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Friday Night Football -- Week 5 -- Live Blog (from the sports desk)

Tonight's slate
Skyline 28, Millbrook 21
James Wood 34, Central 6
Stonewall Jackson 21, Strasburg 12
Clarke County 20, Riverheads 18
Madison County 21, Page County 14

5:22 -- All three games in our coverage area -- Skyline at Millbrook, Stonewall Jackson at Strasburg and James Wood at Central -- are still on. Which is amazing since it's drizzling.
I'm a bit swamped on desk tonight, but I'll update as often as possible.
And as always, I encourage as much reader participation as possible. We had some good analysis last week, especially after the games.
7:05 -- Games are just getting under way. I'm still swamped on desk, but as soon as I get any updates, I'll pass them along.
7:08 -- Note that in this week's "We're the experts?" picks, we left the Warren County-Brentsville game even though it was moved up to Thursday night. Tommy Keeler and I kept the faith with the Wildcats and lost. My luck in close games continues to spiral south.
7:25 -- First report from Jeremy Stafford in Winchester: Skyline 12, Millbrook 7. The high-scoring Hawks scored on their first two possessions, but missed both extra points. Those touchdowns were sandwiched around a Pioneers touchdown. For the record, Tim Tassa and myself picked Skyline; Craig Juer and Tommy Keeler took the home team.
7:31 -- And the above comment is not me bragging. Just simply pointing out that, with my support, Skyline will likely lose.
7:35 -- Stonewall strikes first in the Shenandoah County rivalry. Colton Koontz scored on an 86-yard run, giving the Generals an early 7-0 lead. Craig Juer, who is covering tonight's game, also wrote a fantastic feature on Generals kicker Juan Luna Guerrero in Thursday's issue of the Daily.
7:41 -- Interesting note in the comments section about Millbrook's defense. Obviously, I'm glued to the desk every Friday night...but I wonder why the Pioneers' defense isn't a bit more stingy. Discipline? Preparation? Attitude? Any guesses? Not saying they are bad, but a lot of coaches would love to have that kind of athletic talent across the board.
7:42 -- And on that note, Skyline scores again...
7:43 -- In the comment section, Eric Michael says the Hawks failed on a two-point conversion and lead 18-7.
7:45 -- Jeremy Stafford reports that Skyline scores on a 70-yard run.
7:50 -- Colton Koontz is having himself a night (Remember how Marty Haley ran all over Strasburg in the season opener?). Koontz with a 79-yard touchdown run to make it 14-0 Stonewall Jackson with 1:33 left of the first quarter.
7:52 -- Tim Tassa checks in from Woodstock, where Trae Tinsman has hooked up with Jordan Dallman on a 66-yard pass play to give the Colonels' a 7-0 lead over the Fightin' Yews.
7:54 -- Another quick update from Woodstock...the Fightin' Yews coughed the ball up n the first play of the ensuing possesion, and James Wood's Andrew Lloyd connected on a 38-yard field goal to make it 10-0.
8:03 -- James Wood blocks a Central punt and returns it for a touchdown. Colonels 17, Fightin' Yews 0.
8:05 -- Bad news in Strasburg: Generals star Colton Koontz fumbled and the Rams recovered. On the next play, Koontz came up with the interception, but injured his right knee. He had to be helped from the field. Still 14-0, 8:33 left of the first half.
8:06 -- Let me be clear that we do not know the extent of the injury. As soon as Craig Juer let me know if Koontz is out for the game or may return, I'll pass that along. Hopefully he's OK.
8:07 -- Halftime from Winchester: Skyline 25, Millbrook 13. Far from over. The Hawks' Cliff Woodward has 137 rushing yards in the first half, and Andrew Thorne has an astounding 127 yards receiving through two quarters. Kid is silly. Keep an eye on the extra points in this one...could be the difference.
8:14 -- Score update in the comment section says Clarke County leads Riverheads, but I'm not sure this is an upset. The Eagles have a ton of talent, but have had to sort of find their identity this year without Chandler Rhoads. Once they did that, they again lost their QB. They couldn't finish off James Wood at home, and missed on four trips to the red zone against Eastern View. I know we are talking about "ifs," but Clarke County is very, very, very close to being undefeated.
8:18 -- Stonewall Jackson loses its third fumble of the game -- Koontz unlikely to return to the game.
8:21 -- Another touchdown pass by Tinsman -- James Wood 24, Central 0.
8:30 -- Halftime from Woodstock: James Wood 27, Central 0. Dr. Yew = less than pleased.
8:31 -- Halftime stats from Woodstock: Trae Tinsman, 5-of-8 passing, 115 yards, 2 TDs.
8:33 -- Skyline's Andrew Thorne has left the game with an injury. Will update with status.
8:34 -- I agree with the comment below. Skyline could pose a greater challenge than anyone anticipated. I'm not saying they'll win it all...beat Sherando...or anything like that. No predictions...but you cannot deny what they've done to date, especially if they hold on to beat Millbrook. I know one thing, whoever votes in the state poll for the Daily better shower the Hawks with some love if they are 5-0 at the end of tonight.
8:36 -- James Wood managed its 27 points on just six first downs.
8:37 -- And Andrew Thorne returns to the game and catches a 40-yard pass. Silly. All is well, I suppose.
8:41 -- Injury bug biting Skyline. Cliff Woodward leaves the game and is helped from the field. Will update with details...
9:00 -- Brock Lockhart scores from six yards out to make it 34-0 in favor of James Wood.
9:02 -- John Michael Pirtie scores from three yards out. Stonewall Jackson leads Strasburg 21-0. Colton Koontz has not returned to the game.
9:27 -- Sorry kiddos, no update on Skyline. I rely on my reporters...and I haven't heard a peep. I'm as anxious as you guys are.
9:31 -- Final from Winchester: Skyline 28, Millbrook 21.
9:39 -- Strasburg making a run, but it may be too little, too late. Generals lead 21-12 with 2:07 left of the game. Rams recovered an onside kick and now have the ball on Stonewall's 43-yard line and driving. Looks like extra points may keep a comeback from happening here.
9:42 -- Derrik Turner with the interception to seal it for Stonewall.
9:49 -- Stats for Stonewall -- Colton Koontz: 8 rushes, 186 yards, 2 TDs; Dylan Dawson: 14 rushes, 148 yards.
9:59 -- Central scores late to prevent a shutout...Colonels 34, Fightin' Yews 6.
10:42 -- Sorry for the long delay without updates, but it gets quite hectic on desk once the games finish. I'll update the top of this blog with final scores before signing off for the night. Please note that the next two Friday's I will be replaced by the Daily's assistant sports editor, Tommy Keeler. Now, he's not as witty or handsome as yours truly, but he'll pass along the same quality of information as I have in the past few weeks. Meanwhile, I'll spend the next two weeks preparing for my Oct. 4 wedding and the ensuing honeymoon, but I'll update the blog at times throughout the week and then check in on both Friday nights to contribute to the comments section. Thanks for everyone's participation, and be sure to check out Saturday's sports section for game recaps from Craig Juer, Tim Tassa and Jeremy Stafford, a diary courtesy of Sherando's Hunter Taylor, the Shenandoah football preview for Saturday's game against Ferrum, as well as a host of non-local content for this weekend's college football, NFL, NASCAR, golf and baseball action.
11:05 -- I had to come back and mention this: Andrew Thorne had 9 catches for 229 yards and 2 touchdowns. Just...wow.

