Harrisonburg-Spotswood game preview

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Harrisonburg-Spotswood game preview

Junior Marquez Sly jumps through the smoke prior to the Streaks' home game versus Broadway.

Junior Marquez Sly jumps through the smoke prior to the Streaks' home game versus Broadway.

Ethan Swift

Junior Marquez Sly jumps through the smoke prior to the Streaks' home game versus Broadway.

Ethan Swift

Ethan Swift

Junior Marquez Sly jumps through the smoke prior to the Streaks' home game versus Broadway.

Simon Beach, Editor

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The Blue Streaks (5-4, 3-1 district) take on the Spotswood Trailblazers (9-0, 4-0) in a game with major postseason implications. A loss for the Streaks would take away home field advantage and they would drop in the rankings from number five, making the playoff road a lot harder. However, with a win, Harrisonburg would host a first round playoff game. Spotswood is looking for their first undefeated season since 1991 and their second district title in a row. 

Harrisonburg has owned the Blazers in recent matchups, winning 14 of the last 18. The Blue Streaks’ sophomore quarterback Keenan Glago has thrown for 1,173 yards, six interceptions and a district-leading 20 touchdowns. Glago has answered the call after being named starter for the game against Charlottesville, the third game of the season. Senior Kwentin Smiley has 789 yards of total offense and 14 touchdowns, and is one of the heads of this three-headed monster offense. The other two are wide receivers senior Malachi Davis and junior Jazen Walker, and they have combined for 52 catches for 869 yards and 12 touchdowns. All of these players together have helped Harrisonburg average 37 points in district play. 

Glago has many weapons at his disposal, but will face his toughest challenge of the year. Spotswood’s defense is allowing 10.4 points a game. On the offensive side of the ball, junior Ryan High has tossed 15 TD’s and 1,261 yards, to go along with three picks. Receiver senior Robby Smith has hauled in 653 yards and eight touchdowns. The Streaks will have their hands full with senior running back Ethan Barnhart who leads the district with 1,768 yards and 20 touchdowns. 

Despite all these playmakers on both offensive sides, defensive coordinator Marc Healy believes the game will be won in the trenches. The offensive and defensive lines of SHS are going to be better than any the Streaks have seen so far, and if they can handle the line, he thinks they’ll be able to contain Barnhart.

“We’ve got some defensive schemes that [Spotswood] hasn’t seen yet,” Healy said. 

This is the fourth year in a row that this Harrisonburg-Spotswood matchup will decide the district champion. Spotswood won their first district title since 2013 last year, and the Streaks are looking to rebound from a last-minute loss against Rockbridge County last week. Gametime temperatures will hover around 20 degrees, so the cold air may affect offensive attack. This game will feature an explosive offense against a suffocating defense, so it will be interesting to see which one prevails. 

 

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