Annandale Coach Dick Adams would prefer that you speak with him much later in the season.

"We're 3-2, that's it," he said. "We're an okay team, but we're nowhere near the level of the Westfields or Oaktons yet. We'd like to get to the playoffs and play one of those guys. The kids are doing a good job, but we still have a lot of work to do."

But with a 3-0 record in a muddled Virginia AAA Patriot District, the Atoms have begun to put themselves in position to be talked about come playoff time.

Behind what junior quarterback Nate Cartagena calls the "three-headed monster" rushing attack of Cartagena, senior fullback Keith Watson and sophomore running back John Logan, Annandale has averaged 31 points in their three district games, including 40 in a come-from-behind win over another district favorite, West Springfield, at the end of September. The Atoms trailed 27-13 at halftime before Cartagena ripped off three straight touchdown runs to give Annandale the lead. West Springfield scored again to send the game to overtime, but Logan's one-yard run gave the Atoms the victory.

Even with Cartagena's heroics, Logan has been the most eye-popping player so far. He is second in the district with 477 rushing yards, averaging 10.1 yards per carry. He racked up 230 yards on 20 carries in Annandale's win over Hayfield Monday.

Playing Patriot teams the next four weeks, Annandale will have plenty of chances to keep its district streak going. If they do, a season-ending matchup with undefeated No. 12 Oakton will also generate a lot of discussion.

"From here on out, we control our own destiny and we like that," Cartagena said. "If we play like we're capable of playing, I think we'll be all right in this district."