(Rankings based on NBC12/WHAN Radio Top 10 Poll....)
James River (1-2) at #1 L.C. Bird (2-0), 7:30pm: Well, if there was ever a time for the Rapids to make a statement, it's now. After being stopped at the goal line in the waning seconds at Douglas Freeman, then failing to hold on at home last week with Monacan, losing 14-7, the Rapids need a signature win. To escape Chester with a "W" would be a signature win and much more, but the odds are stacked against them. The Skyhawks had little more than a scrimmage with George Wythe last week, and still want to atone for having to produce a Hail Mary to beat Thomas Dale two weeks ago. They will be primed for the kill.
#5 Manchester at #8 Monacan, 7:30pm: The "arrival" of the Monacan Chiefs could be completed tonight with a win over a high-quality opponent in the Lancers. Monacan has already knocked off Dinwiddie on the road, through time will tell how good this year's Dinwiddie team is and whether the win was bigger or smaller in scope than we thought the night it happened. Manchester fought its way through to a win over Meadowbrook, and continues to impress all who see them. With a win, Monacan cements itself into serious 4A South playoff discussion, while a Lancers victory would help Manchester keep pace with Highland Springs, Hermitage if it beats Varina, and the winner of the Atlee/Freeman game. Oh, and those Skyhawks, too.
Clover Hill (0-2) at Midlothian (0-3), 7:30pm: Talking with Midlothian students at their field hockey game at L.C. Bird Wednesday, there was high confidence coming into this contest that their elusive first win was at hand. To do it, the Trojans must find offense, and preferably early in the game. They must dictate the game to the Cavaliers. Playing from behind doesn't suit Midlothian. Clover Hill, meanwhile, needs a good night from Sal Sidoti, who had over 100 yards in the 35-21 loss to Prince George two weeks ago. Time of possession, on the road, will be huge for the Cavs.
Huguenot (0-3) at #7 Cosby (3-0), 7:30pm: The fourth and final game of a long season-opening homestand for the Titans should turn out to be an easy victory. The Falcons are, again, struggling this season. So tonight is all about execution, and getting a win without any key injuries. The Titans have a bye next week, then travel to Clover Hill and James River to start October. And remember, it's Neon Night! :)
NOTE: Thomas Dale, Matoaca and Meadowbrook all have byes this week....