RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The following is the #8SportsBlitz Top Ten for the Week of Monday, September 21, 2015.
10. Douglas Freeman Rebels (3-0)
Last: def. #9 Atlee 21-14
Next: vs. John Marshall (1-2) Monday September 28th
Why: Douglas Freeman showed us something coming from behind to beat Atlee. They did so with a good-enough defense and some steady, confident play from first year starting QB Trey Laughlin, a junior. The Rebels have only allowed 21 total points in their three wins this season, and (rather amazingly) the Rebels’ next six opponents have a COMBINED two wins, so Freeman is looking at a potential 8-0 start before tangling with archrival Mills Godwin (0-3) and Colonial District foe Hermitage (3-0) to finish the season.
9. Manchester Lancers (2-1)
Last: lost to #1 L.C. Bird 35-0
Next: @ James River (2-1)
Why: Bird is crushing everyone this season, and that’s not really the Lancers’ fault. Impressively, Manchester held Bird scoreless for the first half before giving way in the second half. This is a good team. Bird is just better.
8. Thomas Dale Knights
Next: @ Colonial Heights (2-1)
Why: Thomas Dale is big and physical and can run the ball and play defense. They have not yet shown an ability to throw the ball effectively, but what they have shown is good enough to beat most of the teams in the Richmond area.
7. Hanover Hawks (3-0)
Last: def. Hopewell 24-19
Next: vs. Atlee (2-1)
Why: In their first test since losing Clayton Cheetham to injury, the Hawks came through in fine fashion. Marcus Bazala ran the ball well against Hopewell and showed he can throw it as well against Tucker. One of the most impressive things about Hanover is its defense, which came up with a goal line stand Friday to beat the Blue Devils. The defense will be tested Friday against rival Atlee and just about every week after as Hanover enters a difficult Capital District Schedule.
6. Monacan Chiefs (4-0)
Last: def. Clover Hill 34-13
Next: vs. Huguenot (1-3)
Why: The Chiefs felt Syour Fludd’s absence early against Clover Hill, falling behind in the first quarter and struggling to score until the running game got rolling in the second half. Fludd’s lower leg injury has another week to heal before the Monacan faces L.C. Bird. Huguenot is no push over, but Head Coach Jim Henderson will definitely need his regular QB to face the Skyhawks. Without Fludd, the Chiefs are at risk of falling behind Hanover as the area’s best 4A team.
5. Benedictine Cadets (3-0)
Last: def. Collegiate 41-14
Why: Benedictine’s Scott Bracey accounted for more than 300 yards of offense on his own against the Cougars. Any time you have an athlete like that that can shuttle back and forth between quarterback and receiver, you’re going to win plenty of games. The Cadets are off this week before facing St. Christopher’s on October 3rd, in what should be the season’s best match up of private schools in the Richmond area (Benedictine and Trinity do not play this season).
4. Henrico Warriors (3-0)
Last: def. J.R. Tucker 30-0
Next: vs. Patrick Henry (3-0)
Why: The Warriors put a lackluster performance on the field against the Tigers. Henrico only led 10-0 at half. The Warriors cannot afford to do that again this week. Patrick Henry has put up huge offensive numbers against everyone it has played this season. After last week, Henrico could be ripe for an upset.
3. Highland Springs Springers (3-0)
Next: @ Armstrong (2-1) Monday September 28th
Why: Juwan Carter has had a week off to get healthy, and he’ll get a little extra time off thanks to the UCI Road World Cycling Championships. Armstrong is a tough team this season, and Highland Springs will have to do more than knock off the rust Monday afternoon.
2. Hermitage Panthers (3-0)
Last: def. Varina 28-0
Next: @ J.R. Tucker (0-3)
Why: It was another full-team victory for the Panthers against Varina, as they blocked multiple punts, scored a special teams touchdown, and scored a few times on offense as well. The game against Tucker is a rivalry game, and one in which the Tigers came to play in 2014. Hermitage just needs to keep up this level of efficiency to continue on to another playoff run.
1. L.C. Bird Skyhawks (4-0)
Last: def. Manchester 35-0
Next: vs. Clover Hill (0-3)
Why: Ruthless. That’s the best way to describe L.C. Bird on the field right now. Manchester challenged the Skyhawks for a half, but in the second half it looked like the two didn’t belong on the same field. No team has yet been able to hang with Bird this season.