Here's the lineup for Week 7 of the high school football season. Rankings based on NBC12/WHAN Radio Top 10 Poll.
#7 Thomas Dale (3-2) at Meadowbrook (2-3), 7PM: Eric Finney and Justin Miller. Great tailback battle, and that's just the start of it. The Knights have not lost since the Hail Mary against rival LC Bird September 5th, surviving an 0-2 start to earn the #5 position in the 6A South Sub-Region playoff picture. Meanwhile, the Monarchs started worse, at 0-3, didn't panic, and two good wins have them in the eighth and final playoff spot in the 5A South Central Sub-Region. We think both teams will make the postseason, barring a late-season collapse, but tonight's game could determine seeding for both teams, and, for the Knights, possibly whether they start the playoffs at home or on the road, up to three hours away.
Midlothian (0-6) at #3 L.C. Bird (4-1), 7:30PM: Skyhawks head coach David Bedwell said it best last Friday after the 29-22 loss to Lake Taylor that ended their 33-game winning streak. He wants to start a new one. He likely will tonight against a Trojans team that has struggled mightily to put points on the board this season.
#5 Cosby (5-0) at James River (3-3), 7:30PM: A huge 6A South battle. Cosby fell from #1 to #2 in the Central/Northern Sub-Region due to the strength of C.D. Hylton's victory last weekend. The Rapids moved from #10 to #9, and with a win tonight, and a Varina loss at Atlee, would likely move into the playoff picture in that #8 position. The Rapids, having already played six games, are at a disadvantage in the playoff race with the Blue Devils, in that they've only played 5, and have that crucial extra chance to win and gain points necessary to solidify a post-season berth.
Huguenot (1-5) at Monacan (4-2), 7:30PM: Homecoming at Monacan comes with new excitement, as the Chiefs sit third in the 4A South Region playoff race, where it's a one-bracket, 16-team tournament. Look for Monacan to draw a step away from clinching a winning regular season tonight, but they want more. Much more. After a bye next week, they host Clover Hill, then finish by going to winless Midlothian, then #5 Cosby. 7-3 seems likely; 8-2 is possible.
Clover Hill (1-4) vs. George Wythe (1-4), 7:30PM: This game will take place at City Stadium as the Cavaliers look to salvage their season. Being in 5A South, their chances for the playoffs are very remote, so any positive in the second half of this season to build for 2015 and beyond is important. Those building blocks begin tonight for the Cavaliers.
Petersburg (2-3) at Matoaca (2-3), 7PM: The Warriors still have a prayer in 5A South Central, but the odds are against them. For beginners, they need Thomas Dale to beat Meadowbrook (who already defeated Matoaca) and Douglas Freeman to knock off Mills Godwin tonight, and get a win over the Crimson Wave to keep that eighth and final playoff spot in 5A South Central within reach. Beating 5A rival Prince George in 2 weeks is almost mandatory. In between? A trip to Dinwiddie. The road is not easy for Matoaca.
NOTE: #3 Manchester (6-0) is idle this week.