IWA wants to stay undefeated

Published 8:27 am Wednesday, October 28, 2009

When rivals meet, it often means more than just a game.

When Isle of Wight Academy travels to Southampton Academy this Friday, VISAA Division III playoff spots will be on the line.

The Virginia Commonwealth Conference battle will kick off at 7 p.m. in Courtland.

Big wins by both teams last week set up this game. IWA beat Blessed Sacrament Huguenot 23-14 to remain unbeaten and stay at No. 1 in the state. SA (8-1) defeated Quantico 51-20, a team which had just one loss coming into the game.

Dale Chapman, IWA head coach said Southampton will be a tough game.

“We want to try to close out undefeated, but I don’t want to take anything away from Southampton,” he said. “It’s always tough playing them over there. I don’t know why they call it Pillow Field. When you go over there, they hit you like gangbusters. We’re going to do everything to be healthy and get ready to try match wits with wits.”

Dale Marks, Southampton Academy head coach, said SA always has its two toughest conference games back-to-back at the end of the season.

“It’s the same thing every year. We end up with those two schools (IWA and Blessed Sacrament Huguenot) the last two games and they are two of the toughest games on the schedule,” Marks said. “It’s going to be tough.”

Marks said SA is not playing at full strength because of injuries. The team dressed just 17 players against Quantico on Friday.

“We really didn’t have a lot of numbers to start out with,” he said. “No excuses, we’re just not real deep right now. At least we control our own destiny right now. We’ve got it all in front of us. We need to at least split these last two games. We won’t make the playoffs with an 8-3 record.”

Marks said SA will have to control the ball on offense to beat a powerful IWA team.

“We’ll have to control the ball, which is our forte, and use that as a secondary defense,” Marks said.

In other action this week:

Southampton (3-4) plays at Nottoway in a Southside District matchup at 7:30 p.m. Nottoway is 2-5 and is coming off a 30-26 loss to Greensville County.

The Cougars have been involved in several close games this year. The only bad district loss was a 54-13 thrashing by Powhatan.

Windsor (3-5) hosts Surry County at 7 p.m. in a Tri-Rivers District matchup. Surry had a bye week last Friday.

The Cougars have had an uncharacteristically hard time scoring points this season and have managed just 86 points in seven games.

Franklin has a bye week.