This weekend's county high school football schedule offers some intriguing match-ups.
Broadneck (2-1) at Annapolis (2-1), 7:30 p.m. Friday: This is the visiting Bruins' opportunity to show the county they are going to be a Class 4A Region IV contender. Both teams dropped their season-openers, but came back to win two in a row.
Last year neither team generated much offense when they tangled, with Annapolis taking a hard-fought 12-0 decision. But with Juan Johnson (458 yards passing) guiding Annapolis and Alan Hartman (507 yards passing) leading the Bruins, it should be different this time.
North County (2-1) at Queen Anne's (2-1), 7:30 p.m. Friday: Coach Chuck Markiewicz takes his Knights on the road to the Eastern Shore after last week's heart-breaking 20-19 loss to Annapolis and faces a Lions squad that dropped its first-ever home night game by 18-10 to Meade.
This is a must-win for the Knights in their quest for a playoff berth and county championship.
Chesapeake (1-2) at Severna Park (1-2), 7:30 p.m. Friday: The host Falcons have battled a rash of injuries since day one but put one in the "W" column last week by 33-7 over winless Old Mill.
Chesapeake coach Tom Kraning says the scout who watched the Falcons play Old Mill told him, "Severna Park is a lot better than they're pretending to be."
Coach Andy Borland's Falcons, who defeated the Cougars 27-12 last fall, have to contain Brandon Steinheim, who already has rung up seven touchdowns rushing.
Old Mill (0-3) at Meade (1-2), 7 p.m. Friday: Some find it hard to fathom that the Pats have yet to win a game. Meade picked up its first win last week by 18-10 over Queen Anne's as junior QB Mike Ellis completed 8 of 10 passes for a touchdown and 105 yards.
Stangs' coach Hayse Henderson says Ellis "is going to be the player to watch for the future at Meade Senior High School." Old Mill will be watching him and premier running back Kenny Walker (6.9 yards per attempt).
Glen Burnie (1-2) at Arundel (0-3), 7:30 p.m. Friday: Wildcats' coach Bill Zucco spent more than 20 years as an assistant coach in Gambrills and is hoping he doesn't have to wait as long for his first varsity win.
Unfortunately for Zuke and the Cats, they are getting the Gophers after they posted their first win by 19-14 over Chesapeake. The Gophers' sophomore QB Jay Sponaugle (470 yards passing) possesses a strong arm and is a bulldog and a player to watch.
Southern (2-1) at Riverdale Baptist (3-0), 7:30 p.m. Friday: The question here is can Coach Buck Gardner and staff keep them Dawgs from crashing to earth after their scintillating double-overtime 28-27 victory over Wilde Lake to end the state's longest winning streak at 28?
The next game after such an emotional rush is never easy, and Southern has Riverdale back Olandis Gary (201 yards rushing last week in a 28-0 drubbing of Owings Mills) to worry about, not to mention the revenge factor after last year's 35-12 Southern romp.
St. Paul's (3-0) vs. St. Mary's (2-1) at Weems Whelan Field, 3:45 p.m. Friday: After upsetting Calvert Hall of the Maryland Scholastic Association A Conference, 14-13, the Saints of Coach Brad Best find themselves in the same position as Southern in this crucial MSA C Conference encounter.
The Saints edged league co-champion St. Paul's, 19-14, last fall and will need another great game from the Mark Zeller and Joe Keenan-led defense that they got against the Hall.
Northeast (2-1) at Dulaney (0-3), 3:30 p.m. Friday: The Class 2A Eagles of Coach Bart Rader won't be overwhelmed despite the host Lions' 4A status, not hardly.
The Eagles with Chris Kelly (416 yards rushing) and Todd O'Brien (322 yards), who have tallied six TDs between them, run the ball right down your throat.
Severn (3-0) vs. Archbishop Spalding (1-1) at Brooklyn Park Bronco Field, 7 p.m. Friday: The week off for the host Cavaliers will make no difference as they will be hard-pressed to stop Severn's prolific arsenal.
The Admirals are loaded offensively with QB Brad Fowler (667 yards passing), tailback Jamand Mack (8.3 yards per carry) and pass receiver Chris Pitkin (24.7 yards per reception) to mention just three big guns.
South River (2-1) at Bladensburg (1-2), 1:30 p.m. Saturday: After losing a 21-15 thriller at Linganore in Frederick County, the Seahawks find themselves on the road again, but this Prince George's foe shouldn't be as tough.
South River's defense has yielded only 28 points in three games, while Bladensburg, a 9-0 loser to neighbor Surrattsville last week, has scored only 13 in its first three games.