Lions take on familiar district foe

The Louisa Lions football team has had an extra week to enjoy their hard-earned victory over Massaponax on Sept. 13. They’re getting back to the grind this week, kicking off their Jefferson District run with a road game against the Charlottesville Black Knights.

Friday’s game marks the beginning of district play for both teams. The Lions, fresh off their 28-27 win over Massaponax, bring a 3-0 record to the table, while Charlottesville comes into this week with a record of 0-4, having lost to Eastern View last week 48-0.

“We had a pretty rough non-district schedule,” Charlottesville head coach Ed Sherry said. “We’re still dealing with a lot of growing pains, but we’ve been improving every game, even if the score doesn’t always reflect that.”

Much like Massaponax, the Black Knights run a triple option offense and have several potential weapons at their disposal. Key among them are senior running backs Marcus Targonski and Isaiah Washington, and junior tight end Jaleom Adams-Mallory.

Washington in particular is one that Lions’ head coach Will Patrick is keeping an eye on. 

“They’re definitely better when he’s playing,” he said.

Patrick isn’t taking his opponent’s one-sided record for granted and has used the extra week to make sure the Lions are ready to play on Friday.

“It doesn’t matter what their record is,” he said. “It’s a new game, it’s a new season every week. If we don’t prepare the right way, the game’s not going to go our way.”

The Lions bring more than a few weapons of their own to the table, as running backs Jarett Hunter, Kalup Shelton and Robert Morgan IV continue to lead the offense on the ground. One weapon they haven’t had throughout their early games is receiver Noah Robinson, who has been recovering from a knee injury. Patrick is hoping to add the junior’s talents back to his arsenal soon.

“We’re evaluating him and working him out every day to see what he can handle,” Patrick said. “We hope to get him on the field this week, and if not, by Orange [next week].”

Sherry, for his part, is preparing for another tough challenge this week and is focusing on what his team can do to be competitive.

“We have to take care of the ball on offense,” he said. “If we do that, I think we can control the clock and create some opportunities.”

“We definitely have to focus on our assignments [on defense],” he continued. “Not only can [Louisa] run the ball down your throat, but they can throw it over your head.”

Friday’s game kicks off at 7 p.m. at Charlottesville High School’s Theodose Stadium. Anyone unable to attend the game can listen to a live broadcast of the action by Tommy Nelson, Dicky Purcell and Byron Mehlhaff through The Central Virginian’s Facebook page beginning at 6:40 p.m.