Friday Blitz

Published 4:30 pm Thursday, October 7, 2010

Buckingham, Cumberland and Fuqua Schools are idle this week, and will resume their respective schedules next week with key rivalry games. The Knights and Dukes will open James River District play against each other, while Fuqua will host Blessed Sacrament-Huguenot next week for homecoming.

Prince Edward is the only coverage-area team in action this Friday. The Eagles will look to get their first victory of the season on Friday night at Bluestone.

Both WVHL 92.9 FM and WFLO 95.7 FM will have coverage of Randolph-Henry's home contest against JRD foe Amelia County.

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Prince Edward @ Bluestone, Friday, 7:30 p.m., Skipwith

It's been a rough two of years for the Prince Edward County High School football team. But if there is a team that would trade fates with the Eagles, it might be the Bluestone Barons, who have just two victories (both over Randolph-Henry) since the end of the 2004 season.

Bluestone will have its best chance to pick up a victory since defeating the Statesmen 15-8 on September 14, 2007. Thirty-two straight losses.

Don't expect Prince Edward to be looking for an easy victory, though. Both teams enter Friday's contest winless on the season. Prince Edward's last victory came one year ago – a 42-24 victory for the Eagles over the Barons in Farmville.

Aside from the normal X's and O's for one to get a handle on when looking at this contest, there are some intangibles. Neither team will have a full-week of rest, with Bluestone playing Southampton (in a 44-0 loss) last Saturday night, and Prince Edward playing Park View (in a 21-6 loss) on Monday.

The Eagles couldn't get anything going offensively against the Dragons on Monday night, but played solidly on defense, which was compounded by the fact that PV started a majority of its offensive possessions on the Prince Edward side of the field.

The two teams share one common opponent in Southampton. Two weeks ago, Prince Edward fell to Southampton 28-7.

In a season where the Eagles are looking for anything positive – especially on offense, they can take solace in the fact they have yet to be shut out, and the only true blowout came to Buckingham in a 47-13 loss last month.

In three of its five losses, PE has given up under 30 points in three contests. A couple of offensive breaks here and there could've meant some different results.

Bluestone, meanwhile, has allowed over 40 points on defense in all four of its contests thus far, and has been shut out in its previous two contests, while scoring 12 points in each of its first two games (a 53-12 loss to Randolph-Henry and a 45-12 loss to Central of Lunenburg).

On paper, Prince Edward should win going away, but it's a safe assumption that the Barons have had this home contest circled on their calendars since the schedule was printed.

The key will be how many times PE's offense turns the ball over. If it's seven times, like in its loss to Southampton, the Barons may break their streak. If not, Prince Edward will likely be the victors.

Last year: PECHS 41, Bluestone 24

Radio: none

Hampden-Sydney @ Bridgewater, 1 p.m. Saturday, Bridgewater

Almost a month-and-a-half into the season, the ODAC can still boast of having three undefeated teams, which is almost unheard of for any conference past the midpoint of the schedule. That number will at least shrink to two on Saturday, as Hampden-Sydney travels to Bridgewater this weekend.

H-SC (5-0, 1-0 ODAC), which is ranked No. 22 in the AFCA Division III Football Poll this week, and is just outside of the d3football Top-25 Rankings, picked up its first in-conference victory on the season last Saturday with a 35-27 win over Catholic.

The Tigers needed a second half surge last week, and got it from sophomore tailback Evan King, who scored the team's final three touchdowns of the afternoon to cap a come-from-behind victory. Junior quarterback Travis Lane threw for 319 yards and two touchdowns. The Tigers got no turnovers against the Cardinals, but held them to just 5-14 on third-down conversions, as the Tigers started the season 5-0 for the third-consecutive season.

Bridgewater (4-0, 0-0 ODAC) defeated Southern Virginia 32-23 last Thursday evening in a game played in Salem. Travis Beiler led the Eagles with seven catches for 122 yards and two touchdowns. Quarterback Hagan Driskell was 16-25 passing for 227 yards and a pair of touchdowns, while tailback Thomas Tate led the Eagles in rushing with nine carries for 65 yards and a touchdown. Defensively, the Eagles held their fourth-straight opponent to under 100 yards on the ground.

Hampden-Sydney shut-out the Eagles 19-0 last year at home, and despite giving up just under 300 yards of total offense, got big plays from safety Bill Doody, who had two interceptions and a pair of pass break-ups.

Two streaks will be on the line for the Tigers this week, who have won 15-consecutive regular-season contests, while also winning 18-straight on the road.

Hampden-Sydney will play its third straight game on the road, having defeated Salisbury and Catholic in that stretch. So far this season, three of H-SC's five wins have been one-possession victories (eight points or fewer).

Last year: H-SC 19, Bridgewater 0

Radio: WFLO 95.7 FM/