Potomac Falls (3-3, 2-1) at No. 15 Stone Bridge (6-0, 3-0)
When: Tomorrow, 7:30 p.m.
Stone Bridge senior tight end Brian Calloway (6-3, 184) against Potomac Falls senior defensive back Brandon Jackson (6-0, 166).
Potomac Falls enters this game with the stingiest defense in the AA Dulles District. To maintain that status, however, the Panthers must find a way to slow a Stone Bridge offense that has totaled 1,151 yards rushing and 1,014 passing this season. The Bulldogs are the only area team that has surpassed 1,000 yards in both categories. Calloway has 458 receiving yards and six touchdowns on 30 receptions, the best of any tight end in the Washington area. That's more yards by one player than Potomac Falls has yielded in passing (450 yards) the entire season. The speedy Jackson, who will most often match up against Calloway, has recorded 20 tackles and 2 interceptions and has broken up 3 passes and caused a fumble.
Outlook: Homecoming at Stone Bridge could prove to be a defensive struggle. The Panthers and Bulldogs have conceded the fewest points this season -- 67 and 74, respectively -- in the AA Dulles District. The problem is that neither team is scoring as much as it would like.
That may come as a surprise to those who follow Stone Bridge, which is averaging what most would find an impressive 36.3 points per game. But Bulldogs Coach Mickey Thompson knows that number could be much higher. "We're averaging more yards than any team I've ever had at Stone Bridge," Thompson said. "But we're not scoring points the way we should because of penalties and other screw-ups down near the goal line. We have to be able to take advantage of our opportunities to move the ball against this Potomac Falls defense."
The Panthers, meanwhile, are averaging 18.3 points per game but similarly have hurt themselves many times this year. Potomac Falls totaled 17 fumbles and an interception in four of its games this season. (The Panthers did not have a turnover in wins over Millbrook and Dominion.) Despite the miscues, Potomac Falls's three losses have come by margins of 2, 7 and 6 points, which is a credit to a defense that is yielding 175.7 yards per game.
"Obviously we need to continue to hold onto the football," Panthers Coach Casey Childs said. "But beyond that, we're going to try to get this one into the fourth quarter with a chance to win. That's our focus. If we can do that and make Stone Bridge start to press a little bit, then I think we'll have a chance."