Maury (Photo: Danny Haymond/recruit757)
The season closes out with a bang and a whimper Friday night
by Andy Hilton, recruit757
Get ready for the post-season, where we’ll have great games almost everywhere you look.
Unfortunately, the final week of the regular season brings us some mismatches.
For every game like Deep Creek (7-2) at Nansemond River (7-2), we have something like Bruton (0-9) at York (9-0) or Churchland (7-2) at Wilson (1-8).
Here’s a look at all of the games in the 757 on Friday night, with our recruit757/Friday Night Flights Top Ten going first:
All games at 7:00 p.m. Friday night unless noted
#1 Maury (9-0) vs. Granby (2-7) at Powhatan Field
The Commodores enter this rivalry game with less motivation than usual. They sleepwalked through last week’s 33-14 win over Norcom, and while they can afford to do much of the same against Granby, Maury head coach Dyrri McCain won’t stand for it. Maury needs to shake off any rust this week so that they’re primed for their playoff opener. Coach Larry Archie’s Comets won two games in the middle of their season, but they have a ways to go before they’re competitive with Maury. This isn’t the year for Granby to pull the upset.
#2 Oscar Smith (8-1) at Great Bridge (3-6)
Oscar Smith has locked in the #1 seed for Region 6A while Great Bridge is clinging to a #8 seed in Region 4A. The Wildcats are rooting for a Smithfield (3-6) loss to New Kent (4-5) on Friday night. There are power points to be had by losing to Oscar Smith, but a Smithfield win muddies the water for the #8 seed.
Cox (6-3) at #3 Salem (9-0)
Salem has been on cruise control, winning seven of their nine games this year by shutout. Cox comes in as the #8 seed and a loss will still likely keep them ahead of Gloucester (6-4) since seven of the Dukes opponents have a bye this week. The Dukes have finished their season and can’t gain much at all. Cox’s reward for making the playoffs is very likely rematch against Salem next week at Salem.
#4 Phoebus 45, Menchville 0 (Thursday night)
Norview (2-7) at #5 Lake Taylor (7-2)
Despite huge losses to Maury (9-0) and Varina (8-1), the Titans have locked down the #1 seed in Region 4A. They don’t want to slip up against Norview, but that’s highly unlikely. Malik Newton (949 rushing yards and 20 TDs) is closing in on the 1000 yard rushing mark.
#6 Woodside – idle
Lakeland (0-9) at #7 Indian River (7-2)
Indian River doesn’t have much to gain by beating Lakeland tonight, so expect the Braves to use starters sparingly. They’re in line to meet the loser of tonight’s Deep Creek (7-2) at Nansemond River (7-2) game next week in a rematch from the regular season. Indian River had to come back to beat Deep Creek 20-14, while they beat Nansemond River 40-20 in a runaway. Lakeland has scored only 25 points in the eight games since their 25-22 season opening loss to Woodrow Wilson (1-8).
#8 Churchland (7-2) at Wilson (1-8)
Churchland sits in the #3 seed for Region 4A. They won’t gain much by beating Wilson, while current number two Warhill (8-1) plays Lafayette (8-1) tonight. If Warhill can avoid a two-game losing streak and beat Lafayette, they most certainly hold on to the two seed. Churchland has a shot of grabbing the two seed with a win over Wilson and a Warhill loss.
Bruton (0-9) vs. #9 York (9-0) at Bailey Field
There is virtually no way for York to lose this game. Bruton has struggled all year. York has the two seed in Region 3A sewn up and may host rival Tabb in the opening week of the playoffs.
#10 Lafayette (8-1) vs. Warhill (9-1) at Wanner Stadium
Warhill was ranked #7 in our top ten before losing to York last week. Warhill controlled their own destiny and the BRD championship if they could have beaten York last week. Instead, this game is for second place in the Bay Rivers.
Princess Anne (7-2) at Tallwood (3-6)
Princess Anne deserves a spot in our crowded top ten. They’ll continue to prove themselves this week and will return to the playoffs as a road team, win or lose here. As of now, Princess Anne is in line to play Woodside (9-1) next week. The Wolverines are idle this week.
