South County couldn’t keep up with Lake Braddock last fall, but the No. 14 Stallions head into Friday’s meeting with the Bruins as the favorite. (John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

South County’s football team enters Friday’s home game against Lake Braddock much like it did last year, rolling past opponents with its uptempo, triple-option offense. During their 8-0 start, the No. 14 Stallions are averaging 52.3 points and nearly 377 rushing yards, including at least 60 points in each of their last three games.

But leading rusher Gerald Hulett is quick to note that the Stallions have been tested plenty this season, only those challenges have come in practice against South County’s much improved defense. And it’s that unit, which has allowed just 14.4 points per game, that will be depended upon to lead the Stallions past the Bruins and to the Virginia Conference 7 title.

“Our defense never lets us slack or be lazy in practice,” said Hulett, who has rushed for 1,070 yards and 23 touchdowns this season. “Everybody’s doing their job and working so things don’t end up like last year.”

Last season saw Lake Braddock end the Stallions’ win streak by holding them to a season-low 21 points. The Bruins have since graduated most of their starters from a year ago, while the Stallions returned nine starters on defense and welcomed junior linebacker transfer Kevin Allen, whom Hulett called “a monster” earlier this season.

But being down several players, and finding subsequent ways to win, is something the Bruins (6-2, 4-1 Conference 7) have grown accustomed to this season. After losing All-Met wide receiver/defensive back A.J. Alexander (knee) for the year and running back Dejoun Lee (ankle) for two weeks in a Sept. 19 game at then-No. 5 Westfield, the Bruins still pulled out the win behind the play of quarterback Kyle Edwards and sophomore running back Ibrahim Mansaray.

Since returning three weeks ago, Lee has scored six touchdowns. The senior’s production will be vital in matching South County’s own high-powered rushing attack, anchored by Hulett and Robert Avery and motivated by losses to Lake Braddock in their last two meetings.

“We’re always motivated by Lake Braddock,” Hulett said. “Last year still holds a little spot in our mind, but I think we’re more focused and determined this year.”