IWA preps for showdown with Blessed Sacrament

Published 9:32 am Tuesday, October 14, 2008

This is the big one.

If Isle of Wight Academy is going to repeat as the Virginia Independent School Division III champion for a fourth year, a win this week will put the Chargers into prime position. IWA and Blessed Sacrament Huguenot, ranked No. 1 and No. 2 in the state, respectively, have been on a collision course all season.

Undefeated IWA will travel to undefeated BSH in Powhatan at 7:30 p.m. Friday.

How similar are these teams? The Knights (8-0) have averaged nearly 38 points per game so far this season, while the Chargers have averaged 36. On defense, IWA has allowed 10 points per game, while BSH has allowed just over 8 points per game. Both teams have played very similar against common opponents.

This could be the VIS Division III regular season game of the year. It’s safe to say that the winner of this game will be favored to win the state championship.

“It’s not going to be easy playing up there. They’ve got a pretty good home-field advantage. It’s just one of those atmospheres that they have up there,” said Dale Chapman, IWA head coach. “My team and his team are pretty much equal at skill guy for skill guy and the experience level on the offensive and defensive line. His line outsizes our line. Obviously, both teams would be on an equal playing field considering both of us are undefeated.”

Chapman said BSH is running a spread-style offense, which is different than last year, when the Chargers beat the Knights 34-7.

In other action Friday night:

* Franklin (5-1) plays at Charles City at 7 p.m. in a Tri-Rivers District battle. The Panthers (0-6) lost 37-0 at Windsor last week.

* Southampton High (1-6) hosts New Kent (2-4) at 7:30 p.m. in a Bay Rivers District game that will be the Indians’ homecoming. New Kent is 2-4 and has scored only 88 points this season. The Trojans were ripped 42-7 by Smithfield last week.

* Windsor (6-1) hosts Sussex Central at 7 p.m. in a Tri-Rivers District game. Sussex is 3-3 but has played some tough competition, including Essex, Brunswick and Campbell. The Tigers found their offense last week, hammering Arcadia 58-0.

* Southampton Academy (4-3) will play its homecoming game against Quantico at 7:30 p.m. in non-conference action. The Warriors are 2-4 and lost to Fairfax Home School 16-0 last week.

* Tidewater Academy (0-7) hosts Broadwater Academy (4-3) at 7:30 p.m. Broadwater had a week off to recover from its shocking loss to Isle of Wight Academy.