Broad Run senior TB Thayer Nelson vs. Park View senior MLB Curtis Coker.
Before Nelson injured his ankle against Park View in their first nondistrict meeting on Sept. 30, he had carried the ball eight times for 106 yards and a touchdown (13.3 yards per carry). The Patriots will have to find a way to slow his production if they are to win this time. On the season, Nelson (5 feet 4, 156 pounds) has rushed 149 times for 898 yards and seven touchdowns, averaging 6.0 yards per carry.
Although it will be the job of Park View's entire defense to play disciplined football, it is Coker (5-11, 203) who leads that unit with a team-high 116 tackles.
"Last week we played very undisciplined on defense, and that's something we can't afford to let happen again," said Park View Coach Andy Hill, whose team fell to Loudoun County, 20-12, a week ago. "Thayer is an excellent running back, and we can't give him a seam to run through. We have to pursue to the football and be able to limit his open-field opportunities, because if we let him get outside he's gone. I've seen probably seven of their nine games on tape this year, and it's clear that he can turn even a small seam into a touchdown."
Park View had a chance a week ago to secure at least a share of the AA Dulles District title and a berth in the Region II playoffs. But the Patriots lost at home to Loudoun County, turning this game into a must-win.
If Park View defeats Broad Run, it will still win at least a share of the district title (which it could split with Heritage) and secure the district's automatic playoff berth. However, a Park View loss coupled with a Heritage win over Loudoun County would give the Pride the district title outright and send Heritage into the playoffs for the first time in school history.
-- ANGELA WATTS