Friday Blitz

Published 4:30 pm Thursday, October 28, 2010

Hampton Roads Academy @ Fuqua School 7 p.m., Gilmer FIeld, Farmville

Friday night, the Fuqua School Falcons will host Hampton Roads Academy for the second, first time. Fuqua was supposed to host HRA for last year's regular-season finale, but a scheduling change at the last minute, due to weather gave Fuqua a home game against next week's opponent, Hampton Christian.

Hampton Roads Academy was 1-6 12 months ago, but has turned things around, and is second in the state among Division III teams with a 7-1 record. The Navigators' only loss this season, came to Norfolk Christian – which is ranked first among the VISFA's Division III.

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Hampton Roads Academy is led offensively by feature tailback Ty Smith, who is averaging 185.6 yards per game, and has 22 touchdowns on the season. He scored five touchdowns in a 41-30 victory over Southampton Academy in September.

Quarterback Marshall Bagley is averaging 82 yards passing per game. He attempts a little over nine passes per game, and has 574 yards and three touchdowns on the season.

As a team, HRA is averaging 33.125 ppg., while giving up 15.25 ppg. on defense.

Fuqua, which is ranked second in this week's VISFA Division IV poll, got back on track in a big way in its 59-25 road victory over Roanoke Catholic last Friday. The Falcons' overall speed advantage allowed them to score touchdowns five different ways (rushing, passing, interception, punt return and kickoff return) to gain the momentum and cruise to the victory.

Big plays will be a key this week, as the Falcons face a formidable opponent, but don't be surprised if they try to exercise a little ball-control in order to keep the HRA offense off the field. Williams continues to lead the Falcons with 1,266 yards rushing and 20 touchdowns on 83 carries. Additionally, he's accounted for 27 total touchdowns (four rushing, a fumble return, an interception return and a kickoff return).

Larry Haskins has 684 yards and ten touchdowns on 90 carries, and has a total of 13 touchdowns on the season (95-yard kickoff return and a 63-yard punt return).

The Falcons will have their work cut out for them, but a victory over Hampton Roads Academy will almost assure them of a home game in the first round of the VISFA Division IV Playoffs. Expect a playoff atmosphere this week, as both teams look to secure a home game in the upcoming playoffs.

Last year: First Meeting

Radio: WVHL 92.9 FM/

Greensville @ Prince Edward 7:30 p.m., Farmville

In the end, teams judge success on wins and losses. Usually, that's all that matters. However, for Prince Edward, the Eagles are judging progress on improvement. And, though the overall record doesn't show it, the Eagles have managed to improve as the season has gone along.

Last week, the Eagles had a decent showing at Brunswick, before three successive bad plays late in the second quarter led to a blitzkrieg of three quick scores by the Bulldogs that led to a 45-12 Brunswick victory.

Considering that Brunswick has outscored its Southside District opponents by a combined score of 150-29 so far, things could've been a lot worse, and probably would have been had the Eagles allowed it.

Prince Edward can play the role of spoiler for the Greensville Eagles this Friday. Greensville is currently fifth in the Region I, Division 3 standings, and with three weeks remaining, could play itself into a playoff spot. Greensville started the season 1-4, including losses to Brunswick (32-0) and Powhatan (14-0), but has come on of late with a 28-23 win over Park View, and a 22-20 victory over Nottoway last week.

With PE, Southampton and Bluestone remaining, the Greensville Eagles could be looking at a 6-4 season, which might be good enough for them to slide into the final playoff spot.

Since being moved from the receiver position at halftime of Greensville's game against Park View, GHS quarterback Patrick Gillus has engineered a turn-around of fortunes in Emporia. Greensville rallied from 17-points down against Park View, and accounted for the game-winning score and two-point conversion at Nottoway.

Could Greensville be ready to make its move? Or could they be in prime position for a setback? The key will lie in Prince Edward's defense. If it can frustrate Greensville, the game could be in doubt much longer than one may assume merely by looking at the records.

Last year: Greensville 40, Prince Edward 29

Radio: none

Cumberland @ Central of Lunenburg 7 p.m., Victoria

Though Central of Lunenburg can't quite claim to being back to the form the Chargers were when they dominated the James River District, they are again players on the Region B, Division I playoff scene. Last week's come-from-behind 20-17 victory over Manassas Park moved the Chargers into third place in the playoff standings.

The Chargers trailed 17-0 at the half, and took advantage of some Manassas Park miscues to win the game with one minute left to play.

Central has been up and down this season, but with the exception of its 38-12 loss to Nottoway, and its 45-12 victory over Bluestone, the Chargers have played in five games decided by seven or fewer points.

Cumberland's season hit a low point last week. The Dukes lost to Amelia 60-6, as several starters were either injured prior to the game, or sustained early injuries that forced them from the game.

The Dukes were stymied by an Amelia team that lost to Central 14-7 in the previous week, and was fighting for its postseason and the possibility at a share of the JRD title. It showed, as the Raiders hit hard and quickly took control of the game.

CHS quarterback Devonte Booker was knocked from the game in the first half, and will likely miss Friday's game. Shaquille Warren came in for Booker and had a 53-yard pass to Jonathan Boatwright in the second half of last week's game. He should receive the start.

The Dukes face a tough challenge, but they could catch Central napping following its emotional victory, and before the Chargers face JRD foes Randolph-Henry and Buckingham. A lot would have to go right for the Dukes to pull off a win in Victoria, mainly depending on how motivated the Dukes are to end the season on a high note.

Last year: Central 33, Cumberland 28

Radio: WFLO 95.7 FM

Guilford @ Hampden-Sydney 1 p.m., Everett Stadium

After a grueling seven-week stretch to start the season, the Hampden-Sydney Tigers received a well-deserved bye week last Saturday, as they prepare for a tough stretch run in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference.

With Washington & Lee and Randolph-Macon still to play, the Tigers will get the bonus of easing back into the swing of things at home against winless Guiford.

Is it a trap game? Sure, and anything can happen. But a lot would have to happen for the Quakers to get a victory on Saturday.

Last week, the Quakers ran into a nest of angry Yellow Jackets, fresh off their loss to Washington & Lee two weeks ago. Randolph-Macon took its frustrations out on Guilford with a 59-21 victory over the Quakers. In the game, Guilford hung around into the second quarter, trailing 21-14, before R-MC put the game away just before the half.

GC quarterback Billy Watkins hit Ben King for a score, and pulled to within one score after an 88-yard fumble return by Brad Gayhardt. The Quakers allowed R-MC to pile up 554 total yards on offense.

Hampden-Sydney should expect similar numbers, as junior Quarterback Travis Lane looks to add to his 2,033 passing yards on the season to go along with an ODAC best 19 touchdowns. Six different receivers have caught Lane touchdown passes.

Tailback Evan King has come on the scene to score eight touchdowns thus-far for the Tigers, and on the other side of the ball, linebacker Trevor Ikwild is averaging 11 tackles a game.

Last year: H-SC 31, Guilford 6

Radio: WFLO 95.7 FM/