6A South Region first-round
Frank W. Cox (7-3) hosts Bayside (7-3) at 7 p.m. Friday.
After an impressive 5-0 start to the season, the Falcons enter the first-round playoff matchup 2-3 in their past five games. Cox was dealt a big blow when former head coach Bill Stachelski was suspended for the rest of the season one day before its loss to Ocean Lakes on Oct. 30th. Assistant coach Brad Nelson took over and guided the Falcons to a 35-6 win over Kempsville last Friday to hold onto the third seed.
Bayside has endured a roller-coaster season as well. After starting 4-0, the Marlins have gone .500 since. All three of Bayside’s regular season losses have come against respectable playoff teams (Ocean Lakes, Cox, Salem). The Marlins closed the regular season with a dominating 37-0 win over Princess Anne.
What you need to know:
Friday’s game marks the second consecutive year Cox will host Bayside in the opening round of the 6A South playoffs. The Falcons won last year’s playoff matchup 29-20 and their 2014 regular season game 44-25.
In their regular season game this year, on Oct. 02, it was more of the same story. The Falcons shutout the Marlins 20-0 on their own field. Cox took control of the game on both sides of the ball, led by running back Matt DeMasi’s 150 yards and two touchdowns and defensive end Jordan Williams’ relentless pressure up front (two sacks, three batted balls, four quarterback hurries and two tackles for loss of yards).
The Marlins must make adjustments if they plan on flipping the script.
Both clubs have posted similar offensive and defensive efficiency numbers in 10 games this year. Cox has averaged 30 points per game and given up 17.9, compared to Bayside’s 27 and 19.
Players to watch:
- Cole Johnson (QB): The senior dual-threat signal caller has the talent to take over a game with his arm and legs.
- Matt DeMasi (RB): The senior has proven to be one of the toughest pound-for-pound rushers in the area, and he looks to continue his dominance against Bayside.
- Jordan Williams (DE): A play-wrecker all season, the junior looks for a repeat performance against the same Marlins front line.
- Donte Lampley (QB): The versatile senior quarterback looks to avenge a mediocre performance (116 yards on 9 of 21 passing with two interceptions) against the Falcons earlier this season
- Phillip Patterson (WR): Arguably the most explosive offensive weapon on the field for either team, the senior wide receiver looks to register a special performance after being held in check in the last matchup.