
LB Joey Weisen, Park View, Jr., and LB Kyle Mazaris, Park View, Jr., vs. Loudoun Valley: combined for 16 first hits, seven assists and one fumble recovery (Weisen) in a 35-0 win over the Vikings on Friday.
CB Chris Hughes, Loudoun County, Jr., vs. Liberty: intercepted his third pass of the season and returned the ball 23 yards in Friday's 19-15 win over Liberty. Hughes is averaging 44.7 yards per interception return.
LB Ike Hamilton, Potomac Falls, Sr., vs. Warren County: blocked one field goal and one extra-point attempt in a 7-6 win over the Wildcats Friday.
LAST WEEK'S RESULTS
AA Northwestern District
Loudoun County 19, Liberty 15
Park View 35, Loudoun Valley 0
Potomac Falls 7, Warren County 6
Handley 49, Broad Run 6
AAA Commonwealth District
Fauquier 43, Stafford 6
North Stafford 62, Sherando 34
Brooke Point 42, James Wood 0
AA Northwestern District
Broad Run at Liberty, 7:30
Park View at Loudoun County, 7:30
AAA Commonwealth District
Brooke Point at Culpeper, 7:30
Fauquier at Sherando, 7:30
North Stafford at James Wood, 7:30
Potomac at Stafford, 7:30
AA Northwestern District
Potomac Falls at Handley, 1:30
Warren County at Loudoun Valley, 1:30
BY THE NUMBERS
Field goals made by Loudoun County senior Cary Greenfield in 1999, tying him with Salem's John Shelor for the Virginia AA record for field goals made in a season. Shelor needed 13 games to set the record in 1989.
Extra points kicked by Park View junior Brandon Develli, a school record for a 10-game season and three shy of the school record for a 14-game season. (Previous records: 30 in 10 games and 46 in 14 games, set by Chris Dawson in 1988.)
Consecutive passes thrown by Park View's Nick Smith without an interception this season. The junior quarterback threw his first interception of 1999 in the third quarter of Friday's 35-0 win over Loudoun Valley. Smith's arm was grabbed just as he released the ball, and Vikings junior Sam Wilkinson intercepted the resulting underthrown pass.
CAPTION: Raiders defensive end Eric Gaskins has his sights set on Park View (8-0, 5-0), which is averaging a 35.6 margin of victory in Northwestern District games.