Provided both teams win this week, Park View could host Stone Bridge next Friday in a Division 4 Region II semifinal. It would be an unexpected chapter in the area's most intense football rivalry, even though the teams have met only twice. Park View won both -- 34-21 on Oct. 21 and 14-0 last year.
"In a way, yeah, we want to play them," said Stone Bridge senior defensive lineman Darryl McDowell. "We want that rematch badly. But we know we have to get past this week first."
It would be the first playoff meeting between Loudoun County schools since Park View defeated Loudoun County, 37-21, in the same playoff round in 1999. The previous such instance was Broad Run's 14-7 victory over Park View in the first round in 1991.
However, if Fauquier wins this weekend and Handley loses, the Falcons would be AA Northwestern District champions. As a district winner, Fauquier would earn the third seed, pushing Stone Bridge to fourth seed and a road game against Charlottesville.
Plenty in Reserve
Park View may have another chance to unleash an unknown off its bench. After junior running back Prince Lee dislocated his left shoulder on the fourth play of Park View's victory over Stone Bridge, junior Earl Barnes stepped in and rushed for 151 yards and two touchdowns in that game and gained 413 yards over four games.
In last week's 17-6 victory over Potomac Falls, however, Barnes left with bruised ribs, and he and Lee are questionable this week against Loudoun County. Perhaps seniors Ike York (14 carries, 205 yards for the season) and Richard Brown (11-31) will step in beside junior fullback T.J. Disney if Lee or Barnes cannot play.
Falcons Know Task
Fauquier's marching orders are very simple this week -- win and the Falcons are in the Division 4 playoffs for the first time since 1997. Lose and they will not qualify, regardless of how other teams fare.
While results of Park View's and Stone Bridge's games this week will determine Fauquier's seeding, the Falcons will be on the road if they make the playoffs.
It certainly would be a surprise if Fauquier (6-3) loses to Sherando (4-5). The Falcons have defeated the Warriors for three seasons by an average of 25.3 points. The four teams Sherando has defeated this season -- Musselman (W.Va.), Broad Run, Hedgesville (W.Va.) and James Wood -- have a combined 9-29 record.
A Fauquier victory and a Handley loss to Liberty on Saturday not only would give the Falcons a playoff berth but also give them the Northwestern District title.
"It's just been great how our kids have worked hard and stayed mentally as focused as they've been," Fauquier Coach Tom Ferrell said. "But we've got to win this week, or it doesn't mean anything. . . . Our goal all season has been to get to the playoffs, and it's looking better and better each week."
Charlottesville (10-0) has clinched the top seed in Division 4 Region II and would not like to see a team from Loudoun or Fauquier counties. The Black Knights have made the Division 4 playoffs in four of the past six seasons. Each time, they have lost to an area team in the Region II playoffs -- Park View in 1999 and 2001, Liberty in 1998 and Loudoun County in 1996.
Raiders Could Be One Short For the second consecutive season, Loudoun County could miss the Division 3 Region II playoffs by one power point.
The Raiders enter this week's game with Park View with 74 power points. If they defeat the Patriots, they would earn 17 points -- nine for defeating a AA team and eight rider points for each of Park View's victories. Loudoun County could gain an additional rider point if teams it defeated -- Fauquier and the Broad Run-Loudoun Valley winner -- win this weekend. Finally, Handley would have to lose.
Given all that, Loudoun County would finish with 93 power points, one shy of Rockbridge and two short of Spotswood, which will qualify for the playoffs if Liberty defeats Handley.