Brentsville (1-6, 1-4) at Sherando (5-2, 3-2)
Millbrook (4-4, 2-3) at Central (1-7, 0-5)
James Wood (7-1, 5-0) at Skyline (6-2, 3-2)
Clarke County (6-2, 2-0) at Manassas Park (2-5, 2-0)
Stonewall Jackson (3-4, 0-2) at Buffalo Gap (7-0, 2-0)
3:24 -- Running a little behind today after a late return from last night's WVU-Auburn game in Morgantown, W.Va. If you want to test your prognostication skills in the weekly "We're the Experts?" football picks, please see the other blog post titled "We're the Experts? -- Week 9 Picks" and post your picks in the comment section. Thanks!
5:40 -- A light night in terms of game coverage here at the Daily. Only the three full-time sports reporters will be out on assignment. Craig Juer gets Brentsville at Sherando; Tommy Keeler will head to Woodstock as the Fightin' Yews host Millbrook; and Tim Tassa draws our Game of the Week -- James Wood at Skyline. As always, yours truly is stuck on desk, putting together our six-page section, editing stories and updating this blog as often as possible. Commenting and updating with scores is encouraged and welcomed.
6:46 -- Nearing kickoff for the next-to-last regular season Friday night. Sigh. This season was went by too quickly, although missing two consecutive Friday nights for my wedding/honeymoon probably helped. And while this week could have a huge impact on district races and postseason aspirations, it's hard not to look ahead to Halloween a week from tonight. Handley at James Wood? Sherando at Millbrook? Skyline at Warren County? Stonewall at home...Clarke County at home? It seems the best will be saved for last this season. What a night we have in seven days, but for now, let's focus on the five area games (three of which we are covering) tonight.
6:59 -- One minute before kickoff of the Sherando-Brentsville game, and Craig Juer reports from Stephens City that U.Va.-bound quarterback Ross Metheny is in street clothes on the sidelines.
7:02 -- With Metheny out, Sherando will start 6-foot-1 junior Corey Rice at quarterback, but may also lean on dynamic freshman Jalen Brisco behind center. Brisco is the younger brother of Markeith, who played running back for the Warriors' 2007 state finals team last season. Markeith now plays at Norfolk State.
7:12 -- Well, that's a way to eliminate concerns over not having Metheny at QB. Sherando's Dalton Boyd takes the opening kickoff for a touchdown, giving the Warriors' a 7-0 advantage over the Brentsville Tigers.
7:16 -- Tim Tassa says Skyline is wearing their "Notre Dame greens" tonight. Tassa and I were the only ones to back the Hawks against Northwestern District leading James Wood tonight.
7:24 -- Craig Juer says Metheny's knee injury is preventing him from playing this week. Metheny sustained the injury in last week's 17-14 loss to James Wood. Metheny is not on crutches and does not have a visable limp. My opinion: Considering Brentsville is ... not very good, Metheny was just held out since it was assumed they wouldn't need him. That assumption is probably correct.
7:26 -- Boyd's kick return was 73 yards to start the game.
7:33 -- An 8-yard touchdown run by Roger Smith puts Sherando up comfortably, 14-0, with a few seconds remaining of the first quarter.
7:34 -- Another interesting development, this time in Woodstock. Calvin and Clayton Rodney, Millbrook's dynamic twin brother duo, is not playing tonight. Tommy Keeler's explanation: "Not sure why." Hopefully we'll find out soon.
7:41 -- Skyline needs to play mistake-free football in order to beat James Wood at home tonight. So what do the Hawks promptly do? Make a mistake, fumbling on the first possession and setting up a Trae Tinsman one-yard touchdown run. Colonels 7, Hawks 0, 6:07 left of the first quarter.
7:47 -- Millbrook 6, Central 0. A 27-yard strike from quarterback Andrew Oates to Bryan Tavers. 6:44 left of the first quarter.
7:51 -- Roger Smith scores again for Sherando, who now leads 21-0 with just under six minutes to go until halftime.
7:57 -- Skyline's Nathaniel White connects with Terrell Mathews on a 20-yard pass for a touchdown to pull the Hawks within 1-point, 7-6, in the second quarter. The Hawks missed the PAT.
8:04 -- Sherando 29, Brentsville 0. Almost halftime. Roger Smith scored his third touchdown of the half from three yards out. On the PAT, the snap was mishandled and Derrick Dehaney ran in the two-point conversion.
8:10 -- Trae Tinsman to Jordan Dallman for a 60-yard touchdown pass. James Wood 14, Skyline 6.
8:13 -- Halftime info from Stephens City: Roger Smith, 23 carries, 143 yards, three touchdowns.
8:15 -- Both Calvin and Clayton Rodney are in street clothes, but no word on the situation. Central now leads, 7-6, with 5:17 left of the second quarter.
8:16 -- Again reiterating an earlier point: Skyline has lost three fumbles in the first half versus James Wood. That's just not going to cut it if the Hawks want to be the kind of team that can win on any given night in the Northwestern District.
8:29 -- Trae Tinsman to Jordan Dallman ... again. This time for 30 yards to give the Colonels a 21-6 lead in the final minute before halftime. Is it too late to change my pick to James Wood?
8:32 -- Tim Tassa attributes much of James Wood's first-half success to blanket coverage of Skyline wide receiver Andrew Thorne, who has zero catches at halftime. Thorne leads the area in receiving yards (780) and touchdowns (12).
8:38 -- Central leads 7-6 at the half. Buffalo Gap is cruising against Stonewall Jackson, 22-0.
8:40 -- Roger Smith scores for the fourth time, again from three yards out. Sherando 36, Brentsville 0. 5:52 left of the 3rd.
8:51 -- After a Brentsville touchdown, Roger Smith scored for the fifth time on the night, a four-yard run with 1:40 left of the third quarter that put the homestanding Warriors up 43-7. Smith entered the game with an area-best 15 touchdowns. With Handley's Jeremiah Wilson and Warren County's Marty Haley facing off tomorrow at the Handley Bowl, Smith also takes the lead in rushing yards for one night.
8:56 -- Millbrook finally regains the lead with 7:27 left of the third quarter. Pioneers 13, Falcons 7. This is typically where the Fightin' Yews start to come unglued, but let's see how they respond. Last year Central nearly defeated Millbrook on its home field.
8:59 -- Where at the comments from the football fans tonight? Did leaving the blog in TK's hands for two weeks scare everyone off? Understandable, but I miss the back-and-forth between the readers. I know people are reading and refreshing to catch the latest updates, but commenting is encouraged. Just not from you, Bernie Bayou.
9:06 -- Oh, who am I kidding? I cannot deny Bernie Bayou.
9:07 -- And just as I feared, the Fightin' Yews begin to struggle. A 41-yard Oates-to-Neil Bishop touchdown connection puts the Pioneers up 20-7. And I weep.
9:12 -- Sherando wins 46-7, wrapping up scoring on a Lukas Stump field goal. James Wood stretches its lead to 27-6 on a Brock Lockhart touchdown run. Millbrook extends its lead to 28-7 with 2:46 left of the third quarter on a 32-yard touchdown run by Allen Silver. And I just had a chocolate milkshake from Arby's. Who's the real winner here? Me.