Park View (3-0) at No. 16 Stone Bridge (3-0)
When: Tomorrow, 7:30 p.m.
Both teams' offensive lines -- Park View's unit is led by senior guard Donny Smith and Stone Bridge's line by senior guard Allan McCullough -- against the opposing defense.
Neither Park View nor Stone Bridge has had any trouble putting up points this season. Through three nondistrict games, the Patriots and Bulldogs are averaging 43.3 and 40.0 points, respectively. Both coaches, though, are anxious to see if their offenses can be as productive against stout defenses that have yielded an average of only 9.3 and 12.0 points.
For Stone Bridge Coach Mickey Thompson, the concern is a relatively inexperienced line that averages 208 pounds across the front squaring off against a Park View defensive front that ranks as the largest in the AA Dulles District.
"We are playing with an awful lot of youth on the line," Thompson said. "Even our one senior, it's his first year starting. So seeing how they perform for the first time against a line as big as Park View's will be interesting."
Park View is equally massive on the offensive line -- averaging a more robust 265 pounds -- but Coach Charlie Pierce is concerned about his team's mobility against a Bulldog defense that thrives on its speed.
"Stone Bridge's defense is really quick, so how our blocking scheme works against their quickness will be the biggest thing for us offensively," Pierce said. "We need to make sure we have a hat on a hat every play and not let anyone sneak past the line into the backfield."
Outlook: This game still holds special meaning for Thompson, who coached at Park View for 10 seasons before taking over the Stone Bridge program when the school opened in 2000. During his tenure with the Patriots, Thompson's teams posted a 74-39 overall record, including 23-3 in his final two seasons. He also led Park View to the Virginia Group AA Division 4 championship game in 1999.
Because of Thompson's affiliation with Park View, the two teams formed an immediate rivalry.
The Patriots claimed the first two meetings, winning 14-0 at home in 2001 and 34-21 in 2002 at Clarke County in a game that was moved because of the D.C. sniper situation. Stone Bridge, which went unbeaten through the regular season last year, returned the favor with a 31-7 victory during their showdown in Sterling.
That means Friday will mark the first time the Patriots have played on Stone Bridge's home field.
"I still love Park View," Thompson said. "And the fact that they are staying on top or near the top and we've established ourselves there now, too, it creates a huge rivalry. I just love the atmosphere that this game will bring: the stands will be packed and everyone will be pumped up. That big-game atmosphere, that's why you coach and why you play this game."
The key for Park View will be the play of sophomore Deric Dudinski, who has set a career high rushing mark in each of the Patriots' first three outings.
Dudinski has run for 146, 171 and 218 yards in consecutive games. While he isn't likely to exceed his latest total against a stingy Bulldog defense, his success will be important in opening some passing lanes for senior quarterback Steven Blankenship (297 yards passing).
Likewise, it will be critical for Stone Bridge senior quarterback Sean Ryan (479 yards passing, 155 rushing) to find sufficient time to take advantage of Stone Bridge's height advantage on the perimeter.
Bulldogs tight ends Brian Calloway (6-3) and Ed Wang (6-6) are the team's two leading receivers with a combined 21 catches for 306 yards and four touchdowns. They will be matched against a Park View secondary comprised of Dudinski (5-8), Sean Daza (5-10) and Eric Pankau (5-6).