Friday Night Lights: Previewing Beach football matchups

Landstown (3-4) at First Colonial (4-4), 7 p.m.southsidedailysportsTHUMB

Winners of four of their last six games after an 0-2 start, the Patriots are currently the seventh seed in the 6A South Conference 1 and 2 standings. A First Colonial win Friday and a loss by Western Branch or Granby would all but clinch a Patriots playoff berth. Landstown is 12th in the 6A South 1 and 2 standings, trailing Tallwood, Kellam, Granby and Western Branch for the eighth and final playoff spot. Both clubs pulled off Beach upsets in their last games, as the Patriots beat Cox 31-27 on Oct. 16, and the Eagles defeated Salem 21-17 last week.

Tallwood (3-6) at Kempsville (0-8), 7 p.m.

The Lions are coming off a 16-14 win last against Green Run, while the Chiefs fell 24-8 to Kellam, their eighth straight loss. Currently 11th in the 6A South Conference 1 and 2 standings, Tallwood’s playoff chances are shrinking by the week. The Lions need to win the last two games of the regular season and hope for consecutive conference losses from Kellam, Granby and Western Branch.

Cox (6-2) at Ocean Lakes (8-0), 7 p.m.

The Falcons are fresh off an impressive 45-14 win last week over conference foe Maury. Ocean Lakes brushed off another competitive 6A Beach opponent last week, beating Bayside 56-6. The Dolphins, who have given up a total of 24 points in their last seven games, have yet to be challenged by a Beach rival since their opening season 31-14 win against Salem. Cox has talent on both sides of the ball but will need to play a near perfect game to compete.

Kellam (3-5) at Princess Anne (3-5), 7 p.m.

After two consecutive losses, the Cavaliers have fallen from the fifth seed in the 5A South Eastern Conference to the 10th spot, which would keep them out of the playoffs. Seven of the top eight teams in the conference own .500 or better records, meaning Princess Anne enters must-win situations these final two weeks.  Kellam holds the 10th spot in the 6A South Conference 1 and 2 standings. The Knights beat Kempsville last week and need to win their final two games for a shot at the playoffs.

Bayside (6-2) at Salem (6-2), 7 p.m.

This battle looks to be the premiere Beach matchup of the week. Both clubs enter Friday with something to prove. Bayside was run over by Ocean Lakes last week, while Salem was upset by Landstown. The SunDevils own the third seed in the 5A South Region’s Eastern Conference, and the Marlins are jockeying with Cox for the fourth spot in the 6A South standings. Bayside’s offense (27.8 points per game) is up for a challenge against a stingy Salem defense that is allowing only 14.75 points per game.

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