RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The following is the #8SportsBlitz Top Ten for the Week of Monday, October 12, 2015.
10. Matoaca Warriors (5-1)
Last: def. Petersburg 51-28
Next: vs. Meadowbrook (2-4)
Why: If the season ended today, the Warriors would be playoff-bound in 5A South, and that’s impressive work by Head Coach Derrick Johnson. The offense is potent with Justin Ford throwing to Terrance Whitfield and Jamison Harrison running the ball. The defense is concerning. Matoaca has allowed 22 points or more in four of its six games this season. That’s trouble against the likely top three seeds in this region: L.C. Bird, Hermitage, and Highland Springs.
9. Douglas Freeman Rebels (6-0)
Last: def. Glen Allen 40-7
Next: vs. J.R. Tucker (2-4)
Why: Freeman did what it should have done against the winless Jags Friday night. Tucker will be a much tougher test. The Tigers seem to have figured things out, winning two in a row including the first win over Godwin since 2009. Running back Taj Conway is a force to be reckoned with. Tucker always plays Freeman tough, especially when it’s the Rebels’ homecoming, and this season will be no different.
8. Manchester Lancers (5-1)
Last: def. Midlothian 47-0
Next: vs. #2 Hermitage (6-0)
Why: The Lancers have been coasting along, dominating weaker opponents since losing to L.C. Bird on September 18th. They’ll coast no more. Manchester’s final four games include dates with the Hermitage, Monacan, and Cosby. This upcoming match up with Hermitage will be where we see just how much the Lancers miss talented freshman QB Brendan Clark. On the other hand, if they score an upset, they’re set for a major run in the 6A South playoffs.
7. Henrico (5-1)
Last: def. Armstrong 52-0
Next: vs. Atlee (3-3)
Why: The Warriors got an impressive bounce back win Friday night. The opponent wasn’t impressive, but the offensive effort was. Xavier Goodall was near 100 yards with two touchdowns after just his first three carries. If Henrico continues to establish the run game to go along with its stout defense, the Warriors can make the 5A South playoffs and angle for an upset over one of the likely top three seeds (see above).
6. Lee-Davis Confederates (6-0)
Last: def. Atlee 48-17
Next: vs. #3 Highland Springs
Why: The rubber meets the road for Lee-Davis Friday night against Highland Springs. The Springers have embarrassed the Confederates’ Hanover Count compatriots in consecutive weeks. Even if the Confederates lose, they can improve their stock by keeping it close, something no team has done against Highland Springs except Hermitage. If they can beat Highland Springs, the Confederates could position themselves for a top three seed in 5A South.
5. Thomas Dale Knights (5-1)
Last: def. Dinwiddie 28-13
Next: @ Petersburg (2-4)
Why: Any time you beat Dinwiddie, it’s a solid win, even as the Generals are not quite what they have been in recent years. The Knights are steadily developing a passing game to go with a good defense and a good running game. More 3A competition awaits before the season finale, a suddenly intriguing match up with #10 Matoaca.
4. Benedictine Cadets (5-0)
Last: def. Georgetown Prep 17-15
Next: vs. Bishop Ireton (5-1)
Why: So far no team from the Commonwealth of Virginia has been able to give the Cadets a game, but that should change with the Cardinals coming to town. Benedictine beat Bishop Ireton 23-7 to win the VISAA Division I State Championship in 2014. The Cardinals come in with only one loss so far this season. Benedictine showed it could win close at Georgetown Prep, and that could be a good thing if Bishop Ireton puts up a fight Saturday.
3. Highland Springs Springers (5-1)
Last: def. Hanover 45-0
Next: @ Lee-Davis (6-0)
Why: Highland Springs used its opening-game loss at Hermitage as motivation, and the subsequent five teams on the Springers’ schedule have felt the pain. Highland Springs has not scored less than 31 points in any game since that loss, and the defense has recorded two shut outs in its last three contests. The Springers look ready for the 5A playoffs, the only chance they have for revenge against Hermitage for this season or against L.C. Bird, which eliminated Highland Springs in 2014.
2. Hermitage Panthers (6-0)
Last: def. Deep Run 44-0
Next: vs. #8 Manchester (5-1)
Why: Hermitage has been on cruise control since beating Highland Springs on August 28th. The Panthers don’t have a victory by less than 24 points in all that time. This match up will be a nice wake up call ahead of the 5A South playoffs. The Lancers will have the most athletes the Panthers have faced since Highland Springs. It will be interesting to see if all those blowouts have made Herm soft, although “soft” and “Herm” never go in the same sentence.
1. L.C. Bird Skyhawks (6-0)
Next: @ Cosby (3-3)
Why: Bird has spent the season mauling opponents to the tune of an overall score of 240-13. No team has scored more than once on the Skyhawks. Meanwhile Cosby has feasted on struggling competition since opening the season 0-3. The Titans are big, but the Skyhawks have proven tougher so far, and it will take more than size to give Bird a game. Look for another blowout.
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