Football preview

Published 2:21 am Friday, October 19, 2018


Kickoff: Friday, 7 p.m.

Last season: Cougars 58, Eagles 12

Email newsletter signup

Coach’s game notes: Preparation for the Cougars has been slow as some Eagles players are still without power in their homes, and some have not been able to make it to school or practices as road cleanup from the impact of Tropical Storm Michael continues.

Study of the Cougars reveals a well-coached, strong, physical team that is quite impressive up front and remarkably aggressive on defense, led by an outstanding line.

On offense, they feature two strong running backs — senior Devonte Booth and freshman Aymon Rhodes.

Both teams are in similar positions as they jockey for a Region 2A playoff spot.

The Eagles are not optimally healthy but will aim to stay strong in this first of three games they will play in seven days.


Kickoff: Friday, 7 p.m.

Last season: Cavaliers 33, Dukes 16

Coach’s game notes: The Cavaliers are different from most high school football teams in that they have a pass-first, pass-second and run-third kind of approach, and the statistics bear this out. Cavs junior quarterback Ethan Reynolds has had games in which he has thrown for more than 300 yards, and he had thrown for about 1,200 yards total through six games. A receiver that Reynolds goes to a lot is senior Hunter Furr.

Though Chatham is 0-7, it is a fairly good team that is fundamentally sound, not making many mistakes, including rarely committing turnovers.

The Dukes will have offensive standout senior Ziahir Berry back, but he will wear a hard cast on his hand, and it is unclear how much he’ll play.

Defensively, Cumberland will transition to the other extreme Tuesday when it faces the run-heavy Buckingham Knights.


Kickoff: Friday, 7 p.m.

Coach’s game notes: The Yellow Jackets, not to be confused with the college team, may not have an intimidating record, but they have played a couple teams from the Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association division ahead of both themselves and the Falcons — Division II.

Randolph-Macon features some players to watch, including a tailback with notable speed and a quarterback who is not bad at throwing the football and who demonstrates some good athleticism. There is a player on the defensive line who is every bit of 250-plus pounds and is incredibly quick.

The Falcons will aim to avoid a letdown after their euphoric last-second win over visiting Portsmouth Christian School on Monday. They will enjoy having senior fullback/linebacker Christian Adams back. He served a one-game suspension based on a questionable call from a previous game.


Kickoff: Friday, 7 p.m.

Last season: Knights 34, Barons 19

Coach’s game notes: The Barons are a talented team, exhibiting strength at the receiver, quarterback and tailback positions. Junior quarterback Dale Sturdifen Jr. can get the ball downfield and can get away from pressure. One of his key targets is junior wide receiver Chris Gregory, an all-region player last year. Helping anchor the run game for Bluestone is junior Trey Smalls.

Bluestone is improved defensively from how it has been in the past. Standouts aiding this improvement include sophomore linebacker Neil Clayton Jr., freshman linebacker D’andre Alexander and junior lineman Rashaun Peterson.

The Knights expect a healthier Cumberland squad Tuesday, given more time for healing.


Kickoff: Tuesday, 7 p.m.

Last season: Knights 84, Dukes 21

Coach’s game notes: Previously published.


Kickoff: Tuesday, 7 p.m.

Last season: Chargers 87, Eagles 46

Coach’s game notes: Tropical Storm Michael led to this game being pushed from Friday, Oct. 12, to Monday, Oct. 15, and then to this coming Tuesday.

The Chargers present a challenge similar to the one posed by Nottoway — they feature an outstanding running game, they are good up front and really aggressive defensively.

They have three running backs who stand out, including junior T’zion Wilkerson, senior Trey Patterson III and junior Daquan Lee. It will be important for Eagles defenders to be highly focused and keyed in on their own assignments.

Central mixes up its defensive looks and demonstrates impressive tackling skills.

The Eagles hope to not run out of energy this year, helping them to achieve victory while holding the Chargers to a much lower score.