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T-D Top 10 for football: Hermitage ascends to No. 5; Top 4 stands pat
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T-D Top 10 for football: Hermitage ascends to No. 5; Top 4 stands pat

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Rankings

                               Rec    Pr

1. Highland Springs    2-1    1

2. Manchester    1-1    2

3. Thomas Dale    2-0    3

4. Dinwiddie    1-0    4

5. Hermitage    1-0    9

6. Varina    1-0    6

7. Hopewell     1-0    7

8. Patrick Henry    1-1    5

9. Matoaca    3-0    8

10. Douglas Freeman    3-0    10

Hermitage ascends

Overtime heroics from quarterback Jaylen Burton helped new No. 5 Hermitage knock off previous No. 5 Patrick Henry in a thriller that felt destined to come down to the final play.

The Panthers faced plenty of unknowns coming into their season-opener, as they dealt with three consecutive postponements to open a season in which they’re tasked with replacing their head coach and top playmakers from the spring. But after they went toe to toe with a very good Patriots outfit that features quarterback Jordan Allen and JMU recruit Jayden Mines, consider those questions answered for first-year coach Timothy Jean-Pierre’s team. In addition to Burton, running back Jeremiah Coney, leading receiver Jhakiri Bolden, an opportunistic defense and explosive special teams are all the real deal for Big Herm.

Top four stand pat

No. 1 Highland Springs trounced Prince George (0-3) 45-19 behind breakout sophomore quarterback Khristian Martin and the area’s most formidable receiving corps; No. 2 Manchester took care of George Wythe (1-1) 63-8 behind the elite QB-RB duo of Cody Shelton and Ramon Brown; No. 3 Thomas Dale had to postpone its originally scheduled game against Hermitage; and No. 4 Dinwiddie canceled its game against North Stafford because of COVID-19 issues within the Generals’ program. All of our voters kept that top four as is.

Matoaca, Freeman continue to impress

Though quarterback Owen Fallen’s Mavericks stayed put at No. 10, and running back Quentin Johnson’s Warriors moved down a spot to No. 9 because Hermitage leapfrogged them, these two have probably been the biggest early-season winners in the 804 in results. Freeman handled solid Mechanicsville (1-2) 21-6, and Matoaca rolled past Hanover (1-1), which was coming off a dominant win over Monacan (1-1), 26-7. The Mavericks and Warriors are making a compelling case to move further up should anyone above them deviate from expectations.

Under consideration

Atlee (3-0) has displayed an explosive ground game led by Caleb Warren and Keith Green. The Raiders thumped Mills Godwin (0-2) 27-7, and will have a chance to prove they belong in the Top 10 on Friday when they host No. 10 Freeman.

Midlothian (2-0) wracked up 438 yards of offense in a 41-14 win over Clover Hill (0-2) to continue its impressive start to the season.

Powhatan (2-0) eased past Huguenot (0-2) 28-6. Mike Henderson’s Indians are always gritty and disciplined, and they’ll have a chance to prove they belong among the 804’s best Friday when they host Manchester.

Trinity Episcopal (2-1) dominated Collegiate (1-1) 37-0. The Cougars were coming off a 21-0 win over Goochland (1-1), so the Titans, who beat Benedictine (1-1) 27-13 in Week 1, look to be the preeminent VISAA team in the 804 this season.

That is, unless receiver Andre Greene, quarterback Josh Powell and St. Christopher’s (2-0) have anything to say about it. The Saints beat Flint Hill (Oakton) 55-0 in Week 1, and followed that with a 21-7 victory over St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes (1-1) in which Green, one of the area’s most sought recruits, caught a 69-yard TD. The Saints don’t play a local opponent until an Oct. 1 meeting with the Cadets, but if they continue the winning ways, they’ll be knocking on the door of the Top 10.

RANKINGS

    Rec    Pr

1. Highland Springs    2-1    1

2. Manchester    1-1    2

3. Thomas Dale    2-0    3

4. Dinwiddie    1-0    4

5. Hermitage    1-0    9

6. Varina    1-0    6

7. Hopewell     1-0    7

8. Patrick Henry    1-1    5

9. Matoaca    3-0    8

10. Douglas Freeman    3-0    10

— Zach Joachim

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