Landstown (6-3) at Green Run (4-5)
The Stallions were hoping for a playoff berth, but 5-5 in Region 5A just isn’t enough to make the post-season this year. Instead, they can play the role of spoiler to finish the season. Landstown currently holds the four seed in Region 6A, but they could be caught by Franklin County (5-4) and end up hitting the road if the drop this game to Green Run. Franklin County hosts Class 3 William Byrd (3-6) Friday night.
Bayside (3-6) at Ocean Lakes (6-3)
Bayside has been heading in the wrong direction. A surprising loss to Kempsville (1-8) sealed the disappointment in their season. Ocean Lakes, despite losses to Princess Anne, Maury and Salem, will hold on to the number two seed in Region 6A with a win here. Number three seed Thomas Dale is at Dinwiddie (5-4) this week. The Generals aren’t as strong as they’ve been in recent years.
Kellam (3-6) at Kempsville (1-8)
Believe it or not, Kellam can work their way into the Region 6A playoffs with a win here and a Western Branch (3-6) loss to Hickory (3-6) Friday night. Hickory is out of the Region 5A playoffs, but they could spoil Western Branch’s bid for a comeback season. The Bruins were 0-10 in 2018. Western Branch and Kellam are tied for the number eight seed with a 23.778 power rating. Western Branch wins, the Bruins are in.
Hickory (3-6) at Western Branch (3-6)
As explained above, Western Branch controls their playoff destiny with a win. If they lose, they’ll need Kellam to lose to Kempsville. The prize here is an opening round playoff game against Oscar Smith (8-1).
Grassfield (4-5) at King’s Fork (3-6)
Despite last week’s 55-0 loss to Oscar Smith, the Grizzlies have been on a bit of a roll. Grassfield beat Great Bridge and Western Branch prior to that loss and those are teams that King’s Fork has lost to this season. King’s Fork is the number seven seed in Region 4A now and could jump Menchville for the number six seed with a win. Grassfield will be the seven seed in Region 6A either way and will open the playoffs against Ocean Lakes next week. King’s Fork is in line to open the playoffs at Warhill or Churchland.
Deep Creek (7-2) at Nansemond River (7-2)
Full game preview available here.
Norcom (5-4) at Booker T. Washington (4-5)
Both teams are in Region 3A. Norcom is locked into a playoff opener at Lafayette next week. The Bookers need a win here to solidify their playoff position. They’re the eight seed right now. With a win, they might catch seven seeded Petersburg since the Crimson Wave plays Colonial Heights (1-8) tonight. Southampton (5-4) plays Class 1 Franklin tonight. The Indians have a power rating of 20.444 while the Bookers sit at 20.889. A Southampton win and a Booker T. loss could knock the Bookers out of the playoffs.
Grafton (1-8) at Poquoson (5-4)
Poquoson is currently the four seed in Region 2A. They’ll likely win here and host either King William (6-3) or John Marshall (5-4) in the opening round of the playoffs. The John Marshall Justices are coached by Oscar Smith alum Phillip Sims.
New Kent (4-5) at Smithfield (3-6)
New Kent is almost certainly out of the playoffs in Region 3A. Smithfield is number nine in the Region 4A power ratings currently. They’ll need to win here in order to have any shot at jumping Great Bridge (3-6) for the eight seed. Great Bridge plays Oscar Smith (8-1) and even a loss against the Tigers could be enough to keep the Wildcats in the playoffs.
VISAA Division III State Semifinals
#4 Portsmouth Christian (6-4) at #1 Roanoke Catholic (8-1)
The Patriots mounted a huge comeback against Atlantic Shores last week, but fell short 22-20. Roanoke Catholic is the three-time state champion in VISAA Division III and have won five state titles in the history of the school. Their only common opponent this year is Nansemond-Suffolk Academy. PCS lost to the Saints 42-22. Roanoke Catholic beat them 60-40.
VISAA DIVISION II State Semifinals
#4 Atlantic Shores (7-4) at #1 North Cross (9-1) 2:00 Saturday
Atlantic Shores won the Metro Conference with a 22-20 win over Portsmouth Christian last week. North Cross is playing for their first VISAA State Championship since 2011. Atlantic Shores hasn’t won it all since 2008.