VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Year in, year out - the Beach district is among the most competitive high school football districts in Hampton Roads. Why would 2017 be any different?
Undefeated Landstown (7-and-0) leads the way, but behind the Eagles are seven teams within two and a half games of second place - a spot currently held down by 6-and-1 Ocean Lakes.
Among the schools in the logjam? 4-and-2 Salem and 4-and-2 Tallwood, the two teams spotlighted in this week's Hercules Fence 757 Showdown.
The Sun Devils nearly knocked-off unbeaten Landstown last week, losing on a two-point conversion late in the fourth quarter.
"We learned you have to finish a game," explained Salem defensive back/wide receiver Taeshaun Rainey. "When the game is on the line, you have to make big plays."
"The Beach district is incredibly competitive," Sun Devils head coach Shawn Wilson noted. "Great players and great coaches. Each week you're in for a dogfight."
Friday night, the Lions and Sun Devils will not merely be fighting for positioning in those Beach district standings - it's also about territory. The two schools are separated by only three and a half miles.
"A lot of these guys go to middle school together, so they've grown up with each other and played on the same rec teams," Tallwood head coach John Kepple explained.
"We don't call it a rivalry, but it definitely should be - because it's always a great game between these two teams," added Lions quarterback Sebien Stone.
You can see the extended highlights from this game Friday night on the award-winning Locker Room Show on News 3 at 11.