Region 4B playoff spots at stake in Game of the Week

Updated: Mar. 26, 2021 at 12:18 AM EDT
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CHESTERFIELD, Va. (WWBT) - If there’s a standard when it comes to high school football teams, one could certainly make the argument that Monacan is setting it. The Chiefs are 4-0 on the season with two games remaining and have beaten every opponent by at least two touchdowns.

“Really on all cylinders we’ve been clicking and just getting better each week,” Chiefs’ senior wide receiver and cornerback Elijah McLeod noted.

Meanwhile, Powhatan is doing its best to keep pace. The Indians’ lone blemish on their record is a five point loss to Manchester in the second game of the season and they’ve posted two shutouts so far during the campaign, most recently a 53-0 triumph over Cosby last week.

“We’re just going game by game as of right now trying to stick with the system that we’re in,” said Powhatan senior wide receiver and defensive back JaySun Carroll. “We’re playing good, we’re just hoping for the win.”

Both teams are physical with strong offensive lines and talented skill players. Monacan boasts experience at most positions and has used that experience to its advantage in an abnormal campaign. As for the Indians, Chiefs’ head coach Jim Henderson says their offensive front is what stands out the most. Powhatan has had players at every position step up in Mike Henderson’s second season at the head of the program.

“They’ve got a lot of guy back and they’re extremely well coached, fundamentally sound, they’re great on both sides of the football, so we have our work cut out for us,” Powhatan’s Henderson said.

“They’re big, physical up front,” noted Monacan’s Henderson. “I think this is going to be the best offensive line that we’ll see all year. We’ve got to make sure we’re ready for that.”

Monacan is currently second in the Regin 4B power rankings, while Powhatan ranks fifth. With the top four teams from each region earning spots in the playoffs, the victor on Friday night has a solid chance of playing beyond next week.

“It’s on our minds, but it’s just a football game like usual,” said Indians’ junior linebacker and running back Chase Gayness. “It’s just business.”

“We know we have to win to still have a chance,” said Mike Henderson. “We know that much. We try not to focus on it too much.”

“This is really our biggest game of the year right now,” McLeod said. “It could either make us go up or end the playoff chances for us, so we know the importance of it.”

It’ll be a heavyweight fight at Monacan on Friday night, as the Chiefs look to remain unbeaten, while Powhatan hopes to hand them their first loss of the year and keep them from making some history.

“It’s only been done one time in Monacan history, and that’s an undefeated regular season,” Jim Henderson said.

The Chiefs and Indians kick off at 7:30 on Friday night.

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