The Duke’s Preview: Skyline vs Fauquier featuring Coach Heath Gilbert

Last week, the Fauquier Falcons (1-3) travelled to Front Royal and Warren County stole their first win of the season on an insane finish.

This week our High School Football Game of the Week on The River 95.3, Fox Sports Radio 1450, and the Tune In Radio App, will see the Falcons return to town to face the Skyline Hawks (0-4) as they continue to search for their first win.

Fauquier regularly plays Warren County, but this is the first time they have played Skyline since 2014.

Skyline has struggled out of the gates for a variety of reasons, some of which are self imposed.

The Hawks have suffered from penalties week after week including over 100 penalty yards against Millbrook and James Wood, while late penalties cost them a chance at the win Week 1 against Strasburg.

The ground game has also struggled as Aidan Vaught has been unable to find space behind the Hawks offensive line.

One of the leading rushers in the area the last few years has been to under 100 yards per game this season, a milestone that seemed a given every week last year.

Fauquier has struggled this season as well but when they saw success in their win vs Culpepper County, it came with an effective rushing attack.

Their F-1 backfield led by Aaron Lewis and Mason Hamilton, ran for 348 yards and six touchdowns.

Many of those carries came behind the blocking of their 6’5″ 275 left tackle Dillon Epperson, a future D-I athlete committed to the University of New Hampshire.

Skyline is going to come out hungry for that first win in front of their home crowd.

The Hawks have prepared to contain Fauquier’s run-heavy gameplan, featuring almost 50% buck sweeps.

I predict Skyline taking home their first win of the season behind 150 yards and 2 touchdowns from Aidan Vaught, 35-20.

Press play below for my interview with Skyline’s Head Coach Heath Gilbert.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

The Duke’s Preview: Skyline vs James Wood featuring Coach Gilbert interview

Tonight’s Friday Night High School Football Game of the Week features the Skyline Hawks (0-1) coming off a bye week and the James Wood Colonels (1-1) who fell to Brentsville 41-7 last week.

Even though they have only played one game, Skyline had a lot to look back on from their first game against Strasburg.

Skyline had a few chances to win but self-inflicted mistakes like unsportsmanlike conduct penalties and turnovers led to them coming up short.

Aidan Vaught already looked to be in midseason form back at his more natural running back position piling up 133 yards and two touchdowns.

Vaught had a great game against James Wood last year when he had 133 yards and a passing and rushing touchdown.

He willed Skyline to victory on their final scoring drive rushing for 61 yards.

James Wood already is off to a better start to this season than last.

James Wood had to wait until October for their first win in 2022, but this year they took down Warren County in Week 1.

The Colonels shut out Warren County in the second half and played a strong second half against an explosive Brentsville offense, limiting them to one score and forcing two turnovers.

One of the players tasked with tracking down Vaught when James Wood’s defense is on the field is Zach Smith.

The All Region selection from 2022 has already shown his impact leading James Wood with 16 tackles and and interception against Warren County.

My prediction for the game is that Skyline will be able to use the extra week of preparation coming off the bye and the frustrations of letting one slip away against Strasburg to come up with the win tonight in another close game, final score Skyline 21-James Wood 13.

Tune into the action at Fox Sports Radio 1450 WFTR, The River 95.3, and streaming on and the Tune In Radio App.

To hear my interview with the Skyline Hawks Head Coach Heath Gilbert, press play below.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

The Duke’s Preview: Skyline vs Strasburg featuring Coach Roller interview

Week 1 is finally here and our first Friday Night Lights Game of the Week features two teams with promising returning players, experienced coaches, and question marks at the game’s most significant position, quarterback.

Skyline is led by Head Coach Heath Gilbert on the sidelines and senior running back Aidan Vaught between the lines.

Coach Gilbert is switching the defense up this year to a 3-3 stack to better fit the team’s athletes.

That could hurt them against teams that like to pound the run like Strasburg does out of their classic T-formation.

All eyes will be on Vaught when Skyline’s offense is on the field.

He switched back to his more natural position of running back this season, but while playing quarterback last year, he amassed over 2,000 total yards and 17 touchdowns on his way to earning 1st Team All Region 3B All-Purpose.

Strasburg is lead by All State offensive lineman and linebacker Colby Shaw.

Shaw was one of the areas leading tacklers with 145 last season.

Head Coach Mark Roller’s Rams are coming off a strong season including a Bull Run District Championship.

The former Strasburg QB and long time head coach has to replace his son, All Region performer Ryan Roller, at QB this season.

He will look towards sophomore Brayden Hough who beat out another sophomore, Harper Sherman.

Hough was thrown into the fire during the Regional Championship loss to Central when Roller went out with an injury, but with more time to prepare, should have more control over the offense.

Skyline’s quarterback battle saw the more athletic Nick Mrad beat out the more experienced Nate Ballard.

Neither quarterback should be asked to do too much unless one of the team’s falls behind substantially as they will both look to pound the ground game.

I predict a very competitive contest between two teams who will try to keep their game plan simplified for their new QBs.

I look for Strasburg to emerge victorious tonight due to their strong run game and the way their offensive formation could exploit the weaknesses of Skyline’s 3-3 stack, 23-14.

Tune in to the action on The River 95.3, Fox Sports Radio 1450 WFTR, and the Tune In Radio App.

For my interview with Coach Mark Roller, play below.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

Logan Maiatico Foundation donates to cancer outreach

The Logan Maiatico Foundation announced the donation of $1,000 to Helping Hands Cancer Outreach last night at the Skyline vs Central high school football game.

Supporters of the foundation were easily found sporting pink shirts throughout the stadium as they saw their Hawks fall to the Falcons 52-7.

The Foundation is closing in on its first year in operation and has already raised nearly $20,000 which was used in the community for scholarships, jerseys for youth leagues, and supporting other local organizations like the Phoenix Project.

The next big event they are preparing for is Logan’s 21st Birthday Cash Bash.

Tickets are still available through the Foundation and going fast!

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.