Week 7 is the first bye week for a local team. Magna Vista will get the night off, but there are three other intriguing Piedmont District contests to look forward to.
Here’s what to watch on the gridiron:
G.W.-Danville (3-2) at Patrick County (3-3)
History: The two teams played each other for the first time in 2013. In six matchups since, G.W. has won all every time, including 59-0 win a season ago.
What to watch: Patrick County has only ever scored one touchdown against G.W.-Danville in a 70-7 loss two seasons ago. The Eagles have outscored the Cougars 394-7 all time.
But don’t expect that much of a blowout this season. For one thing, Patrick County’s defense is much improved over years ago, holding opponents to fewer than 300 total yards of offense every game except one this season, and holding teams to fewer than 27 points in five of six games.
The Cougars have grabbed three interceptions and five defensive fumbles this season.
G.W. comes into Stuart Friday with a similarly high-powered offense as Piedmont District football fans have become accustomed to. The Eagles are averaging better than 44 points a game this season.
Patrick County is also finding the endzone better in 2019 than in years past. The Cougars are averaging more than 22 points a game this season. They haven’t averaged better than 12 points a game in any of the last five seasons.
G.W. is also scoring, but has allowed more points to opponents this season than Patrick County has, giving up 150 points in 5 games. The Cougars have allowed 146 points in six games.
Despite a win over Martinsville a week ago, the Cougars actually fell a spot to the No. 9 seed in updated VHSL Region 2C playoff rankings. Six teams in Region 2C have an identical 3-3 record.
Patrick County has confidence heading into this week, so expect a closer outcome against the Eagles than in years past. The Cougars need to keep winning to break out of the pack in the middle of their region.
Bassett (3-3) at Tunstall (0-5)
History: Tunstall has won the last three contests, including a 27-18 victory a season ago. Bassett’s last win was 29-22 in 2015.
What to watch: Bassett saw a three game winning streak come to an end last Friday night at home against Halifax, but the Bengals looked primed to get back in the win column against a winless Tunstall squad.
Tunstall, a Region 3D playoff squad a season ago, has been outscored 244-62 in five games this season. Only twice have the Trojans scored more than 7 points in a game.
Bassett’s defense should get another chance to shine this week. Last week’s 25-15 loss to Halifax was the first time since Week 3 that the Bengals have allowed more than 20 points to an opponent.
While the Bengals have been outscored 109-76 this season, if you take out 20-0 and 42-0 losses in Weeks 1 and 2, Bassett has outscored opponents 111-72 the last four games.
When the VHSL released its updated playoff rankings this week, Bassett was sitting in the No. 6 spot in Region 3D.
Bassett is a different team than the start of the season. Expect a bounce-back this week, especially against a fellow Region 3D team.
Martinsville (0-5) at Halifax (4-1)
History: Halifax has won the last two meetings, including a 42-0 win last season. Martinsville’s last win over the Comets came in 2016, 42-0.
What to Watch: Martinsville’s main objective this late in the season is to get in the win column and learn how to get victories.
The Bulldogs’ best chance of the season came last week against Patrick County when they had a chance at a potential game-tying touchdown late in the fourth quarter.
The Bulldogs’ schedule hasn’t been kind, and they’ll face against team fighting for a playoff spot and a PD title this week in South Boston.
Halifax has outscored opponents 119-86 this season. The Comets have only once failed to score at least 25 points, and only once allowed an opponent more than 16 points.
The Bulldogs will again have their hands full against a team three VHSL classes bigger.