The Virginia High School League's executive committee yesterday extended its deadline for finalizing redistricting plans for the 2005-06 school year until Oct. 13.

The committee, which heard two days worth of appeals, denied Stone Bridge and Loudoun Valley's petition to remain in Group AA instead of moving into the larger AAA classification. It also denied the AAA Northern Region, to which the two schools were initially reassigned, its appeal to keep the schools out.

As a compromise, however, the committee has given the schools and the region until Oct. 11 to craft an alternate proposal.

"What they want us to look at is doing a combination AA/AAA district and region," Stone Bridge Athletic Director Dave Hembach said. "The [AA] Dulles District teams have gone on record as supporting Stone Bridge and Loudoun Valley staying in the district for regular season play. But we have to work out where we'd go for the playoffs."

The most likely scenarios have the Bulldogs and Vikings joining either the Northern or Northwestern Regions for the playoffs. That move, though, would also have to be approved by Region II, in which the Dulles District is assigned.

"Today's decisions did give us direction," Hembach said. "We know we won't be staying in AA. And, if this falls through and we can't come up with a combination district, it seems likely we'd end up as originally assigned, with Stone Bridge in the Liberty District and Loudoun Valley in the Concorde District. But there are still a lot of options to explore."

It's a Snap for Athens

After four games, the latest being a 50-0 thrashing of previously undefeated La Plata last night, Northern senior Andrew Athens is figuring out this quarterback thing pretty well.

A converted running back stepping in for graduated All-Met Sean Schaefer, Athens completed 4 of 7 passes for 78 yards, including a perfect 31-yard scoring pass on a timing pattern to senior Delante Scott. He also rushed for 72 yards on 12 carries.

Athens often improvises, sometimes dropping back to pass before taking off for a 15-yard run, as he did in the first quarter. He's not afraid to hang in the pocket until the last second before finding an open receiver, either.

"I do whatever I have to do to get the job done," Athens said. "If I don't see anything right away, I'll wait and make something happen."

Northern visits No. 8 Lackey next week. The Patriots gave Lackey, the Maryland 3A runner-up, its only regular season loss last year.

La Plata (3-1), which had won only one game each of the past two seasons, was off to its best start since 1998.

History for Huntingtown

Senior running back Nate Coates rushed 21 times for 124 yards and four touchdowns as first-year school Huntingtown claimed its first-ever victory, defeating Great Mills, 25-6.

After Great Mills (0-4) took a 6-0 lead with 8 minutes 37 seconds left in the first half, Huntingtown ran 56 plays to Great Mills's 15.

Whitaker Breaks Record

Northwest senior quarterback Ike Whitaker broke his own school record, throwing five touchdown passes in the fifth-ranked Wildcats' 55-0 victory at Bethesda-Chevy Chase.

Whitaker, who had set the school single-game record of four touchdown passes last year against Paint Branch, has completed 39 of 60 passes this fall for 689 yards and 11 scores. Northwest is 4-0.

-- Angela Watts,

Alan Goldenbach, Charlie Moss

and Rachel Zavala