The Week in Review:
Best killer instinct: The fall football season is only two weeks old, but UVA is already developing the swagger of a national powerhouse. The 15th ranked Wahoos manhandle longtime rival North Carolina's Tar Heels 56-24 in front of a rowdy Scott Stadium home crowd Saturday, September 11. UVA's ground game proves unstoppable all afternoon, as the Cavs relentlessly pound the Heels. "It didn't matter whether they got the ball on their 1, on their 5, or on the 40," UNC head coach John Bunting tells the Tar Heels' athletic site. "They scored every single time they got the ball."
Biggest playoff drama: The Richmond Braves knock off the Columbus Clippers 4-1 in the decisive Game 5 at the Diamond Monday night. The R-Braves now advance to meet the Buffalo Bison to play for the Governor's Cup.
Most surprising return: After making their phenomenal run in the state AA championship game last fall, the Monticello Mustangs were considered a rebuilding team in 2004. MHS makes a strong statement in the first game back as they travel across town to down the Albemarle Patriots 21-6 September 10. Monticello never loses control of the game, retaining possession of the football nearly twice as long as AHS. "They were taking it to us, just hammering us," AHS coach Rick Vrhovak tells the Daily Progress. "We looked like deer in headlights."
Smoothest sailing soccer team: UVA women's soccer wins another tournament title, capturing the Nike Soccer Classic at Klöckner Stadium over the weekend. The fifth-ranked Lady Cavs actually have to work for the victory this time, giving up their first goal of the season while defeating eighth ranked UCLA 3-1 Friday night, September 10. But after falling behind 1-0 to South Carolina Sunday afternoon, the Hoos respond to scorch the Gamecocks in a 5-2 triumph to post a perfect 6-0 for the season so far.
Most renewed Redskins: Head Coach Joe Gibbs' first victory in over a decade is fittingly the 500th for the franchise as the Skins knock off Tampa Bay 16-10 in their season opener Sunday. Halfback Clinton Portis makes the difference as he breaks free for a 64-yard touchdown run on his first regular season play. Linebacker Lavar Aarrington and the Redskins defense meanwhile hold down the Bucs and preserve the victory. "We're absolutely thrilled," Gibbs tells Redskins.com. "I don't know when we've fought any harder. I think both teams laid it out there as best they could. It was a hard-fought football game."
THE WEEK AHEAD:
Thursday, Sept. 16 @ 7pm
Richmond Braves v. Buffalo Bison
After two days in Buffalo, the R-Braves return to their hometown for Game Three of the International League finals. Games Four and Five (if necessary in this best-of-five series) will follow on the September 17 and 18 in Richmond.
Friday, Sept. 17 @ 7:30pm
Orange vs. Chancellor
Can the No.1 Hornets do it again? OCHS blasted the Madison Mountaineers 35-6 Friday, September 10, opening their football season with a solid 2-0 record.
Saturday, Sept. 18 @ 3pm
UVA Football vs. Akron
It's Homecoming, and coach Al Groh's Cavs are heavy favorites to cruise to another victory. With everyone relaxed, it's the perfect recipe for disaster. UVA must not overlook the Zips if they want to continue nudging the nation's top programs. If you don't have season tickets, this might be your best chance to find a way into Scott Stadium with a relaxed crowd. Game is sold out, like all Wahoo football games, but this will likely be the most commonly sold ticket. And those 3,200+ loose seats should be repaired by then.
Sunday, Sept. 19 @ 3pm
UVA Women's Soccer vs. William & Mary
The ladies look incredibly sharp, so far definitely proving themselves worthy of the nation's top-five ranking. Help the Cavs keep their perfect season alive as they host the William & Mary Tribe at Klöckner Sunday afternoon. $6 Adults, $4 Youth.
Faulty seat anchors at the Carolina game haven't dimmed Groh's team's record.
FILE PHOTO BY LINCOLN ROSS BARBOUR