Virginia AA Division 4 Semifinals

Lafayette at Park View, Saturday, 1:30

No. 3 Park View Patriots

Coach: Mickey Thompson, 10th year.

Record: 12-0 overall, Virginia AA Division 4 Region 2 champions.

Last week: Defeated visiting Charlottesville, 56-22, in AA Division 4 Region II final.

Notes: Park View is ranked No. 3 in The Washington Post poll. . . . The Patriots have scored a school-record 507 points this season, and last week's 56 points matched their season-high. . . . With eight conversions last week, place kicker Brandon Develli set the state record for extra points in a season. He is 68 for 70, yet he is only 1-for-2 on field goal attempts.

Season Results

Aug. 27: Sherando, W, 48-0

Sept. 10: at Courtland, W, 56-6

Sept. 18: at Osbourn, W 25-3

Sept. 24: Liberty, W, 41-0

Oct. 2: at Handley, W, 42-17

Oct. 8: Warren County, W, 42-6

Oct. 15: at Potomac Falls, W, 41-0

Oct. 22: Loudoun Valley, W, 35-0

Oct. 29: at Loudoun County, W, 35-7

Nov. 5: Broad Run, W, 49-7

Nov. 13: Loudoun County, W, 37-21

Nov. 20: Charlottesville, W, 56-22

When Park View Has the Ball

There's no question Park View will put points on the board. So for Lafayette, it becomes a matter of damage control. While the Rams' recent defensive performances might make some opponents wary, Park View is ready for anything. "We've played against good defenses," Thompson said. "The best defense we will face all year was Loudoun County's." In two meetings against the Raiders, Park View put up 35 and 37 points.

Lafayette Rams

Coach: Dan Antolik, eighth season.

Record: 11-1, Virginia AA Division 4 Region 1 champions.

Last week: Defeated Spotsylvania, 13-3, in AA Division 4 Region I final.

Notes: Lafayette lost to Salem, 28-18, in the AA Division 4 final last year. . . . After losing its season opener to Fauquier, the Rams have won 11 straight with a defense that has been spectacular of late, allowing 10 points over their past three games.

Season Results

Aug. 28: Fauquier, L, 17-14

Sept. 10: Bruton, W, 26-7

Sept. 18: Poquoson, W, 41-6

Sept. 27: at Southampton, W, 52-26

Sept. 30: at Northampton, W, 52-29

Oct. 8: at Tabb, W, 24-7

Oct. 16: Smithfield, W, 44-6

Oct. 22: at York, W, 56-17

Oct. 29: at Grafton, W, 44-12

Nov. 5: Jamestown, W, 45-7

Nov. 12: Courtland, W, 21-0

Nov. 20: Spotsylvania, W, 13-3

When Lafayette Has the Ball

Expect a heavy option attack, spearheaded by quarterback Taylor Rowe. He has two explosive backs at his disposal, senior Lamont Logan and junior Josh Horne. Rowe is also a threat to run the ball himself, amassing 332 yards and six touchdowns on the ground. If Park View can contain the run, Lafayette is in trouble, as Rowe is not a particularly strong passer. While he threw for nine touchdowns in only 74 attempts, he completed fewer than half his passes and was picked off six times. If the game is close, place kicker Connor Hughes could be a central figure; he converted all eight field goal attempts this season and 44 of 47 extra points.

Offensive Players to Watch

Park View BB Joe Larson--Ironically, the key to Park View's high-scoring, supremely athletic offense is its 6-foot-3, 215-pound husky blocking back, who has only 35 carries this season. Larson's lead blocking, however, is what springs fullback Nelson Stickley and quarterback Nick Smith into secondaries. Without Larson, all the speed and agility in Park View's offense goes for naught.

Park View QB Nick Smith--The pilot of the Patriots' single-wing offense has posted remarkable numbers across the board--22 touchdown passes and only two interceptions in 120 attempts. He is also Park View's second-leading rusher, with 866 yards and 14 touchdowns.

Lafayette RBs Lamont Logan and Josh Horne--They are the heart of Lafayette's offense, rushing for a combined 2,745 yards and 32 touchdowns. Neither is particularly speedy, but at 5-9, both are elusive backs with low centers of gravity.

Defensive Players to Watch

Park View DB Tim Murphy--He tops the Patriots with four interceptions and is their second-leading tackler (76 solo, 42 assists). Murphy was all over the field in last week's victory over Charlottesville, and despite his 5-6 frame, is not intimidated by bigger opponents.