Loudoun County, Va. — As high school football gets underway in Loudoun County, a few local teams have already started to stand out among the crowd. In a two-district county, we wanted a way to put things into perspective. Enter: the LoCo Top 5.
Of course, if you’re into hard numbers, check out the full VHSL Region 5C and VHSL Region 4C standings.
1. Broad Run (9-1) —
Broad Run is point blank the best team in Loudoun County. Them falling to the No. 2 spot in the LoCo Top 5 for a couple weeks earlier this season was a mistake on my part. The Spartans have one of, if not, the best defenses I’ve ever seen in high school football. Through the regular season, Broad Run allowed just 52 points total; that’s just five points per game. Some of those points came by way of forfeit and others by way of interception return touchdowns. Additionally, the Spartans’ offense — headlined by the backfield duo of Michigan-commit Tim Baldwin and Wake Forest-commit Mitch Griffis — doesn’t break under pressure and strings together meticulous drives, giving the Broad Run defense its much earned rest.
2. Stone Bridge (8-2) —
Don’t expect late season losses to No. 1 Broad Run and No. 4 Tuscarora to slow down Stone Bridge. The Bulldogs have the offensive weapons to hang with any team in the State of Virginia. During the regular season, Stone Bridge scored 118 more points than the next highest-scoring offense in Loudoun, averaging more than six touchdowns per game. Luckily for the Bulldogs, if all goes according to plan, they will only have to go through Broad Run or Tuscarora in the VHSL Region 5C tournament and not both. Expect Stone Bridge to do what Stone Bridge does best in November: win.
3. Woodgrove (7-2) ?2
A couple weeks ago, we suggested that Woodgrove could climb up the LoCo Top 5 list after hovering at No. 4 and No. 5 for most of the fall. The Wolverines earned the No. 3 spot after 20+ point wins over No. 5 Loudoun County and Purcellville-rival Loudoun Valley on October 26 and November 1, respectively. The Wolverines have a big offensive front, tall athletes at receiver and an explosive backfield, featuring junior running back KJ Lewis, senior quarterback Graham Walker and freshman running back Price Williams. Their play throughout the season earned the Wolverines in the No. 1 seed in the VHSL Region 4C and a bye in the first round of the playoffs.
4. Tuscarora (7-3) ?1
Tuscarora is the third VHSL Region 5C team on our list, but don’t be surprised if they pave a path through the region tournament and back into the state playoffs. The Huskies bring a high-energy punch to their opponents with weapons in all three phases. Like Woodgrove, Tuscarora’s offensive line is massive, and their backfield is explosive. The Huskies’ secret weapon could very well be junior kicker Max Skirkanich. In my experience, most playoff teams rely on the backfield to get their scoring done, but Skirkanich gives Tuscarora an extra scoring mechanism that paid off in big ways in a VHSL 5A State semifinal in 2017.
5. John Champe (6-4) ?1
We are bound to have some upset Raiders’ fans this week, but John Champe played so consistently throughout the fall that the Knights deserve their spot in the LoCo Top 5. Despite being just 6-4, John Champe blew out the teams they were supposed to beat; only suffered one bad loss; stuck around with Friendship Collegiate, Centreville and No. 1 Broad Run; and edged out No. 4 Tuscarora in overtime in Week 10. If the Knights hope to advance past the first round of the VHSL Region 5C tournament, they’ll have to once again escape the Huskies in Leesburg.