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M-7, Cumberland title chases, playoff picture coming into focus

KEVIN MAYS • Nov 1, 2019 at 12:50 AM

Several key football games dot the map across Southwest Virginia for Friday.

UNION AT ABINGDON

The winner of this game is well on its way to sharing the Mountain 7 District championship with Ridgeview.

Either Union (6-2, 3-1) or Abingdon (4-4, 3-1) will have to win its game on Nov. 8 to clinch a district co-championship, but both are heavy favorites next weekend.

Union comes into Friday’s game after a bye week last weekend and an upset loss to Wise Central the week before.

Mason Polier leads the offense and defense for the Bears, who also bring running back Bryce Guerrant, wideout Antwun Jenkins and quarterback Brody Gibson as offensive threats.

Abingdon struggled to find an offensive weapon last week in a 41-0 loss to Ridgeview.

The Falcons played without top running back Martin Lucas, who is likely lost for the season due to a foot injury.

Sophomore Malique Hounshell steps into the running back position in the absence of Lucas, with senior quarterback Jadon Boothe serving as both a passing and running threat.

Abingdon’s River Carter, another senior, leads the receiving corps.

WISE CENTRAL AT GATE CITY

It’s senior night at Gate City, and the Blue Devils’ Michael Calhoun is likely to get the majority of the calls in a ball-control game.

Gate City (4-5, 2-3) wraps up its regular season Friday at Legion Field, but the Blue Devils’ season continues in two weeks with the squad’s first playoff game in three years.

After back-to-back 1-9 seasons, Gate City — under new head coach Jeremy Houseright — is the likely seventh seed in the Region 2D playoff field.

Wise Central (6-2, 3-2) is also in the regional playoff field.

Wins over Gate City and Grundy could give the Warriors their first home playoff game in the school’s history.

C.J. Crabtree leads the Central offensive attack.

Last week Crabtree racked up 215 yards on just six carries.

RAIDERS DRIVING THE CUMBERLAND BUS

In Class 1 play, J.I. Burton controls its own destiny as far as the Cumberland District championship is concerned.

The defending district champion Raiders (6-2, 3-0) will take the Cumberland title with wins over Rye Cove (4-4, 0-3) Friday and a victory over Thomas Walker on Nov. 8.

A slip by Burton on either occasion puts the Cumberland up for grabs for a share of the district title by either Eastside (4-4, 3-1) or Thomas Walker (6-2, 2-1).

Despite a rocky start by Eastside early in the season, the Spartans can grab a share of the Cumberland crown with a Burton loss and a win over Castlewood (5-3, 2-2) on Nov. 8.

For Thomas Walker, the road to a Cumberland co-championship is a little clearer.

The Pioneers need to beat Twin Springs Friday and knock off Burton on Nov. 8.

OTHER GAMES

Other games on the slate for Friday include Twin Valley at Castlewood, Ridgeview at Pikeville, John Battle at Lee High, Holston at Eastside and Twin Springs at Thomas Walker.

The Hogoheegee District title is on the line Friday when Chilhowie travels to Patrick Henry.

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