There have been multiple Monday and Thursday night games played by area teams over the years, but Sherando will take on Loudoun Valley in a highly unusual Wednesday game at 7:30 p.m. tonight in Purcellville.
With Hurricane Florence expected to bring heavy rainfall this weekend, the 3-0 Warriors’ game with the 0-2 Vikings was moved from Friday to tonight. Sherando activities coordinator Jason Barbe said the two schools felt that was the best day to move the game to based on the weather information they had. The JV game between the two schools will precede the contest at 4:30 on the Vikings’ artificial turf field.
Sherando coach Bill Hall has dealt with particularly short preparations weeks before. For example, in 2011, the Warriors beat Liberty 10-7 four days after a Monday night game with Handley, and in 2013 Sherando beat Handley 42-7 four days after a Monday night game with James Wood.
Of course, in those situations, Hall knew well in advance that he’d have four days between games. This time, he found out on Monday he’d be playing tonight.
“I’ve taken a four-day practice week and condensed it to two-day practice week,” said Hall with a laugh during a phone interview at noon on Tuesday. “We haven’t eliminated stuff, we’ve just gone a little longer in practice to get our entire install in.
“We’re only going maybe a half-hour longer. It’s more mental than anything. Monday was basically base stuff for us in terms of our base run and pass offense and defense. [Tuesday] will be more situational football — third down, red zone, those types of things for offense and defense.”
In terms of the physical side of things, one thing that might help a little is that Sherando was able to rest its starters for a large portion of the second half in Friday’s 55-6 win over Broadway. At the half, the Warriors led 41-0 and had a 249-16 edge in total yards.
Loudoun Valley had its bye week last week, so the Vikings have had more than enough time to get ready for this game.
In their first two games, the Vikings led 6-0 against Martinsburg (W.Va.) and 3-0 against Stone Bridge, but lost 62-12 to Martinsburg and 42-6 to Stone Bridge. The game against Stone Bridge on Sept. 7 ended early in the third quarter because of lightning.
Based on those scores, the Vikings (3-7 last year) are struggling even more than when they came into Stephens City in Week 4 in 2017. Loudoun Valley lost to Martinsburg and Stone Bridge by a combined 70-21 last year.
The Vikings surprised Sherando last year by running a spread attack instead of the single-wing they had used the first two games, but the Warriors weren’t fazed in the least. At halftime, Sherando led 27-0 and had given up just 105 yards, and the Warriors went on to a 50-20 win.
Hall said Loudoun Valley does not feature the single-wing as its primary offense this year. He added that the Vikings are a multiple attack and still use the spread, and are balanced between rushing and passing.
Hall said he expects to see Hayden Loussedes at quarterback. The Vikings’ running backs include 5-9, 158-pound junior Andrew Corkrey and senior Luke Gilboy, who had a touchdown against Martinsburg.
“[Six-foot-3 Shane Washko] is a tall receiver for them,” Hall said. “He played last year and he stood out to us. He does a good job of going up and getting the ball, high-pointing the ball. And the quarterback does a good job of managing their offense.”
Sherando’s defense comes in allowing only six points per game and 154.7 yards per game. Junior linebacker Payne Bauer leads the Warriors with 24 tackles and four sacks.
The Warriors had an outstanding performance against Broadway. In the first half, they had three sacks, two takeaways, and 13 of the Gobblers’ 29 first-half offensive plays went for zero or negative yards.
“I think we’re doing a good job of assignment football, doing our jobs,” Hall said. “I think we’re pretty locked in terms of making sure that we own what we’re doing, and we’re doing that at a pretty high level. With this quick turnaround, it’s imperative that we continue to do that.”
Sherando senior quarterback Hunter Entsminger (22 of 27 for 457 yards, five touchdowns and no interceptions this year) completed 10 of 15 passes for 292 yards and four touchdowns against the Vikings last year. Senior running back T.J. Washington (400 total yards and six TDs, including 293 yards and five TDs rushing) picked up 102 yards on 15 carries against Loudoun Valley.
Hall said the Vikings will mostly use an even front with two high safeties on defense.
“We have to do a good job of diagnosing what they’re trying to take away and attack accordingly off of that,” Hall said.