REGION I DIVISION 4
No. 3 WARHILL (7-4) at No. 2 COURTLAND (7-3)
WHERE: Courtland High, Fredericksburg.
THE BUZZ: The Warhill joy ride continued last week with a 21-15 win over Jamestown in the program's first ever playoff game. And a Warhill team that is heavily run-oriented showed some ability to pass, as QB Seth Thompson connected with Devonte Dedmon on touchdown passes of 52, 41 and 67 yards. But this game is likely to hinge on the performance of Warhill's run defense as much as anything the offense does. The Lions allowed an average of 250 rushing yards during the regular season and must contend with a Courtland Wing-T featuring four ball carriers at 400 yards or better.
THE PICK: Courtland 21-19.
REGION I DIVISION 3
No. 3 LAFAYETTE (9-2) vs. No. 2 JAMES MONROE (10-0)
WHEN: 7:30 p.m.
WHERE: Maury Stadium, Fredericksburg.
THE BUZZ: The best-case scenario for Lafayette would be a very big rushing game by Will Capers (1,381 yards, 15 TDs). Not only does that open up rushing lanes for Rodney Taylor and Thomas Smith from the wings, it allows QB Connor McGinty (1,035 passing yards, 18 TDs) to go up top to Smith (879 receiving yards, 13 TDs). All of that by extension keeps the ball away from a fast and explosive (50 ppg) James Monroe offense led by a host of playmakers like Ethan Preston (1,524 rushing yards, 27 TDs) and Adarius Brown (16 carries, eight TDs). James Monroe's 10 opponents have a total of just 36 wins.
THE PICK: Lafayette 35-34.
No. 4 POQUOSON (8-3) vs. No. 1 YORK (10-0)
WHEN: 7:30 p.m.
WHERE: Bailey Field.
THE BUZZ: There are no secrets here. The teams met midway through the regular season, also at Bailey Field, with York winning 42-21. The difference in that contest arguably was key Poquoson turnovers that York turned into points. And Poquoson is a much better football team now, particularly defensively, allowing a total of 10 points in victories the past two weeks over talented opponents Lafayette and Southampton. But York — averaging 37.1 points, 216 rushing yards and 153 passing yards — can score on you in so many different ways from its spread. For Poquoson to pull off the upset it must control the ball for huge chunks out of the Wing-T. The Islanders' lack of a passing game (36 ypg) could hurt.
THE PICK: York 28-17.
— Marty O'Brien
Previews of Friday's Region I semis
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