Radford Bobcats (5-0) at Alleghany Mountaineers (4-1)
Following a big 39-13 road victory over the Staunton River Golden Eagles last Friday night, the Mountaineers are 4-1 for the first time since 2016.
The Mountaineers are also the talk of the town with their start to the season at the midway point.
Garrett Via is also turning heads and catching spectators eyes from all sorts of sports media.
Via has rushed for five touchdowns in a game twice this season. He tied the single game record for five touchdowns in a week two win over Bath County matching Terrell Givens record in 1999 after he scored five touchdowns against Rockbridge County.
Now Via is closing in on the most rushing touchdowns in a single season, which is owned by Givens who had 23 in 2000. Via currently has 16 total touchdowns, 15 in in which are rushing touchdowns. His 15 rushing touchdowns in third all-time for a single season, which is tied with Givens (1999) and Bryan Hamm (1985). Hamm has the second most in a single season with 16 rushing touchdowns.
However, on Friday, the Via and the Mountaineers will be tested in their return home to Mountaineer Field for the first time since winning the final Brackman Cup Game as they hosts the undefeated 5-0 Radford Bobcats.
Last season in Radford, the Bobcats offense was too much to contain as they won 42-6. One of those tough players to figure out was Marcell Baylor led the way for the Bobcats with 221 yards of total offense; 125 passing yards and 96 rushing yards to go along with three touchdowns (two passing, one rushing).
Baylor, now a senior will be on the field Friday night for the Bobcats as they look to head back to Radford still unbeaten.
On the road this season, the Bobcats are 2-0 with victories over George Wythe (29-15) and Galax (28-7). Meanwhile, the Mountaineers are 1-1 at home with a 30-6 victory over Covington and a 34-7 loss to Cave Spring.
Bath County Chargers (2-2) at Page County Panthers (1-4)
The Chargers head out to the Shenandoah Valley on Friday to play the Panthers.
This the Chargers second of three straight away games following three straight home games they had to start the season.
The Chargers are coming off of a 50-7 loss last Friday to the Buffalo Gap Bison.
The Panthers and Chargers are giving up 32 points a game, however, the Panthers are only scoring just under 10 points a game.
While the Panthers are just 1-4 to start their season, they are one of the toughest 1-4 schools in the VHSL.
The Panthers running game is averaging over 300 yards a game and are led by Kenny Frye and Brady Jenkins. Meanwhile, Hayden Plum, an experienced signal caller behind the center led the Panthers to a 42-0 shutout victory last season over the Chargers. Plum had three total touchdowns in last years win. Plum will be a tough solve for the Chargers defense.
The Panthers though did not see Wyatt Campbell last year. Campbell has the agility and capability to throw off any and all defenses he faces. While the Chargers had one scoring drive last week in their loss to the Bison, Campbell avoided being sacked on their scoring drive multiple times in one play, which eventually led to his 30 yard touchdown pass to Andrew Turner.
While the Panthers shutout the Chargers last season, this Panthers team is a much different team than last years and the same can be said about this years Chargers team.
Grayson County Blue Devils (4-0) at Covington Cougars (0-5)
The first half of the season was a rough one for the Cougars who are winless in five games.
Scoring has been an issue for the team since the second half of the Bath County game which opened the season.
Prior to the Cougars 22 points scored in a 41-22 loss to the James Monroe Mavericks, the Cougars only had scored 20 points total in their previous three games.
With a whole second half of the schedule left to go, the Cougars have a lot of ground they can make up, especially with district games.
The team grabbed a big boost from Desmond Jordan who had a three touchdown performance last week against the Mavericks.
But much like the Mountaineers, the CougaBased out of the Mountain Empire District, the Blue Devils are a high scoring team. This season the Blue Devils are averaging just over 37 points a game. The team has scored 40 or more points in three of their four games.
It’s easy to say scoring will be the key for the Cougars to keep up with the Blue Devils, however, just a few weeks ago the Cougars went up against the James River Knights who had been averaging around 28 points a game and the defense held them to just 17 points. If the Cougars hold the Blue Devils below their average, they may not need to keep up with them scoring.
This will be the Blue Devils first road game of the season.
Meanwhile for the Cougars, this will be just the second home game. The team only has four total home games at Boodie Albert Stadium.