“Big-11” Teams Head High School Football Playoff Ratings

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Cave Spring quarterback Skylor Griffiths picks up yardage courtesy the blocking of #24 Bryce Cooper and #70 Preston Lonker in a game against Patrick Henry earlier this month. (photo provided by Cave Spring football boosters).

Two weeks remain in the abbreviated six-game high school football regular season that moved from fall to a winter start due to COVID-19 considerations.

While the two local private schools in the Roanoke Star’s “Big-11” lineup, North Cross and Roanoke Catholic, are not currently playing, the remaining nine are putting the final preparations on positioning themselves for postseason play. The VHSL rating scale released Tuesday gives light on where teams sit heading into the stretch run.

In Region 5D, Patrick Henry is in first place, followed closely by Albemarle and Brooke Point. The Patriots, with a 4-1 record, are the only team in the 8-team 5D with only one loss. PH will get a stern test this Friday night when it travels to undefeated Pulaski County in a River Ridge showdown. Holding down fifth place in 5D are the William Fleming Colonels, currently 2-2.

Region 4D finds undefeated Salem in first place, with Pulaski County following at second. Salem fans will get to see the Spartans two weeks in a row on CW5 Playback Game of the Week with Dave Ross (Friday night games replayed in their entirety Saturday at 4:00 PM) as Salem travels to Hidden Valley this Friday night, with a potential showdown of undefeated teams the following Friday when Pulaski County invades Salem Stadium.

In the “Big-11” top-heavy Region 3D, where five local teams reside, Lord Botetourt holds down first place with a 4-0 record that have included four lopsided wins. Botetourt hosts undefeated 6A member Franklin County this Friday night in Daleville. William Byrd comes in at fourth place in the 12-team 3D, with Northside in sixth despite a 0-1 record after a loss to Class 6 Franklin County before a COVID-19 pause for the Vikings.  On Tuesday night, after the latest ratings were released, the Vikings suffered a second loss to the Eagles.

Northside travels to William Byrd this Friday night for its second game in four nights, looking for its first win against the Terriers. Cave Spring sits in eighth at 1-3, with Hidden Valley ranked 11th at 1-3. Cave Spring and Hidden Valley will play their traditional regular season finale on April 2 at Bogle Stadium. The Knights will look for a win this Friday night at Christiansburg while Hidden Valley preps for the Paint Can Trophy matchup against Cave Spring with the game this Friday against Salem.

Glenvar, after two losses to open the season, has quickly climbed the ladder with two straight wins to move into third place in Region 2C. The Highlanders trail 4-0 Appomattox and 2-0 Dan River in the 14-team 2C Region, and host Giles this Friday night in Highlander Heaven.

After the regular season concludes the first weekend of April, qualifying teams based on the final VHSL ratings and Region layouts move forward with state championship playoff aspirations.

Bill Turner