A running list of postponed games due to the weather:
Bassett vs. Mayodan McMichael, N.C., ppd. to Sep 29.
Chatham vs. Dan River, ppd. to Sep 29.
Floyd County vs. Tunstall, ppd. to Sep 29.
Jefferson Forest vs. Heritage-Lynchburg, ppd. to Sep 29.
Massanutten Military vs. Carlisle, ppd. to Sep 29.
Churchland vs. Lake Taylor, ppd. to Sep 27.
Norcom vs. Maury, ppd. to Sep 27.
Granby vs. Booker T. Washington, ppd. to Sep 27.
Huguenot vs. Lloyd Bird, ppd. to Sep 27.
Matoaca vs. Dinwiddie, ppd. to Sep 29.
Petersburg vs. Hopewell, ppd. to Sep 27.
Varina vs. Atlee, ppd. to Sep 29.
J.R. Tucker vs. Patrick Henry-Ashland, ppd. to Sep 29.
Mills Godwin vs. Hermitage, ppd. to Sep 29.
Hanover vs. Highland Springs, ppd. to Sep 29.
Douglas Freeman vs. TJ-Richmond, ppd. to Sep 29.
Blessed Sacrament-Huguenot vs. Trinity Episcopal, ppd. to Sep 27.
John Marshall vs. Deep Run, ppd. to Sep 29.
Woodbridge vs. Franklin County, ppd. to Sep 27.
Hidden Valley vs. Northside, ppd. to Sep 29.
Fort Chiswell vs. George Wythe-Wytheville, ppd. to Sep 29.

32 Comments | Leave a comment

    Yeah, Skyline is now entering the toughest stretch of their schedule.. Handley followed by Sherando is down right brutal.. 8-2 is looking very attainable now.. Can't wait for next week.

    Great win for Skyline. Millbrook has a lot of talent, but it looks like it's going to waste. The Skyline-Handley game next week becomes even bigger now. They both have a good chance at making the playoffs, but next week's game could eventually decide who gets a home game in the first week.

    Down goes Casto! Down goes Casto!

    Good for Clarke County. That's a big win in a tough road environment.

    What's the over/under on Colton Koontz's rushing yardage had he played the entire game? I say 252 1/2.

    Casto will not be happy. Clarke wins 20-18. Riverheads tried to pass on the 2-point coversion, but the quarterback was sacked. Shiley fielded the on-side kick to seal the win.

