The Oakton High football team will play the Westfield Bulldogs in the Northern Region Championship at 1:30 p.m. today.
The Bulldogs will host the Cougars, who are making their first appearance in the region final since 2008. Then, the Cougars defeated the Chantilly Chargers with a decisive 52-14 to earn the title and move on to the state championship tournament.
This year, the Cougars are the underdogs as they face an undefeated Bulldogs squad. The Cougars ended the regular season on a four-game losing streak, snapping it in the first round of the Northern Region Tournament. They exceeded expectations in the second round, defeating the Centreville Wildcats 14-13 in the final three seconds of the contest after losing to the Wildcats 49-28 to end the regular season.
The Cougars understand they are the underdogs, but refuse to let the label get in their way.
"I think anytime you get into the playoffs, every coach says it, it's a new season," said Coach Jason Rowley after the Nov. 9 victory over Lake Braddock. "Anything can happen. We know we're a good football team, we just didn't execute the way we needed to earlier in the year."