Chargers set to face familiar foe

Published 8:46 am Wednesday, November 11, 2009

By finishing No. 1 in the VISAA Division III poll, Isle of Wight Academy has earned the right to host a semifinal state playoff game. The Chargers will play a familiar foe Friday night.

Fuqua School, which IWA defeated 41-8 in a regular season Virginia Commonwealth Conference game, will be the Chargers’ first-round opponent at 7:30 p.m.

In the other semifinal game, Blessed Sacrament Huguenot (#3) will play at North Cross (#2).

Fuqua (7-2) and IWA (9-0) are both coming off bye weeks. IWA head coach Dale Chapman said Fuqua can be a dangerous team.

“They have a good quaterback and running back that can both be dangerous. Both of them are potential big threat guys,” Chapman said.

“We just need to make sure we are sound. For us offensively, we have to make sure we control the football and make good decisions and not make interceptions and turn the ball over.”

The Chargers are used to the playoff atmosphere, having won the state championship three of the last four years.

IWA also had tough games against Blessed Sacrament and Southampton Academy the last two weeks of the regular season.

“Our guys are used to this atmosphere. We’re also lucky enough to have done the work during the season to play at home. They are used to playing this time of year,” Chapman said. “There is a fine line between being used to it and continuing to play in the playoffs and not being lackadaisical.”

During the bye week, IWA worked on basics and also had some time to heal.

“That gave us some much needed rest. We practiced very hard last week. I didn’t want to lose any type of game speed. That is hard to simulate. We did a lot of basics and worked on individual things,” Chapman saidChapman said the Chargers had a good practice on Monday.

“Our guys are really pumped. As long as they understand what’s important, we will have another shot at playing at home (in the state championship game),” he said.

n Franklin, preparing for the postseason, ends the regular season at Windsor at 7 p.m. in a Tri-Rivers District matchup. Franklin (7-2) lost a 6-2 defensive battle to Sussex Central last week. Windsor (4-5) had a bye last week.

n Southampton (3-6) ends its season with a Southside District home game against Prince Edward County at 7:30 p.m. The Eagles are 1-8 with a win over Bluestone. Last week, Prince Edward lost 57-7 to Powhatan.