Best Autumn Beauty: On an absolutely gorgeous Sunday afternoon, the annual Foxfield races draw another healthy crowd. Fans enjoy plenty of exciting racing while also indulging in some fine chili, thanks to defending Chili Cookoff champion John Mallon.
Most Sudden Wake-up Call: Central Virginia's top rated high school preseason football squad finally comes to life. After entering the season with one of the most explosive offenses in the area, the Albemarle Patriots look like sleepwalkers in their first two games. After an 0-2 start and last weekend's washout, the Pats finally erupt this week, routing longtime rivals Western Albemarle and Charlottesville. AHS hammers WAHS 40-14 on Monday night, September 20, and then returns home Friday, September 24, to blast a 7-3 halftime lead into a 41-19 smash of CHS. With their playoff hopes rejuvenated, AHS moves to open their Commonwealth district schedule this week.
Worst Rivalry: For the 13th time in the past 14 attempts, the Redskins falter against longtime rivals, the Dallas Cowboys, who hang on for a 21-18 victory on Monday Night Football. After their second straight frustrating defeat the Skins fall to the bottom of the NFC East in the young NFL season. In this battle of coaching legends, Redskins coach Joe Gibbs gives a nod to Dallas coach Bill Parcells. "They're extremely well coached," Gibbs tells the AP. "You have to give them a lot of credit."
Sweetest Taste of Orange: After cruising to three easy victories, the UVA football squad rises to its first challenge, spanking the Syracuse Orangemen 31-10. Early in the game, UVA trails for the first time this season, but quarterback Marques Hagans quickly helps the Cavs transform a 3-0 deficit into a 21-3 halftime lead. Despite a persistent second half Orange push, UVA finally puts the nail in the coffin in the fourth quarter with a strong goal line stand and beautiful touchdown pass. After Hagans connects with leading receiver Michael McGrew for the game-clinching touchdown, SU coach Paul Pasquerelli feels cheated. "I just wish we could've gotten the ball back to see what would've happened," Pasquerelli tells the AP.
The Week Ahead:
ORIOLES CONCLUDE SEASON VS. BOSTON RED SOX
Friday, October 1 @ 7:35pm
Saturday, October 2, doubleheader: Game 1 @ 1:25pm, Game 2 @ 7:05pm
Sunday, October 3 @ 1:35pm
It's the conclusion of a long regular season, but once again the Orioles will claim "There's always next year." Catch the Os in their weekend series against their division rivals, the playoff-bound Boston Red Sox. It's your last chance to enjoy beautiful Camden Yards before the six month off-season hiatus. Tickets: $9-55.
UVA MEN'S & WOMEN'S SOCCER
Saturday, October 2: Men vs. N.C. State @ 7pm
Tuesday, October 5: Women vs. Maryland @ 7pm, at College Park
Wednesday, October 6: Men vs. Liberty @ 7pm
It's shaping up to be one of the strongest seasons ever in Cavalier athletics as four programs rank among the top 15 in the country. The Virginia soccer programs claim the largest portion, with the undefeated women cruising into conference play (against the Terrapins on Tuesday) ranked No. 3 nationally. The men, meanwhile– sitting just outside the nation's top 10– welcome ACC foe N.C. State to Klöckner Stadium Saturday night, and meet Liberty there four nights later.
UVA FOOTBALL VS. CLEMSON
Thursday, October 7 @ 7:30pm
The Cavaliers have electrified Scott Stadium every weekend, blasting out of the starting gates to a 4-0 start. Now the Hoos get the chance to perform on primetime television as their ACC rivals, the Clemson Tigers, invade Charlottesville on Thursday Night Football. It's one of the hottest tickets this town has seen in years, so your best chance of snagging one may be in the Hill section behind the end zone. If you suffer from claustrophobia, you might just want to watch this one from the comfort of your own couch.