The Main Event: No. 5 Patrick Henry at No. 9 Hermitage
Friday: 7 p.m.
Records: Patrick Henry 1-0, Hermitage 0-0
About Patrick Henry: A 47-20 season-opening win over Mills Godwin (0-1) last week was status quo for a program that’s gone 16-5 in Ken Wakefield’s three seasons at the helm. QB Jordan Allen, playmaker Jayden Mines (JMU recruit), tight end Christian Berry and linebacker Camden Byrd (ODU recruit), all seniors, are the headliners. Freshman running back Dayshawn Green is a dynamic talent.
About Hermitage: First-year coach Timothy Jean-Pierre, a former Panthers player and longtime assistant, debuts his Hermitage outfit after the team’s first three games were postponed. Junior running back Jeremiah Coney has a UVA offer. He’ll run behind a veteran offensive line that produced perhaps the area’s most prodigious ground game in the spring. Look for senior QB Jaylen Burton to make plays with his legs as well.
What’s at stake: This game was agreed upon earlier this week after both teams’ opponents had to postpone the originally scheduled games. The sides played annually every year from 1970 to 2014 but have not met since. It’s an intriguing contrast of the unknown in Hermitage, which went 6-1 in the spring and reached the 5B semifinal, playing its first game with a new head coach, and the proven in Patrick Henry, coming off its own region semifinal appearance after breezing through county-only spring competition. The Panthers will look to control the game with Coney and their vaunted rushing attack. The Patriots will look to lean on experience and get the ball in Mines’ hands early and often. This one should be close either way.
Tim Pearrell’s pick: Patrick Henry 34-28
Zach Joachim’s pick: Hermitage 27-26
Other featured games
Atlee at Mills Godwin, Friday, 7 p.m.: The Raiders (2-0) have yet to allow a point after rolling to a 17-0 season-opening win over Henrico (0-1) and following that with a 48-0 romp over Deep Run (0-2). Godwin (0-1) hung in until the fourth quarter against Patrick Henry, and it seems former Thomas Jefferson coach P.J. Adams has the Eagles headed in the right direction. Senior backs Keith Green and Caleb Warren will carry the load for Atlee, while senior receiver Justin Harris and senior tight end Chris Harper are the primary playmakers for Godwin. Tim: Atlee 21-14 Zach: Atlee 37-13
Hanover at No. 8 Matoaca, Friday, 7 p.m.: QB Cole Elrod ran a lot for the Hawks (1-0) in their season-opening win over Monacan (0-1) — 141 yards and a score on 33 carries — and had 82 yards and two touchdowns through the air. The Warriors (2-0) have turned heads early on with decisive wins over Glen Allen (0-2) and Clover Hill (0-1). Back Quentin Johnson is a weapon and end Keyshawn Burgos is committed to play at UVA. Look for Matoaca to bottle up Elrod and get Johnson going on the ground, though it seems second-year coach Sam Rogers is building a good foundation at Hanover. Tim: Matoaca 27-13 Zach: Matoaca 31-12
No. 10 Douglas Freeman at Mechanicsville, Friday, 7 p.m.: Senior receiver Jahrell Horne had five catches for 200 yards and four touchdowns and added an interception in the Mavericks’ (2-0) Week 2 win over James River (1-1). Senior quarterback Owen Fallen was 12 of 23 passing for 284 yards, with five TDs and one interception. Look for that duo to get going early and often here against an improved Mustangs (1-1) outfit that thrashed Deep Run (0-2) 43-7 in Week 1 before playing Powhatan (1-0) tight in an overtime loss. The Mustangs should keep this close at home, but the Mavericks’ fire power should be the difference. Tim: Freeman 24-21 Zach: Freeman 26-20
L.C. Bird at Monacan, Friday, 7 p.m.: The Skyhawks (0-2) lost to James River on a last-second touchdown in Week 1 before falling to Thomas Dale (2-0) last week in the Battle of Chester. The Chiefs (0-1) lost a lot from their region finalist outfit in the spring and got handled by Hanover in their opener. Back Trevor Schultz (24 carries, 100 yards against Dale) is a dangerous weapon for Bird, as is receiver Jashaun Amin. Keyshawn Jefferson is a dynamic playmaker, Monacan should try and get the ball in his hands as often as possible. Tim: Monacan 27-21 Zach: Bird 18-13
Collegiate at Trinity Episcopal, Saturday, 1 p.m.: The Cougars (1-0) turned heads last week with a 21-0 win over Goochland (1-1) in which senior QB Owen Fallon completed 13 of 16 passes for 257 yards and had two touchdowns and no interceptions. He also ran for 14 yards and another touchdown. The Titans (1-1) were impressive in Week 1 with a 27-13 win over Benedictine (0-2) but lost to Bishop McNamara (Maryland) by the same score last weekend. Look for Collegiate speedster Donovan Williams and Trinity receiver Trai Ferguson to be the standout playmakers. The Titans will start freshman Taegan Logan behind center after senior signal caller Jack Toscano was injured in Week 2. Tim: Collegiate 21-20 Zach: Trinity 27-24
Season records: Zach 5-2, Tim 4-3
— Zach Joachim