Friday Blitz

Published 4:47 pm Thursday, November 4, 2010

Buckingham @ Amelia 7 p.m., Amelia C.H.

Of the Buckingham Knights' ten victories in 2009, only one was decided by fewer than seven points. It was a 10-6 BCHS victory over an Amelia team that was pretty much playing for pride last November.

The ante has risen a bit for the Raiders, who as of now, still have a shot at a playoff berth on points, but more importantly a shot at a three-way tie for the James River District championship, should they get a victory over the Knights on Friday night.

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Buckingham and Amelia were both idle last week, but are coming off impressive victories two weeks ago. The Raiders defeated Cumberland 60-6, while the Knights cruised past Randolph-Henry 50-14.

Buckingham has won four straight in the series, dating back to 2006, and in that stretch has two victories by shut out.

On the season, the Knights are averaging 31.33 yards per game offensively, while giving up 10.75 ppg. on defense. Amelia is averaging a solid 24.5 ppg., while giving up 16.88 ppg.

The game will feature two of the district's top running backs. Buckingham's Maurice Taylor and Amelia's Tyrell Banks.

Taylor is averaging 175.4 yards per game (1,403 yards on 171 carries) and has 19 touchdowns on the season. Against JRD foes, he's averaging 249.5 ypg, and four rushing touchdowns per contest.

Banks has posted formidable numbers of his own, including a 275-yard, four touchdown performance in the Raiders' victory over Cumberland.

It's hard to go on the road and win. It's even harder to go to Amelia and pull out a victory when the Raiders are in contention for a title. Buckingham has several advantages on both sides of the ball, but the Knights will have to keep mistakes and penalties to an absolute minimum this week. Otherwise, the 20-consecutive regular-season victory streak, and a home playoff game, may be in jeopardy.

Last year: Buckingham 10, Amelia 6

Radio: WFLO 95.7 FM

Fuqua @ Hampton Christian, 7 p.m. Hampton

Last year, the Fuqua School football schedule was altered just before the final week of the regular season. Instead of playing Hampton Roads Academy, the Falcons had to host a much tougher Hampton Christian squad. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise, as the Falcons held on for a 28-27 victory, to cement the final playoff spot in VISFA's then-Division III.

Much has changed in 12 months. Hampton Roads Academy is much stronger, as witnessed in the Falcons 50-44 loss to the Navigators last week, and Hampton Christian has had a very rough season, with its lone victory coming over Chincoteague.

Still, given the long bus ride, the physical beating the Falcons took in last week's game, and it being HC's final contest, Fuqua will have to be careful to not allow Hampton Christian a reason to hang around.

Despite last week's loss, the Falcons still hold the No. 2 spot in the latest VISFA Division IV poll, as all the other teams in playoff contention (between spots 2-5) lost. That should give the Falcons the No. 2 spot (and an important home game) in next week's State Playoffs. Still, Fuqua needs a good showing, should some upsets happen.

Expect junior quarterback Charles Williams to get a large burden of the carries early, as the Falcons try to put the game away as early as possible. Due to an injury to tailback Larry Haskins in last week's game against HRA, Williams was moved to tailback, with Carter Cunningham moving under center. Haskins is back, but it wouldn't be surprising to see something similar, at least for a few plays, this Friday night. So far this season, Williams is averaging 169.7 yards per game on just 102 carries (1,527 total yards on the year). He has 23 rushing touchdowns, and has 32 total on the year.

After his injury last week, Haskins was able to return to the contest, so he should be able to go Friday night. He's averaging 83.2 yards per game, and has 11 rushing touchdowns (14 total) on 103 carries.

Fuqua wants to get this one out of doubt as soon as possible. Expect a quick start, followed by a second half of running out the clock.

Last year: Fuqua 28, Hampton Christian 27

Radio: none

Prince Edward @ Powhatan 7:30 p.m., Powhatan

A long season will come to an end for the Prince Edward Eagles this Friday night at Powhatan. The Eagles, who couldn't quite get over the hump in a 28-16 loss to Greensville last week, will receive a bye in the final week of the season.

The Indians seem to be coming into form as the season wraps up. Last week, Powhatan had little trouble with the Southside District's No. 2 team Brunswick, as the Indians cruised to a 42-6 victory.

Powhatan has won five games by shutout this season, including three over district opponents. The Indians have given up a total of 39 points all year, with 20 of those coming in a week-two victory over Monticello.

It's going to be a tall order for the Eagles, who are hoping to end the season on a positive note, as they prepare for next August.

It was expected that the Eagles would take more than a fair share of lumps this year, and they have, but there have been some bright spots. PE's most lopsided loss came in the third week in a 47-13 loss to undefeated Buckingham, and the defense has played well, considering how much time it is on the field.

The Eagles can also hang their hats on the fact that they haven't been shut out of any game thus far. It's a small consolation, but for a program that's looking for any positive, it's one step toward the right direction.

Last year: Powhatan 57, Prince Edward 7

Radio: none

Hampden-Sydney @ Washington & Lee 1 p.m., Lexington

Hampden-Sydney will play the first of what it hopes will be two-straight weeks of games for the ODAC title when it travels to Washington & Lee on Saturday afternoon. The Generals, because of their victory over Randolph-Macon last month, can sew up the title, and the automatic bid to the NCAA Division III playoffs, with a victory over the Tigers.

In short, this is a big game. Last week Washington & Lee ran all over Catholic in its 49-14 victory over the Cardinals. Literally. The generals broke ODAC records for rushing yards in a game with 496, rushing yards in a season with 3,008, and rushing touchdowns in a season with 33.

Three Generals broke the 100-yards mark in last Saturday's game. Luke Heinsohn had 114 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries, while Brett Murray totaled 101 yards on 11 carries and Harrison Hudson gained 100 yards and two touchdowns on 11 carries. He also caught a pass for a 30-yard touchdown. Quarterback Charlie Westfall was 3-5 passing for 108 yards and two touchdowns, while rushing 14 times for 71 yards on his own.

Following a bye week two weeks ago, the Tigers (ranked No. 17 and 19, and No.1 in the NCAA South Region) eased back into their schedule with a 49-20 victory over Guilford.

Junior quarterback Travis lane was 22-32 with four touchdowns passing and 397 yards on the afternoon, while sophomore Evan King scored four times on the afternoon as well.

The Tigers piled up their share of yards in the game, with a total of 535. Kyle Vance led the Tigers in receiving with 118 yards on five catches.

Defensively, Trevor Ikwild totaled a team-high nine tackles, while H-SC's defense had five sacks.

For the second time in four seasons, the Tigers have begun the season 8-0, and the current senior class became the winningest class in program history with an impressive 35-5 record.

Last year: H-SC 38, W&L 31

Radio: WFLO 95.7 FM/