November 8, 2010
High school football playoffs begin this weekend with five area teams kicking off in postseason action. Friday and Saturday will see our area clubs battle for the chance to keep their respective seasons alive. Check out our preview capsules below for each game.
Region II, Division 4:
(8) James Wood vs. (1) Louisa, Friday, 7:30 pm, Louisa County High School- The Lions finished a perfect 10-0 in regular season play, capped off by a 44-0 victory at Fluvanna this past Friday. Mark Fischer's club boasts some impressive offensive numbers, scoring 35.1 points per game and only giving up 11.3. Last season, the Lions finished 7-3 and were ousted in the first round of the regional playoffs. James Wood finished the season 6-4 and will be looking to upset the Lions. Louisa is led by running backs Anthony Hunter and Rayshawn Jackson, as well as quarterback Kire Worley. Hunter has 1,020 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns on the year.
(7) Orange vs. (2) Briar Woods, Friday, 7:30 pm, Briar Woods High School- John Kayajanian's Hornets finished the season 7-3 after a disappointing 4-6 campaign in 2009. They earn the seventh seed in the Region II playoffs and have an uphill battle at Briar Woods, which finished the season 8-2. Orange capped off its regular season with a 49-0 win over Charlottesville and will look to quarterback Cameron Hughes, wide receiver Amir Waller and running back Isaiah Furguson. If this is a close one, look for kicker Hunter Furgeson to make a difference, who is one of the better field goal kickers in the area.
Region II, Division 3:
(5) Goochland vs. (4) Monticello, Friday, 7:30 pm, Monticello High School- This is a rematch of a pretty intense Jefferson District game from earlier this season. Goochland led the Mustangs, 21-0, at halftime, but Monticello stormed back to earn the 29-28 victory. The Mustangs and Bulldogs both enter this contest at 6-4, with Brud Bicknell's squad returning after a year away from the postseason in 2009. Monticello ended its season with a 44-30 victory at William Monroe last Friday. Jesse Ayres leads the charge for Monticello with 1,537 rushing yards and 26 touchdowns.
(8) Western Albemarle vs. (1) Handley, Saturday, 1:00 pm, John Handley High School- Western earns a playoff spot with a 4-6 record and sneaks into the bracket. The Warriors will go up against top seeded Handley, which is only 6-4 on the year, leading many to believe that this Region II race is wide open. The Warriors big win over Monticello is one that very well may have propelled them into the postseason. They fell just short in their regular season finale, 18-17 to Goochland. Quarterback Abbot Wallenborn leads the Warriors with both his arm and his legs, ammassing 1,047 rushing yards, while throwing for 901 yards and ten touchdowns.
VISAA State Playoffs:
Christchurch vs. STAB, Friday, 7:30 pm, STAB School- The Saints earned homefield advantage throughout the postseason with their 34-21 win over Blue Ridge to close out the regular season, but will face a challenge in the state semifinals this Friday night. Two weeks ago saw STAB and Christchurch battle with the Saints earning a hard fought 20-13 win. The Seahorses come in this Friday in search of some revenge. STAB quarterback Charlie Murray has thrown for 1,144 yards and 12 touchdowns, with his favorite target being Nico Freeo. Freeo averaging a very impressive 59.7 yards per reception on the year. Running back Branford Rogers is back and healthy as well. He was sidelined due to an injury the last time these two teams met.
Fork Union vs. Liberty Christian, Friday, 7:30 pm, Williams Stadium, Liberty University- Fork Union earns a berth with a 4-5 record. The Blue Devils will face top seeded Liberty Christian, which is 8-1 on the season. FUMA fell to the Bulldogs earlier this year, 35-20. Quarterback Richard Quittenton leads the Fork Union offense and has solid targets at wideout including Quadrarlis Newkirk and D.J. Randle-el.
We caught up with Western Albemarle on Monday and got Ed Pierce's thoughts on the playoff berth. Click on the above video link to hear his thoughts.