When Centreville's 15th-ranked football team plays at South Lakes tomorrow night, it's a good bet both teams will have to deal with fatigue. The Wildcats and the Seahawks, along with much of the Northern Region, will be playing their second game in five days thanks to a schedule that had to be juggled due to inclement weather.
"It's like baseball," Centreville Coach Mike Skinner said. "We play every two or three days."
Three days' rest between games is a far from ideal situation. But if there is any silver lining to the tough slate, it's that area coaches have become somewhat familiar with it. This is the fourth consecutive season that football schedules have been significantly altered. The Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in 2001, the sniper shootings in 2002 and more weather-related problems last year wreaked havoc on teams' routines.
"Unfortunately, we've been through enough the past two or three years that we're pretty adept at dealing with this," Skinner said. "We'll go light [Tuesday], practice [Wednesday], practice [Thursday] and rest on Saturday."
Sixth-ranked Westfield played Lake Braddock Sept. 22, Jefferson on Monday and now has Fairfax tomorrow. "That's why we do what we do in August," Westfield Coach Tom Verbanic said.
Verbanic also said his team is less affected by short weeks because their schemes remain the same for every game.
"Some coaches try to come up with a different scheme every week, and that's not something we do," Verbanic said. "Whether it's right or wrong, it benefits us in these situations."
Centreville bounced back from its loss to Annandale with a 35-3 victory over Lake Braddock on Monday. In the game, the Wildcats got three touchdown passes from junior quarterback Drew Dudzik, including two to junior wide receiver Cameron Dohse. In three games this season, Dudzik (38 of 63, 616 yards, 8 touchdowns, no interceptions) has hooked up with Dohse (15 receptions, 383 yards) for touchdowns five times.
"They grew up together, they played youth league together, they're best friends and they know each other pretty well," Skinner said. "It's fun to watch them play."
Break Up the Statesmen
Less than a week after snapping the Northern Region's longest losing streak, Marshall defeated Washington-Lee on Monday, 7-6, to improve to 2-1. It is the first time since early in the 2001 season that the Statesmen won back-to-back games.
Marshall went up 7-0 in the second quarter when running back Brandon Wallace plunged in from two yards out and William Blakeley added the extra point. Washington-Lee scored with 20 seconds left in the game when Ethan Cromartie hit Patrick Ward for a 19-yard touchdown, but the Statesmen blocked the potential game-tying extra point to seal the victory.
Not an Average Average
Brandon Royster, Westfield's outstanding junior running back, carried the ball just 13 times on Monday in the Bulldogs' 50-13 victory over Jefferson. But Royster made the most of his rushes, gaining 260 yards and five touchdowns. That's 20 yard per carry and a touchdown every 2.6 plays.
"That's not bad," Verbanic said. "He's quite a player, and our offensive line played very well."
Help for the Patriots
Yorktown Coach Bruce Hanson said senior fullback-linebacker Kevin Kuhm should return to the lineup this week. Kuhm hurt a hamstring in the Patriots' first game of the season.
Kuhm will be another weapon at Hanson's disposal. Last year he relied on backs John Crone and Duane Tigney, who accounted for almost 90 percent of the Patriots' offense as seniors.
"We've got a lot of different guys touching the football," said Hanson, whose team is 2-1. "Last year everyone knew it was going to be Duane or John. It's been kind of cool. We had four different kids score against McLean."