Key Matchup

Yorktown tailback Max Milien against Loudoun Valley linebackers Steven Harvey, Trevor Ikwild, Nathan Rathjen and Ryan Sheehan.

The Patriots' offense is averaging 40 points this season, including putting up 58 in last week's victory over Stuart. Milien leads the charge, having rushed for 531 yards and seven touchdowns and caught eight passes for 140 yards and two scores.

Loudoun Valley has two shutouts this season and is yielding just 5.8 points per game.

"That boy's got some wheels," Loudoun Valley Coach Bruce Sheppard said of Milien. "We can't let him get on the perimeter. We saw him time after time on film get to the corner and just outrun people. And it's not just his speed; he's agile and shifty, too. We've got to contain him, and we've got to tackle well in the open field because he's the type of kid who can make you miss."

Outlook

Loudoun Valley and Yorktown are teams many believe could unseat Edison, winner of four of the last five AAA National District crowns. The winner of this game will take a big step in separating itself as a true contender to do just that.

Vikings senior Sam Clay returned last week at quarterback after missing most of the first three games with a sprained knee. That move has allowed backup Clyde Kessler to return to wide receiver, which should help a passing game that this season has been virtually nonexistent.

Still, don't expect either team to throw much. Yorktown's strength is the backfield combination of Milien, FB Steven Smith (371 yards rushing) and QB Kirby Long (327). Loudoun Valley has moved the ball effectively this season behind senior RBs Tommy Schonder (372 yards in three games) and Brock Bell (362 in four outings).

-- ANGELA WATTS