Annandale Atoms (7-3)
The Atoms went undefeated in Patriot District play to win their first district title since 1994.
Last Time in Playoffs: 1994 (defeated GW-Danville, 47-41 in OT, in state championship).
State Championships: 1965, 1967, 1972, 1978, 1993, 1994.
Player to Watch: QB Nate Cartagena, Jr. The Patriot District offensive player of the year, Cartagena (1,110 yards) is the top rushing quarterback in the Northern Region.
Cool Stat: Since its 1994 state championship, Annandale six times has finished .500 or better but not made the playoffs.
Oakton Cougars (8-2)
It's odd that a top-seeded team might be an underdog, but the Cougars have something to prove after losing to Westfield and Robinson during the regular season.
Last Time in Playoffs: 2004 (lost to Robinson, 29-22, in region final).
State Championships: None.
Player to Watch: RB Keith Payne, Sr. Rushed for more than 1,300 yards this season, and his size (6 feet, 218 pounds) makes him just as likely to run over defenders as by them.
Cool Stat: According to the Virginia High School League's power ratings, Oakton is the second-ranked team in Virginia behind defending Division 6 state champion Landstown of Virginia Beach.
Robinson Rams (9-1)
Robinson had its 37-game regular season winning streak broken this year with a loss to Centreville.
Last Time in Playoffs: 2004 (lost to Landstown, 47-20, in state championship).
State Championships: 1997, 2001.
Player to Watch: RB Lucas Caparelli, Sr. Second in the Washington area with touchdowns, Caparelli has scored eight in his last two games.
Cool Stat: In Coach Mark Bendorf's nine years with the Rams, his team has missed the playoffs only once.
Westfield Bulldogs (9-1)
The Concorde District co-champion suffered its first loss of the season last week to Robinson.
Last Time in Playoffs: 2004 (lost to Oakton, 33-0, in region semifinal).
State Championships: 2003.
Player to Watch: RB Evan Royster, Sr. The All-Met has not disappointed this season, rushing for 1,866 yards and averaging first-down yardage every time he touches the ball.
Cool Stat: Since the start of the 2002 season, Westfield has only lost to two teams: Oakton and Robinson.
Edison Eagles (9-1)
Edison opens the playoffs on the road against the only team it lost to this season, Loudoun Valley, which won, 21-19, on Oct. 28.
Last Time in Playoffs: 2004 (lost to W.T. Woodson, 29-25, in region final).
State Championships: 1986.
Player to Watch: QB Shawn Lloyd, Jr. The top passer in the Northern Region playoffs by almost 500 yards, Lloyd has thrown for 1,420 yards and 20 touchdowns.
Cool Stat: Senior RBs Devan Clark and Keone Kyle and senior WR Justin Smith all have accounted for more than 800 yards of total offense.
Madison Warhawks (7-3)
The Warhawks bulled their way to their fourth playoff appearance in five seasons by winning their last four games, outscoring opponents 121-35.
Last Time in Playoffs: 2003 (lost to Massaponax, 17-16, in state semifinals).
State Championships: None.
Player to Watch: RB Justin Duncan, Sr. He notched a school- record 323 yards in a win over Jefferson this season.
Cool Stat: Madison enters the playoffs on a four-game winning streak, tied with Robinson for the longest among local playoff teams.
-- LIAM DILLON