RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The following is the #8SportsBlitz Top Ten for the Week of Monday, September 14, 2015.
10. Thomas Dale Knights (2-1)
Last: def. #10 Varina 42-7
Why: We’re giving the Knights a mulligan. They imposed their will on Cosby, had a terrible night against Bird, and then imposed their will on Varina. Thomas Dale flipped the script from the Bird game and had the Blue Devils out of it before half. After the bye week, Dale doesn’t have to worry until it plays Dinwiddie on October 9th. We expect them to continue to climb this list.
9. Atlee Raiders (2-0)
Last: def. Mills Godwin 31-28
Next: @ Douglas Freeman (2-0)
Why: The Raiders had trouble stopping the run, as Godwin’s Wesley Dugger ran for 164 yards and four touchdowns. They did not have trouble scoring. Atlee is pretty good at the skill positions but lacks experience on both the offensive and defensive line. Freeman will be an even tougher test than Godwin, and there is always the possibility that Atlee will lack focus, looking ahead to a match up with rival Hanover on September 25th.
8. Manchester Lancers (2-0)
Last: def. Huguenot 33-0
Next: vs. #1 L.C. Bird (3-0)
Why: The Lancers easily handled the Falcons after a week off, but Bird is not Huguenot. This match up will be the toughest of the season for freshman quarterback Brendan Clark. He’s looked good against the likes of Matoaca and Huguenot, but it’s about to get real. The best news for Clark is that the team around him is very talented.
7. Hanover Hawks (2-0)
Last: def. J.R. Tucker 41-6
Next: @ Hopewell (2-0)
Why: For the second straight week we’ve dropped the Hawks a spot in the Top 10, and for the second straight week it is due to circumstances beyond their control. They went from five to six because Monacan looked that good, and now they drop from six to seven because we’ve learned that Clayton Cheetham has a lower body injury and won’t play for weeks. Marcus Bazala filled in nicely against Tucker, but he did so for a week or two in 2014 as well before Hanover began to miss Cheatham. Maybe they won’t lose a thing, but we’re going to move them back a spot because we don’t think they would beat the teams ranked above them on our list.
6. Monacan Chiefs (3-0)
Last: def. Cosby 15-10
Next: vs. Clover Hill (0-2)
Why: Monacan drops a spot for the same reason as Hanover: a quarterback injury. Sophomore Syour Fludd left the Cosby game with what appeared to be a foot or ankle injury and will miss some time. When we evaluate this list, we say could the team here beat the team ranked below it and would it lose to the team ranked above it? We believe the team that leapfrogged both Monacan and Hanover could do just that.
5. Benedictine Cadets (2-0)
Last: def. Bishop Sullivan 48-0
Next: vs. Collegiate (0-2)
Why: It’s tough to drop a team after two consecutive blow outs, but as mentioned above the team shooting up the rankings has made its case. The Cadets have impressed so far and are certainly the best private school in the Richmond area.
4. Henrico Warriors (2-0)
Last: def. Deep Run 46-6
Next: vs. J.R. Tucker (0-2)
Why: We apologize, Warrior Nation. We had you ranked too low from the start. The Warriors have mauled their opening opponents worse in 2015 than they did in 2014, and that’s saying something. When the offense isn’t scoring via the run and the pass, the defense is scoring, and when they’re not scoring the Warriors are blocking punts and scoring on special teams. Henrico is a monster in all three phases of the game and is a real contender in 5A South.
3. Highland Springs Springers (3-0)
Last: def. Meadowbrook 31-14
Why: Juwan Carter got dinged up against Norview and did not play Friday against Meadowbrook. No worries. K’Vonn Wallace filled in nicely. Now the Springers have a week off to evaluate Carter’s status. Armstrong waits on the other side of the bye.
2. Hermitage Panthers (2-0)
Next: vs. Varina (1-1)
Why: Hermitage has won close and dominated. They’ve won with defense and special teams, and they’ve won with offense. All this, and we’re only two games into the season. Given Varina’s performance against Thomas Dale, the Blue Devils will either have a great bounce back game or be in for another disappointing season. Either way, they’re not beating the Panthers.
1. L.C. Bird Skyhawks (3-0)
Last: def. Midlothian 67-0
Next: @ #8 Manchester (2-0)
Why: The win over Midlothian shows the Skyhawks take no one lightly. Expect Bird to be even more amped up for Manchester. The Lancers are the only team in the 804 to beat L.C. Bird since 2011. The loss came at the end of the 2014 regular season, and it came on a Hail Mary. David Bedwell and company haven’t forgotten, and they have something to prove Friday night. That said, the Skyhawks have flattened everyone this season, and we hope Manchester can put up a better fight. Blow outs don’t make good highlights!