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High school football preview capsules: Kettle Run, Orange County look to strengthen playoff positioning
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High school football preview capsules: Kettle Run, Orange County look to strengthen playoff positioning

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The final week of the 2021 (fall) high school football season is here. Fauquier and Liberty (Bealeton) will do battle in the annual Bird Bowl, while Kettle Run and Orange County will both try to strengthen their playoff positioning. Here are previews for all of this weekend’s area games:

HOT TICKETS

(7 p.m. kickoff, unless noted)

FAUQUIER (2-7 OVERALL, 1-4 CLASS 4 NORTHWESTERN DISTRICT) at LIBERTY (BEALETON) (0-9, 0-5)

Last meeting: Liberty won 22-0 on April 2, 2021. The Eagles lead the all-time series 29-8.

Last week: Fauquier lost to Sherando 13-12; Liberty lost to Handley 49-40.

Tonight’s game: A pair of disappointing seasons come down to a battle for pride in the annual Bird Bowl. Fauquier blew a 12-0 lead in last week’s loss at Sherando, Senior quarterback Banks Massey completed 7 of 13 passes for 66 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Meanwhile, Liberty tested a good Handley team in a high-scoring affair last Saturday, as freshman QB Austin Mawyer went 17 of 28 for 255 yards with five TDs and an interception.

KETTLE RUN (8-1 OVERALL, 5-0 CLASS 4 NORTHWESTERN DISTRICT) at SHERANDO (5-4, 3-2)

Last meeting: Sherando won 21-7 on Nov. 8, 2019. The Warriors lead the all-time series 7-0.

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Last week: Kettle Run was on a bye; Sherando defeated Fauquier 13-12.

Tonight’s game: Kettle Run looks to clinch the Northwestern District championship and, at the very least, the No. 2 seed in the Region 4C playoffs. Senior QB Beau Lang was a force to be reckoned with in the Cougars’ 47-34 victory over visiting Handley on Oct. 22, completing 19 of 24 passes for 211 yards and four TDs and rushing for 118 yards. Senior wide receiver Jacob Robinson caught nine passes for 81 yards and a pair of scores. QB Dylan Rodeffer went 10 of 14 for 117 yards and a TD to help homestanding Sherando clinch the region’s eighth and final playoff spot with a win over Fauquier last Friday.

LURAY (4-4 OVERALL, 1-4 BULL RUN DISTRICT) at MADISON COUNTY (2-7, 0-5)

Last meeting: Luray won 70-6 on March 19, 2021. Madison leads the all-time series 36-12-1.

Last week: Luray lost to Clarke County 14-0; Madison lost to East Rockingham 44-13.

Tonight’s game: Luray turned the ball over three times in last week’s shutout loss to visiting Clarke County. Meanwhile, Jordan Morris and Corey Helmick each scored rushing TDs in Madison’s loss at East Rockingham.

WESTERN ALBEMARLE (8-1 OVERALL, 5-1 JEFFERSON DISTRICT) at ORANGE COUNTY (6-3, 4-2)

Last meeting: Western Albemarle won 34-18 on April 2, 2021. Orange leads the all-time series 13-10.

Last week: Western Albemarle defeated Monticello 41-6; Orange defeated Goochland 27-24.

Tonight’s game: Western Albemarle can clinch at least a share of the Jefferson District championship with a victory, and the Warriors (28.33) are also within striking distance of E.C. Glass (28.56) for the No. 4 seed in the Region 4D playoffs. Kaden Morrow and Bubba Shifflett rushed for 145 and 114 yards, respectively, in Western’s easy win over Monticello a week ago. Meanwhile, Orange rallied past Goochland thanks to 142 yards and three scores on the ground from senior QB Paul Poirier. The Hornets (24.33) are currently the No. 6 seed in the region.

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