By STEVEN MARSH
VIRGINIA BEACH — Franklin County has earned its third straight postseason berth in Class 6 and opens the Region A playoffs Friday night against Landstown in Virginia Beach.
The Eagles (6-4), a winner of two straight games, is the No. 5 seed in the eight-team regional, while Landstown (7-3) is the No. 4 seed.
Landstown was 1-2 after three games, then it won five straight before finishing regular-season play with a loss to Princess Anne (28-19) and a win over Green Run (21-7).
The Friday night wins by Landstown, nicknamed Eagles, and No. 3 seed Thomas Dale (7-3), which edged Dinwiddie, 46-44, prevented FCHS from earning a quarterfinal-round home game.
The top four seeds in the eight-team regional play quarterfinal-round home games.
In other match-ups Friday, No. 1 seed Oscar Smith (9-1) entertains No. 8 seed Western Branch (4-6), No. 2 seed Ocean Lakes (7-3) plays No. 7 seed Cosby (5-5) at home and Thomas Dale hosts No. 6 Grassfield (5-5).
FCHS enters the playoffs with a 1-2 postseason record under head coach J.R. Edwards and a 4-8 overall postseason mark dating to its inaugural appearance in 2002 under former head coach Billy Miles.
The Eagles lost to Thomas Dale (50-0) in 2017, defeated Clover Hill (14-0) in 2018 at home and fell to Colonial Forge (42-7) in 2018 in the semifinals on the road.
Prior to that, FCHS fell to Osbourn Park (21-15) in the quarterfinals in 2002 (35-20) and 2003, Osbourn (58-41) in the 2005 quarterfinals, Battlefield in the 2009 (33-7) and 2011 (38-20) semifinals and Colonial Forge (43-19) in the 2010 semifinals.
The Eagles edged Colonial Forge (37-35) in 2009 for their first playoff win in the quarterfinals and defeated Colonial Forge (21-14) again in the 2011 quarterfinals at home. The Eagles bested Woodbridge (17-14) at home in the 2010 quarterfinals at home.
FCHS is playing a team from the eastern part of the state for the first time since a 1989 setback to Booker T. Washington at C.I. (Cy) Dillon Stadium-Fred M. Brown Memorial Field.
The only past athletic history between FCHS and Landstown is a match-up in the semifinals of the 2017 Region B boys basketball tournament at Samuel M. Hawkins-Central Gymnasium, 66-59.
Five of the six teams in the Blue Ridge District have qualified for the playoffs.
In Class 5 Region D, William Fleming, seeded No. 5, visits No. 4 seed Harrisonburg and in Class 3 Region D No. 1 seed Lord Botetourt entertains No. 8 seed William Byrd and No. 2 seed Northside faces No. 7 seed Abingdon at home.
Eight of the 10 teams the Eagles faced during the regular season qualified for the playoffs.
Also making the field were Magna Vista and Hidden Valley, seeded Nos. 3 and 4 in Class 3 Region D, and Salem and E.C. Glass, seeded Nos. 1 and 2 in Class 4 Region D.
FCHS’s four losses are to teams that are a combined 35-5: Lord Botetourt (10-0), Salem (9-1), E.C. Glass (9-1) and Northside (7-3).