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HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Friday’s Playoff Game Capsules

READ MORE: In this week’s Friday Football Feature, Nathan Warters dives into the quarterback situation at Colonial Forge and how it’s worked for the Eagles during their playoff run.

POLLS: Don’t forget to make your vote in this week’s two polls – Voters’ Choice “Game of the Week” and How Many Will Advance?”.

 

6A–SOUTH

COLONIAL FORGE (9–3) vs. OCEAN LAKES (12–0), 7 (at Kellam High School)

Waiting next week: The winner here gets the Forest Park–Oscar Smith victor in the 6A–South region championship game.

Series history: First-ever meeting

This week’s matchup: One week after limiting high-scoring Hylton to a season-low 13 points, coach Bill Brown’s Eagles face another explosive offense in the record-setting Dolphins, who have won 26 of their past 27 games. Led by RB Brandon Simmons (1,746 yards, 24 TDs rushing) and QB Churchie Harold (2,214 yards, 32 TDs passing), Ocean Lake’s multiple-set attack produced 627 yards in last week’s 62–28 win over Western Branch, the most in school history. Defensively, the Dolphins get solid play from 310-pound senior lineman Derrick Nnadi and junior DB Jason Lewis. Colonial Forge advanced to today’s region title game with a stellar performance at Hylton, especially on defense. The Eagles forced four turnovers, including timely interceptions by DBs Daniel Ezeagwu and Malik Shabazz, and snapped a three-game losing streak against the Bulldogs. Senior Damen Daniel (1,509 yards, 11 TDs passing) and junior Gary Jennings provide a double threat at QB for the multiple-option, spread offense. Daniel threw a touchdown pass and Jennings ran for a pair of scores in last week’s victory. LBs Andrew Jean–Charles and Daniel are keg cogs in the Colonial Forge defense, which has posted four shutouts. An Eagles victory today would be their most ever in a single season.

 

4A–NORTH

COURTLAND (10–2) at SHERANDO (11–1), 7

Waiting next week: The winner here gets the Woodgrove–Salem victor in the 4A–North region championship game.

Series history: Sherando defeated Courtland in the 1995 Region II semifinals, 27–17.

This week’s matchup: The resilient Cougars make a trip to Stephens City in search of their 11th straight victory and a berth in the regional championship game. To make that journey successful, they’ll need to overcome a surging Warriors team that is riding a 10-game winning streak, including last week’s 34–12 win over Liberty. QB Reid Entsminger, the Northwestern District offensive player of the year, sets the pace for the offense, which runs multiple formations and is averaging 394 yards per game. The senior has thrown 19 scoring passes and rushed for nearly 700 yards and five touchdowns. RB LeeQuan Johnson supplies additional firepower with 1,113 yards and 15 touchdowns on the ground. Courtland’s powerful wing-T attack has been just as consistent during its winning streak. Last week’s 56–34 victory over George Washington–Danville showcased the Cougars’ quick-strike capability. Down 21–7 in the second quarter, they responded with 28 unanswered points to take control. RBs Anton Jenkins (1,199 yards, 25 TDs), Victor Greene (1,073 yards, 13 TDs) and George Cheetham (1,027 yards, 10 TDs) are key components in coach J.C. Hall’s well-tuned scoring machine. Courtland has won eight of 12 playoff games in the past five years and is aiming for its second straight appearance in the state final four.

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