Sherando (1-1) at Broad Run (1-0)
When: Tomorrow, 7:30 p.m.
Sherando junior tailback Joe Oher against Broad Run linebackers Michael Moss, a senior, and Austin Lafollette, a junior.
Oher totaled 1,014 yards rushing last season as a sophomore, and second-year coach Bill Hall said he is both faster and stronger this season. He will work behind three returning starters on the offensive line, including all-Northwestern District selections Avery Kenny (6 feet 2, 280) at tackle and Andrew Quilling (6-2, 210) at tight end.
The challenge in containing Oher, who totaled only 42 yards rushing against Broad Run last year, will fall to inside linebackers Moss (6-0, 195) and Lafollette (6-0, 215), neither of whom started at their current position a year ago. Last year's starters, all-Dulles District performer Walter Gouveia and Brandon Wheelbarger, both graduated.
"We hold our linebackers responsible for helping out our defensive front," Broad Run Coach Ken Belchik said. "And those two guys move really well. They just don't have a lot of experience yet. I keep saying that I think they might be better by the end of the season than the two we had last year, and that's saying a lot. But this game will be a big challenge."
Outlook: Last season's game between these two was nip-and-tuck until the Spartans emerged with a 19-13 victory on a go-ahead, one-yard touchdown run by Andy Lawlor with 1 minute 23 seconds remaining. If Broad Run needs such dramatics this season, though, it will have to turn to someone else. Lawlor, a senior fullback, suffered a broken right foot in the Spartans' first scrimmage and will miss at least two more weeks.
Senior Brandon DeSouza has replaced Lawlor in the backfield. He rushed for 33 yards last week and provided some critical blocks for junior tailback Thayer Nelson, who rushed for 163 yards on 12 carries in Broad Run's 27-0 victory over George Mason in last week's season-opener. Nelson, of course, had even bigger shoes to fill having taken over for Michael Coleman, the league's leading rusher a year ago with 1,518 yards and 17 touchdowns.
"I knew Thayer was capable of doing it," Belchik said. "We just need to keep creating holes and let him get out in space because that kid can flat-out fly."
Sherando, which fell to Jefferson (W. Va.), 16-13, in its season opener before defeating Musselman (W. Va.), 21-0, last week, has 13 starters back from a team that finished 5-5 last year. In addition to Oher -- who has amassed 183 yards and two touchdowns on 50 carries this season -- the Warriors also have back quarterback Jordan Gibson (316 yards passing in two games) and all-Northwestern District wide receiver Cory Johnson (8 catches, 185 yards).