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High school football preview capsules: Culpeper County looks to strengthen playoff position against Courtland
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High school football preview capsules: Culpeper County looks to strengthen playoff position against Courtland

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Week 9 of the 2021 (fall) high school football season is upon us. This week’s slate of games includes a Battlefield District contest between Courtland and Culpeper County, as well as Class 4 Northwestern District first-place showdown between Handley and Kettle Run. Here are previews for all of tonight’s area games:

HOT TICKETS

(7 p.m. kickoff, unless noted)

COURTLAND (2-4 OVERALL, 1-1 BATTLEFIELD DISTRICT) at CULPEPER COUNTY (4-4, 2-3)

Last meeting: Courtland won 50-7 on Sept. 26, 2014. The Cougars lead the all-time series 17-7-1.

Last week: Courtland defeated Caroline 47-6 on Monday; Culpeper lost to James Monroe 38-7 last Friday.

Tonight’s game: Courtland enters this matchup as a longshot to make the Region 4B playoffs, sitting at No. 14 in the power-point rankings with an 18.67. The Cougars did earn their first district win of the season on Monday, however, thrashing visiting Caroline behind 208 yards and two touchdowns rushing from senior running back E.J. Rogers. Culpeper switched spots with James Monroe in the Region 3B standings after losing to the homestanding Yellow Jackets a week ago, dropping from fourth to fifth with a 19.13. The Blue Devils are a pretty safe bet to qualify for the postseason at this point though, as the next closest team, Skyline, is nearly four points behind them at a 15.50. Culpeper’s Malachi Terrell still leads the Fredericksburg area in both rushing yards (1,246) and TDs (13).

FAUQUIER (2-5 OVERALL, 1-2 CLASS 4 NORTHWESTERN DISTRICT) at JAMES WOOD (5-2, 2-1)

Last meeting: James Wood won 21-18 on Oct. 24, 2019. Fauquier leads the all-time series 27-19.

Last week: Fauquier lost to Glen Allen 41-0; James Wood defeated Liberty (Bealeton) 42-24.

Tonight’s game: Fauquier has been outscored by a combined 82-0 in losses to Glen Allen and Kettle Run the past two weeks. They’ll find more tough sledding against an explosive James Wood that scored all 42 of its points in the first half of last week’s victory over visiting Liberty. Senior wide receiver Jaden Ashby had a huge night for the Colonels, recording four receptions for 143 yards and a TD and carrying the ball seven times for 119 yards and two more scores.

HANDLEY (7-0 OVERALL, 3-0 CLASS 4 NORTHWESTERN DISTRICT) at KETTLE RUN (7-1, 4-0)

Last meeting: Kettle Run won 39-14 on April 3, 2021. The Cougars lead the all-time series 8-3.

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Last week: Handley defeated Sherando 34-7; Kettle Run defeated Millbrook 47-16.

Tonight’s game: This showdown could decide who wins the Class 4 Northwestern District. Handley rallied from a 7-0 halftime deficit to defeat visiting Sherando 34-7 last Saturday, getting two rushing TDs apiece from Stephen Daley and Emerson Fusco. Daley finished the contest with 96 yards on 14 carries, while Fusco had 90 on eight attempts. Meanwhile, Kettle Run demolished host Millbrook behind another balanced offensive effort. Senior quarterback Beau Lang completed 13 of 18 passes for 213 yards and two scores. Senior wide receiver Jacob Robinson had three catches for 89 yards and a pair of TDs and also threw a 31-yard scoring pass to sophomore WR Jordan Tapscott, who finished the night with six catches for 83 yards. Senior RB Andrew Strickland added two TDs on the ground. Kettle Run enters the game fourth in the Region 4C power-point standings with a 26.13 rating, while Handley (25.71) is right behind them at No. 5.

MILLBROOK (0-7 OVERALL, 0-4 CLASS 4 NORTHWESTERN DISTRICT) at LIBERTY (BEALETON) (0-7, 0-3)

Last meeting: Liberty won 20-14 on Oct. 25, 2019. The Eagles lead the all-time series 5-2.

Last week: Millbrook lost to Kettle Run 47-16; Liberty lost to James Wood 42-24.

Tonight’s game: One of these teams is finally going to get its first win of the season, and the play of their QBs figures to decide who it will be. Millbrook QB Detric Brown was 17 of 28 for 130 yards and a TD in last Friday’s loss to Kettle Run, while Liberty freshman Austin Mawyer connected on 16 of 31 passes for 328 yards and three scores while also rushing for 43 yards and a TD.

MOUNTAIN VIEW (QUICKSBURG) (0-1) at MADISON COUNTY (1-6)

Last meeting: Mountain View won 52-14 on March 26, 2021. Madison leads the all-time series 14-2.

Last week: Mountain View hasn’t played since a 62-0 loss to Luray on Aug. 27; Madison lost to Strasburg 27-7 last Friday.

Tonight’s game: Madison looks to halt its four-game losing streak against a Mountain View team that is playing a limited schedule this fall. Junior QB Wade Fox scored on a 5-yard run to give the Mountaineers an early 7-0 lead against Strasburg last week, but the Rams responded with 27 unanswered points to earn the victory.

ORANGE COUNTY (4-3 OVERALL, 2-2 JEFFERSON DISTRICT) at MONTICELLO (0-7, 0-3)

Last meeting: Monticello won 31-28 on March 12, 2021. The Mustangs lead the all-time series 13-7.

Last week: Orange defeated Fluvanna County 20-7; Monticello lost to Goochland 55-3.

Tonight’s game: Orange looks to move above .500 in Jefferson District play and tighten its grip on the eighth and final playoff spot in Region 4D. Hornets QB Paul Poirier accounted for 246 of his squad’s 309 total yards in last week’s win over visiting Fluvanna, rushing for 103 yards and a TD and completing 9 of 16 passes for 143 yards. He also returned an interception for a score on defense.

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