1. L.C. Bird (6-0)
In the misty, wet rain filled Thursday game with Monacan, it was L.C. Bird that prevailed. In a game marred with 11 turnovers, the Skyhawks turned their six turnovers into 36 points, while the Chiefs struggled to capitalize, only converting one of L.C. Bird’s turnovers into a points. Jalen Elliott came up big in the first half, connecting on touchdown passes to Kier Townsend and Kumonde Hines to set the tone, then J.B. Wright helped finish the game with a hard-earned 171 yards on 37 carries. Rayshard Ashby (12 tackles, sack, forced fumble) and Isaiah Moore (five tackles, two interceptions, fumble recovery) led the Skyhawks defense.
Next Up: Bye Week, then Friday, October 17 at Cosby, 7:30pm.
2. Thomas Dale (4-1)
Thomas Dale rolled over Prince George in convincing fashion, in a big game for running back Max Oxendine and the Thomas Dale defense. The “Dark Zone” defense is one of the best in the area and the offense has really come along in recent weeks. After the loss to L.C. Bird, coach Kevin Tucker said that his offensive line really needed to gel, and that process has begun to take place. Led by senior and James Madison commit Robert Snead, they’ll need to continue to improve. Oxendine leads a bevy of options at running back. Quarterback Matt Lawton’s play will grow important as the games get tougher when teams stack the box against the run. He will be an x-factor.
Next Up: Saturday, October 10 vs. Dinwiddie, 1pm.
3. Monacan (5-1)
Sure, a 36-6 loss isn’t pretty. Six turnovers aren’t either. The rain didn’t help, but teams have to be able to adjust and play in all conditions. The Chiefs will learn much from their loss to L.C. Bird.
Sophomore quarterback Syour Fludd, Monacan’s starter said he would be medically cleared this week from a high ankle sprain. That’s great news for the Chiefs. Khalik Hamlin is a major weapon. I was impressed with Monacan’s run defense in the first half against Bird, and Gee Ross was a playmaker in the secondary.
Gleaning the positives from the L.C. Bird game, I think the Chiefs will make a legit run in 4A again this year.
Next Up: Friday, October 9 at James River, 730pm.
4. Matoaca (4-1)
The Warriors enter the rankings at number 4 after an impressive upset victory over Dinwiddie.
The Matoaca offense is one of the best in the Central Region. They’ve scored no less than 32 points in any game, and pass the ball well. Justin Ford has tossed 16 touchdown passes this year, 10 of those to Terrence Whitfield. Offensively, the Warriors have a big line and above average speed at every skill position (Whitfield, Anthony Warner, Jamison Harrison.) The defense still needs work, but keeping Dinwiddie at bay is no easy task and shows improvement.
Manchester has the head-to-head win over Matoaca, but the Warriors get the bump for beating the Generals, and the jury still being out on Manchester’s quarterback situation.
Next Up: Friday, October 9 at Petersburg, 730pm
5. Manchester (4-1)
The Lancers defeated George Wythe handily 42-2 on Monday. The Lancers have a rock solid, underrated defense and a skilled running back in Bryce Hall. Thus far, they’ve taken care of opponents you’d expect them to in Huguenot and George Wythe, scored a victory over James River and defeated Matoaca in a victory that’s looking more impressive.
As mentioned, Manchester has a bit of a situation at quarterback. With Clark out for the season, C.J. Agnolucci figures to get reps, but the Lancers could choose to play a more athletic option under center. Agnolucci finished the James River game well, and time will tell how well the Lancers absorb the loss of Brendon Clark, who was having an excellent freshman season.
Next Up: Friday, October 9 vs. Midlothian, 730pm
Other team’s records: Dinwiddie 3-2, Hopewell 3-2, Meadowbrook 2-3, James River 2-3, Cosby 2-3, Prince George 2-3, Petersburg 2-3, Colonial Heights 2-3, Midlothian 2-4, Clover Hill 0-6.
Dinwiddie was sent reeling after a loss to Matoaca, but the Generals are far from done this season. A talented roster promises to bounce back, but has a tough opponent to do it against in Thomas Dale on a game that was rescheduled to Saturday.
Hopewell got back to their winning ways, getting a three interception performance from Ronnie Monroe in a 47-8 rout of Petersburg. The Blue Devils will have a good test this week as they travel to Meadowbrook to face the Monarchs that are on a two game-winning streak.
James River fell at the hands of Chancellor, a very good school from 4A 42-7. The Rapids will look to rebound against Monacan, who’s coming off a tough loss themselves.
Cosby defeated Clover Hill last week with an excellent ground attack. Trevor Laury and Joe Hunt both scored two touchdowns, and Brandon Miltenberger had a career game in the secondary with three interceptions. They’ll look to knock off Huguenot to even their record at 3-3, who fell in overtime to Midlothian, who’s won two straight games. The Trojans draw Manchester.
Petersburg and Colonial Heights are both looking to rebound after two consecutive weeks of being defeatedly soundly. The Crimson Wave have Matoaca, while Colonial Heights faces Prince George.
Clover Hill is searching for their first victory, and figures to have an excellent shot to pick that up as they face George Wythe for homecoming.