Dan River at Appomattox
KICKOFF: 7 p.m.
RADIO: 105.1 FM, 1050 AM
RECORDS: Dan River 5-2, Appomattox 4-2.
LAST WEEK: Dan River held off Nelson 41-36. Appomattox defeated Gretna 21-7.
FACTS: After defeating Gretna last week, Appomattox faces another tall task tonight in a battle for Dogwood District supremacy. Dan River currently leads the district with a 3-0 record. Appomattox is 2-0 in the district and can take over the top spot tonight with a win. To do so, ACHS will have to show strength in the secondary. Dan River junior quarterback Tracy Glass has thrown for more than 1,174 yards this season and completed roughly 56 percent of his passes (70 of 124). He has four targets that have already racked up more than 100 receiving yards, including main receivers Robert Carter (638 yards for 20.6 ypc) and Jorden Price (300 yards on 17 receptions for 17.6 ypc). Appomattox will want to force DRHS to run the ball, because the Wildcats don’t feature as much strength in that department. Raiders quarterback Tre Lawing enters with 535 passing yards and 359 rushing. Cristian Ferguson is averaging 7.3 yards per carry and sports 489 rushing yards. Appomattox also wants to get Keyshawn Baker (8.4 ypc, 245 rushing yards) in the mix for a well-rounded split-veer offense. ACHS’ receiving corps is led by Jaheim Scruggs (149 receiving yards on just eight catches) and Tyler Gilliam (143 receiving yards). The main takeaway: ACHS needs strong play from its defensive backs tonight after getting an all-around top-notch defensive performance last week vs. Gretna.
Chatham at Nelson
KICKOFF: 7 p.m.
RECORDS: Chatham 5-1. Nelson 3-4.
LAST WEEK: Chatham stopped William Campbell 36-35. Nelson lost to Dan River 41-36.
FACTS: Yes, the Governors lost to Dogwood District leader Dan River last week, but the real news is that Nelson hung in there. It was a testament to how much football at NCHS has improved in its first season back from playing an independent schedule. Now the Govs face another tough test in Chatham, which is seeking its second district win. And for the second straight week, Nelson will have to guard against a pass-happy bunch. CHS quarterback Ethan Reynolds has thrown for 937 yards this year, while receiver Zae Edmunds has 37 receptions for 532 yards. It’s a balanced attack for the Cavaliers, though. Mike Gunnell leads the running back corps with 654 yards, but CHS can rely on three other backs to help in that regard. Expect aerial assaults from both teams tonight. Nelson quarterback George Brown has thrown for 1,256 yards in seven games, completing 80 of 150 tosses. He has a sure-handed receiver in Brice Wilson, who averages 15.8 yards per catch and has 39 receptions for 615 yards. Brown enters with 1,722 all-purpose yards.
Gretna at Altavista
KICKOFF: 7 p.m.
RADIO: 105.5 FM, 106.3 FM
RECORDS: Gretna 4-2. Altavista 3-3.
LAST WEEK: Gretna lost to Appomattox 21-7. Altavista surged over Northampton 54-20.
FACTS: Gretna enters this one trying to push its winning streak against Altavista to five straight games. These two teams played twice during the last two regular seasons, because both were looking for an extra district game since Nelson left the Dogwood for those two years. The Hawks are trying to get back to form after a rare loss in Week 7. Appomattox limited Gretna’s run-based attack to 160 yards on 45 attempts, meaning the Hawks averaged just 3.5 yards per play. Expect GHS to get back to form against the Colonels, who enter having allowed 54 points per game in their three losses. Altavista is currently ranked fifth in the VHSL’s Region 1B power rankings, slightly behind Central Lunenburg. Gretna is fourth in Region 2C. The Hawks are led by Jorden Berger (754 rushing yards), Daelyn Miller (654 rushing yards) and Cameron Mabins (555 rushing yards). The trio has combined for 24 touchdowns. Altavista’s offense hinges on junior quarterback Jayllen Jones and senior RB JaQuallen Jones.
— Compiled by Ben Cates, The (Lynchburg) News & Advance