1. L.C. Bird (5-0)
As expected, the Skyhawks took care of Clover Hill, pitching their fourth shutout on defense. The Cavaliers were able to make some plays defensively, but were grossly overmatched. Running back J.B. Wright continued his outstanding season, rushing for a season high 234 yards while scoring twice. Shedrick McCall and Waymond Pate added rushing touchdowns.
L.C. Bird’s defense continued to be impenetrable, as the first team hasn’t allowed any points all season. To date, the Skyhawks have allowed just one touchdown on the season, late in the fourth quarter to Thomas Dale. Their upcoming match-up with the Monacan Chiefs should be won and lost in the trenches.
So long as the Skyhawks can avoid turnovers, they figure to have a very good chance to defeat the Chiefs and improve to 6-0. From there, an undefeated regular season would seem to be a shoo-in with Midlothian, George Wythe, Huguenot and Cosby left on the schedule.
Up Next: Friday, October 2 at Monacan, 7:30pm.
2. Monacan (5-0)
The Chiefs beat Huguenot last Thursday 25-8 to improve to 5-0 and to set up a showdown with three-time defending state champion L.C. Bird.
Word on the street is that sophomore quarterback Syour Fludd will return from injury to face the Skyhawks, as Patrick Routsis went 2-0 in his tenure as a starter. Khalik Hamlin rushed for 191 yards and three touchdowns against the Falcons, and will need a similar performance against a very tough L.C. Bird defense.
Monacan has a tough defense of their own, and with the Skyhawks having periods of time where the offense stalls, will they be able to take advantage? A couple of turnovers by L.C. Bird and this week’s game could get very interesting.
Next Up: Friday, October 2 vs. L.C. Bird 7:30pm
3. Dinwiddie (3-1)
Well rested coming off a bye week and playing their game against Hopewell on Monday instead of Friday due to field conditions, Dinwiddie was eager to get back on the field and it showed, as they thumped Hopewell 41-13.
The Generals attacked the Blue Devils in a variety of ways and were able to score on a defense that’s been tough in 2015. Bryce Witt completed 12 of 17 passes for 157 yards and two touchdowns. James Lyons and J.T. Tyree each rushed for a touchdown. K’Vaughan Pope and Tye Freeland, both Division-I recruits had solid games.
Perhaps most importantly, the Dinwiddie defense held Hopewell to a paltry negative 26 yards rushing. J.T. Tyree had one of the best individual defensive games of the season, tallying nine tackles, seven for a loss and three sacks.
Next Up: Friday, October 2 vs. Matoaca, 7pm.
4. Thomas Dale (3-1)
The Knights dominated in their 61-0 victory last Friday. An impressive stat regardless of the opponent, Thomas Dale held Colonial Heights to zero total yards of offense in the contest.
Running back Max Oxendine had his second consecutive 100 yard rushing performance as he ran for 108 yards and two scores.
After offensive struggles earlier in the season, the Knights have put up 42 and 61 points in consecutive games, bridged over a bye week. This week, they face a Prince George squad that may be without one of their best players and athletes, running back Malik Gurley.
Thomas Dale’s defense, coupled with their recent offensive resurgence makes them a team to watch.
Next Up: Friday, October 2 at Prince George, 7:30pm
5. Manchester (3-1)
The Lancers enter the top five this week due to Dinwiddie’s convincing victory over Hopewell, combined with their own merits on the field. The ranking comes with one caveat: Freshman quarterback Brendon Clark may have a serious knee injury. At last update, Clark had undergone an MRI on his knee. The play of back-up quarterback C.J. Agnolucci will be absolutely vital. Manchester has scored victories over James River, Huguenot and Matoaca this season, falling to L.C. Bird. Running back Bryce Hall has been impressive for the Lancers and ran for 170 yards and three touchdowns last week against James River, who has a stout defense.
Next Up: Friday, October 2 vs. George Wythe, 7:30pm
Other Team Notes:
Matoaca is off to their best start since 2006 at 3-1. They have a big and important road test against Dinwiddie to gauge exactly where the team is. Last year, the Warriors just missed knocking off the Generals at home as they fell 29-26.
Hopewell is still dangerous at 2-2, but most figured they would put up a little more resistance to Dinwiddie. Despite an overall offensive struggle, Ronnie Monroe was still a bright spot for the Blue Devils, catching four passes for 84 yards and a touchdown.
Prince George, Petersburg and Colonial Heights all lost big this past week. While they could make some noise on the rest of their schedule, I don’t expect any of these teams to make huge waves. For Petersburg and Colonial Heights, however, the playing field levels quite a bit once the 3A East Playoffs begin, and the much larger schools on their schedules disappear.
James River is still looking for more offense, and Cosby is in the same boat. The Titans come off a bye week to face Clover Hill in a game where they should be able to establish an offensive rhythm. Meadowbrook trounced Petersburg, and is one of the better teams in the Central District. They should continue to exhibit this against Colonial Heights on Friday.
Midlothian defeated George Wythe 28-14 for their first win of the season. Clover Hill fell to L.C. Bird and will look to rebound against Cosby.
Other Team Records:
Matoaca 3-1, Hopewell 2-2, Prince George 2-2, Petersburg 2-2, Colonial Heights 2-2, James River 2-2, Meadowbrook 1-3, Cosby 1-3, Midlothian 1-4, Clover Hill 0-5.