Friday, November 14, 2014


5A NORTH: #10 PATRICK HENRY (6-4) at #7 POTOMAC (5-5), 7:30pm: For the first time since November 23, 2007, the Patriots take the field in a postseason game. Once playoff staples, the Patriots clinched just their first winning season in six years with a 23-21 road win at fellow playoff team Douglas Freeman last Friday. The Panthers won three of their last four games to clinch home-field for tonight's game. Bender Vaught will need to exceed the rushing output of the Panthers' Mike Hawkins, winning the war on the line of scrimmage, while freshman quarterback Hunter Hart needs mistake-free football. The winner gets the winner of the #15 Brooke Point and #2 undefeated Massaponax next Friday.

5A SOUTH: #5 ATLEE (8-2) at #4 L.C. BIRD (8-2), 7pm: Rematch of the 2013 5A South Central Championship (5A State Quarterfinal), won by the Skyhawks 46-10 en route to their second straight state championship. Last year's game was closer than most people think, though the Raiders never had a legitimate chance to win. This season, head coach Roscoe Johnson, his staff, and returning players know exactly what to expect in Chester, how the atmosphere is, and how to plan for the cold weather. The Raiders desperately need four quarters of solid football, which has been hard to come by this season. They cannot afford, for example, the uneven performance of last week's first half against Lee-Davis. Rashard Harris needs his best game passing, turnovers must be limited, and we know the Bird defense will swarm Loumond Dandridge in order to force someone else to make big plays. Who will be the player to step up?  Winner gets the winner of #8 Meadowbrook and #1 Highland Springs.

(NOTE: Atlee at L.C. Bird can be heard LIVE on WHAN 102.9 FM and HERE on this website by clicking the link at the top of the page beginning at 6:30pm!)

4A SOUTH: #10 TABB (7-3) at #7 HANOVER (7-3), 7:30pm: Though there are many, many pieces to the puzzle of success for Hanover this season, and certainly their four-game winning streak down the stretch, one cannot help but look at the impression made by the performance of sophomore quarterback Clayton Cheatham. The only loss hung on him under center was Week 4 at Highland Springs, when, trailing 20-0 in the fourth quarter, his hand met a Springers' defender's helmet in mid-throw, causing him to miss the next two games. Hanover lost them both (Atlee, Henrico), and were 3-3 with no assurances of a ninth straight postseason appearance. Cheatham returned and the Hawks have been on a roll. Of important note, the Hawks defense is stingy, having allowed 20 points or more just twice this season, giving up just 14.2 points per game all year. Tonight, they'll have to contain senior tailback Antwuan Hicks, who averages just over 100 yards per game and can stretch the field as a receiver as well.  Winner gets the winner of #15 Churchland and #2 Heritage of Newport News next Friday.

Follow @hanoversports on Twitter for updates all night long as the playoffs begin!

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