    Yeah, come on Chuck! haha..

    it's been almost an hour and no update on Skyline. What's going on? It has to be nearly over...

    Not so fast Bernie. Ray Smetanick just missed a 24-yard field goal with 4 minutes left. Riverheads has the ball trailing 20-12.

    Any updates on the Skyline game? Has that game turned into a big rout?

    Riverheads possibly going down? Couldn't happen to a nicer coach.

    Clarke County now leads 20-6. Shaw scored from 5 yards out a minute into the fourth quarter. Clarke missed the PAT.

    Update on the Clarke game. It's actually 14-6 Clarke with a little over three minutes left in the third quarter.

    Both Thorne and Woodard have been injured before this season, so it will be interesting to see if they are the same injuries.

    The Hawks are definitely a good team and I would expect more respect from the AP poll this week. Don't forget Skyline plays Handley next week and that should be a great game as well. Some other scores of interest: Madison County is beating Page County 14-7 at the half. Broad Run is up 23-0 over Briar Woods at the half and Loudoun County is ahead of Park View 14-0 at the half. Broad Run is for real. They may be Sherando's biggest threat in the region.

    I have seen Strasburg play and they might struggle this year, but they are in a lot better hands with Reynolds. He looks more like the natural quarterback than McKelvey.

    don't get ahead of yourself, K-Puppy. Skyline is 4-0, likely going to 5-0 tonight. You could see a battle-of-the-unbeatens in 2 weeks when Skyline plays Sherando. I realize who the favorite is in that game.. but Skyline has been surprising everyone all year.

    Losing Koontz could make the SJ-Strasburg game interesting. It looks like JW has it going on all cylinders tonight, a win would put them at 4-1. In three weeks they play Sherando in a game that could decide the Northwestern District.

    Clarke is a very good team, and what helps them is there really isn't much else in that district. I will agree with you Chris Parker, one of the best coaches in the area hands down.

    I think they are the favorites in the Bull Run. Chris Parker has done a great job coaching this team the last couple years.

    If Clare can win that without their startign QB. They have to become of the favorites in the Bull Run.

    UPSET in the making! Clarke County leads Riverheads 14-7 with 19 seconds left in the first half.

    That does hurt no doubting that, but what I don't understand is how Millbrook has been so unprepared all season. Last week's game against James Wood was horrible. Penalty after penalty, and they were simple ones like lining up wrong, or false starts. Those are things that you learn during practice all week. Lining up correctly should be the last thing on your mind in a game. I believe Reed Prosser is a very good coach, but I believe he has been taking it a lot easier on his team this year. He has been trying to build a winning program by stressing the same things. Last year his team made that leap, and this year they have taken steps back.

    This loss will be a big blow to Millbrook's playoff chances. They really miss Butch Kaczmarzewski and his leadership. I think that's the biggest reason their defense isn't what it was last year. There's a reason he's playing at VMI. As far as the Fighting Yews, it looks like it's going to be a very long season for them.

    Stonewall Jackson leads 7-0 over Strasburg. 1:50 left first quarter. Koontz had an 87-yard touchdown run. Strasburg has had two chances inside the SJ 30, but hasn't been able to score.

    Skyline scores again, 70 yard toucdown run. It doesn't matter what Skyline does, run, pass, whatever, Millbrook has no chance in stopping them. I have no clue why Millbrook's defense has failed to show up all season. I really feel like they come in every week thinking they are athletically better, thing is football is really about execution. 25-7 Hawks

    Skyline scores again, fails on the 2 point conversion... 18-7 Skyline, there offense has been unstopable early

    I thought Millbrook's defense would do better than that. A long way to go, though.

    The Clarke at Riverheads game should be a good one. Riverheads is always sound. The Eagles are trying to overcome a big injury to Shiley, but it should still be a close game.

    Well Millbrook can't stop.. Skyline has two touchdowns in under two minutes of time of possession.. It's 12-7 Skyline, late 1st quarter too bad they can't make extra points

    I agree with the thoughts on the big game Saturday. It will carry the big part of the headlines. I have interest in Clarke @ RIVERHEADS. My stepson is playing and I am unable to attend

    SHERANDO (-11 1/2) @ Handley

    There is no doubt the game of the weekend is Sherando vs. Handley. The last regular season lost the Warriors had was against Handley. Since that time that Warriors have went off, and in huge ways. Going into the season I wasn't expecting Handley to do as much as say Millbrook, and James Wood, but they have been impressive. There is also a little added substance to this game with the Judges celebrating homecoming with this game. You have to believe that has become bullentin board material for the Warriors as we all know, homecoming games are saved for cupcakes.

    I'm really looking forward to Saturday's big game at the Handley Bowl. That should be the Game of the Week. Handley has a strong running game, but Sherando has a great offense all-around. Look for a lot of points in that one! By the way, Is it Apple Blossom time yet? It can't get here soon enough for me.

    Some great games on tap for tonight. I can't wait to find out who wins! Skyline-Millbrook should be a barn-burner!

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