Let’s cut to the chase. It’s time for Week 10 of the high school football season in Timesland. Here are five games Friday night that figure to have major regular-season or playoff implications:
The VHSL Rating Scale points heading into Friday’s games can be found here.
The standings heading into Friday’s games can be found here.
SALEM (8-0, 3-0) at HIDDEN VALLEY (5-3, 3-0)
Who was Hidden Valley’s head coach when the Titans began their football program in 2002? Surely you haven’t forgotten that it was Stephen Magenbauer, who moved over to Salem in 2004. Salem has won all nine games in the series, but the teams didn’t play in 2002 when Hidden Valley did not have a senior class. The only time Magenbauer stood on an opposite sideline from Salem was in 2003 when his Hidden Valley team lost 45-7 in Bogle Stadium. Salem can lock up the No. 1 seed in Region IV Division 4 with a win. Hidden Valley has already qualified along with Magna Vista, Christiansburg and Pulaski County, but the Titans have a shot at a No. 2 seed. All that can wait. First place in the River Ridge District is at stake.
ROCKBRIDGE COUNTY (6-2, 2-1) at NORTHSIDE (5-3, 3-0)
Northside shut down Rockbridge 19-6 last year in Lexington in what might have been the worst weather for football of the season. This will be the third trip to the Roanoke Valley for the Wildcats in three weeks after losing 16-14 at Lord Botetourt two weeks ago. Rockbridge finishes the regular season at William Byrd next Friday. Roanoke fans can get a look at Richmond-bound quarterback Porter Abell, who has rushed for 1,200 yards and passed for 782 in the Wildcats’ option attack. A loss eliminates Rockbridge from the Blue Ridge picture. A Rockbridge win could possibly leave four teams – Rockbridge, Northside, William Byrd and Lord Botetourt – all with one loss heading to the final weekend.
PATRICK HENRY (6-2, 1-1) at FRANKLIN COUNTY (4-5, 1-2)
Patrick Henry can lock up a Northwest Region Division 6 playoff berth by winning in Rocky Mount and again next week at home against William Fleming. Of course, PH was in the same position last fall until the Eagles put a severe 34-0 beatdown on the boys in purple. Franklin County’s season will be over Friday. The Eagles haven’t lost to PH since 2006 when the Patriots won 13-10 in Rocky Mount in a nondistrict game. Franklin County is moving to the Piedmont District, and PH is headed to the River Ridge, but the Eagles and Patriots will continue their series for at least two more years. Kudos to Franklin County’s Kyle Ellis for wanting to play football in his senior year. After injuring his collarbone in preseason, Ellis returned to the quarterback spot and passed for 70 yards last week in a 29-7 loss at George Washington.
PULASKI COUNTY (4-4, 1-2) at BLACKSBURG (2-6, 0-3)
This game is bigger for Blacksburg than it is for Pulaski. The Bruins hold the 6th and final playoff spot in Region IV Division 4, but losses in their final two games could leave them home. The race with Bassett for the No. 6 spot could get close. Mostly, the Bruins just want to win. Their last River Ridge District victory came in the final games of the 2010 season against a winless Hidden Valley team. How badly does Blacksburg need some offense? Place-kicker Carson Wise has attempted more field goals (10) than extra points (9) this year. The Cougars could use more production as well with just two touchdowns in each of their last three games including last week’s loss to Hidden Valley. Both head coaches – Blacksburg’s David Crist and Pulaski’s Todd Jones – have won at least one state title.
LORD BOTETOURT (5-3, 2-1) at ALLEGHANY (3-5, 0-3)
Lord Botetourt can clinch a playoff berth and its first winning season since 2000 in head coach Jamie Harless’ first season. That’s a coup for a team that lost 11-0 on homecoming to Blacksburg and two weeks later let a late lead slip away in an overtime loss to William Byrd. Botetourt’s signature win came Oct. 12 at home, 16-14 over Rockbridge County. The Cavaliers have withstood a season-ending injury to Conner Bronson, half of the quarterbacking duo that now features Alex Hampton. Alleghany put up 40 points in a loss to Rockbridge last week. Chris Thompson already has carried the ball 223 times for 1,172 yards. Alleghany quarterback Nick Ferrell has passed for 1,281 yards and is third in Timesland with 113 completions.