Western Albemarle football coach Ed Redmond knows the match-ups don't suddenly start getting easier in mid-November.
"Oh, no," Redmond said Tuesday. "There's 16 teams left in Division 3, Class 3. And they're all good. Magna Vista is a very good football team. And we think we've got a pretty good football team also."
Redmond's team hosts Magna Vista at 7:30 p.m. Friday night in Round 2 of the 3A-West playoffs. It's a match-up of one-loss teams that have had little problem putting points on the board this season.
"It's a challenge, but it's fun playing new teams, and teams that are equivalent to your skill," Western quarterback Kent Henry said. "So it's going to be a fun game. They're a great team coming in from outside Roanoke. And they're 10-1 now. It will be a fun game."
Western Albemarle is the two-seed in the 3A-West bracket. The Warriors are coming off last Friday's 42-14 win in Crozet against Cave Spring in the opening round of the playoffs. Seven-seed Magna Vista -- which is also nicknamed the Warriors -- is coming off a 51-49 win at home against Liberty-Bedford last Friday.
Both teams have gotten to this point thanks largely to their offense. Western averaged 42.2 points per game during the regular season, one point better than Magna Vista's 41.2 point-per-game average.
Magna Vista has won its last 10 in a row following the Warriors' only loss of the season, 25-14 to Dan River in early September. Henry said on film, Magna Vista reminded him of Charlottesville, while Redmond admitted the Warriors' athleticism will be tough for his team to handle.
"You really have to scheme them up. And you have to find match-ups that are in your favor, and then you have to deal with the match-ups that are in their favor," Redmond explained. "And then I think the other half is just making sure we're healthy. Fine-tuning our guys, resting them up during the week. Kids are banged up, so during the week we really focus on the mental."
"Coach has taken back the hitting, I guess just to preserve our players and make sure we can heal," said Henry. "And if we have injuries, he lets us sit out and ice, and go to the trainers to get rested up. So it definitely is a different approach to playoff-style football. But we're ready."
"We understand what we're in for, and we're practicing hard all week to see if we can get it ready," said Redmond. "But I'm confident our kids will play well."
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