Pulaski County at E.C. Glass

WHAT: Region 4D semifinals

KICKOFF: 7 p.m.

RECORDS: Pulaski 9-2. E.C. Glass 10-1.

LAST WEEK: Pulaski escaped against Blacksburg 17-14. Glass cut down Jefferson Forest 55-21.

FACTS: Jeff Woody stressed his Hilltoppers need to establish good field position off kickoffs and punts this week. That hasn’t been a problem because of speedy players like Quoterris Craighead, Ty Foster, Xavius Hager, Q Foster, DreSean Kendrick and Kyjuan Brown. Craighead, for instance, has netted 55 yards off just two kickoff returns. Hager had 46 yards off three kickoff returns. Kendrick has 54 yards off three punt returns. Those numbers show how adept Glass is at establishing field position. For a team that likes to score quickly, having a short field certainly helps. The big question tonight is whether Pulaski’s lock-down defense can keep pace with Glass’ offense. There are no teams with the speed of Glass in the River Ridge District, in which the Cougars play. Glass has corralled 12 interceptions on the year. Pulaski QB AJ McCloud has been intercepted 15 times, so expect the ECG secondary to be salivating for game-changing picks that Glass can turn into quick points.

Glenvar at Appomattox

WHAT: Region 2C semifinals

KICKOFF: 7 p.m.

RECORDS: Glenvar 7-4. Appomattox 9-2.

LAST WEEK: Glenvar blasted Floyd County 42-7. Appomattox waxed Chatham 64-22.

FACTS: Glenvar enters this one looking for revenge, while Appomattox hopes to make a fifth straight trip to the region championship. A season ago, the Highlanders, in their home stadium, nearly pulled off the win over the then-three-time-defending state champ, but Appomattox held them off, 24-21. This time, it’s the top-seeded Raiders with home-field advantage and momentum, built by reeling off eight straight victories. In that run, ACHS has averaged 52.1 points per game, outscoring opponents 417-104. Tre Lawing, a sophomore quarterback, leads the charge offensively, showcasing both his speed and passing ability in recent weeks. He has accounted for 27 touchdowns (12 rushing, 15 passing), rushed for 810 yards on just 79 carries (10.3 yards per tote) and thrown for around 1,000 more yards. Cristian Ferguson, the 5-foot-10, 210-pound running back, has tallied 1,116 yards on the ground and 14 scores. The fourth-seeded Highlanders have a balanced offensive attack, too, led by sophomore QB Aiden Wolk. Wolk, who has 1,713 yards passing, has both Nick Sebolt (766 receiving yards) and Jebediah Secrist (278 receiving yards) as reliable targets. Look out for Bradey Loder, who has 1,178 yards on the ground, as well.

Gretna at Radford

WHAT: Region 2C semifinals

KICKOFF: 7 p.m.

RECORDS: Gretna 8-3. Radford 9-2.

LAST WEEK: Gretna rushed over Dan River 42-0. Radford shut down Patrick County 35-0.

FACTS: Tonight’s contest is the rubber match in the all-time series between Gretna and Radford. Each team has three wins entering the region semifinal matchup, but of late, it’s been Radford with the upper hand. With three straight wins over Gretna, Radford is looking to once again send the Hawks packing in the region semifinals. For the second-seeded Bobcats, which also own a 21-20 overtime win over the Hawks this season, keep an eye on Zane Rupe, the dual threat quarterback who’s put up a combined 1,600-plus rushing and passing yards. Darius Wesley-Brubeck also is a major weapon for Radford at the running back position and has 669 yards and 10 touchdowns on 101 carries (6.6 yards per tote). On the other side, the three-headed rushing attack — comprised of Jorden Berger (1,258 yards), Daelyn Miller (1,401 yards) and Cam Mabins (729 yards) — will be expected to get the job done offensively for the Hawks. The three are especially efficient and average 10-plus yards per carry. Both teams enter averaging 34 or more points per game, but don’t expect this one to be a slugfest. Tonight should mark another close one — “a war,” Gretna coach Cole Simpson said.

Altavista at Sussex Central

WHAT: Region 1B semifinals

KICKOFF: 7 p.m.

RECORDS: Altavista 4-7. Sussex Central 9-2.

LAST WEEK: Altavista knocked off William Campbell 35-28. Sussex Central downed Surry 32-14.

FACTS: While the host Tigers are coming off two straight wins, it’s the Colonels who have the momentum. Altavista, the No. 6 seed making its 11th straight appearance in the region semifinals, entered last week’s quarterfinal game against William Campbell as the underdog. The Colonels struck first, then found the end zone with just 20.7 seconds left on the clock to steal the win. For Altavista, which had come up short in close games late in the regular season, and which also had been on the wrong end of some lopsided contests, the victory was its biggest of the year. To win against second-seeded Sussex Central, it will need both Jayllen and JaQuallen Jones, coming off a game in which they each had 100-plus yards rushing, to put together another big performance. The Tigers have strung together two straight, albeit expected, wins over Surry County, and after a disastrous 2-8 campaign last year, they’re back to top form this season. Sussex is looking for its third win in the series (which sits at 2-1) and a second straight victory over Altavista. In 2016, the last time the teams met, Sussex earned a 28-14 win in the region championship.

– Compiled by Ben Cates and Emily Brown

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– Compiled by Ben Cates and Emily Brown

Emily Brown covers the Hillcats, ODAC and high school sports for The News & Advance. Reach her at (434) 385-5529.

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