Howard football to watch this weekend

September 18, 1998|By Rick Belz

Howard (1-1) at Atholton (1-1)

When: 1: 30 p.m. tomorrow

Outlook: Both teams are coming off disappointing losses. Howard's defense failed to stop Centennial's rushing attack last week. Atholton failed to take advantage of some turnovers and made some costly ones itself in a stunning 39-6 loss to Mount Hebron, a team it had lost to only twice in 12 years. Lions RB Gerald Smith was held to 83 yards rushing last week. Atholton also must contain him, if it hopes to stay close. Howard defeated Atholton last season, 26-20.

River Hill (2-0)

at Glenelg (1-1)

When: 1 p.m. tomorrow

Outlook: River Hill sent shock waves through the county last week by upsetting Long Reach, 10-9. Glenelg rebounded from a season-opening loss to shut out Hammond behind a 131-yard rushing day from Maurice Mohammed. Both teams play wing-T offenses. But the real battle appears to be River Hill's defense against Glenelg's offense. The Gladiators have scored 52 points. The Hawks have allowed just 16 points. Last season Glenelg defeated River Hill, 34-6.

Oakland Mills (1-1)

at Centennial (2-0)

When: 1: 30 p.m. tomorrow

Outlook: Centennial's offensive line handled James M. Bennett's highly athletic defense in its opener and was strong again last week in beating Howard. It has allowed the Eagles to be a ball-control team with feature runner Matt Deuchler (60 carries, 346 yards, six touchdowns). Deuchler is also the team's leading tackler. Centennial has beaten Oakland Mills just once (1996) since 1986 but has played competitively with the Scorpions since 1993. Oakland Mills gave Wilde Lake a tough game last week before losing and appears to be a strong contender for a Class 1A state title. RB Vinnie Rubbo, the school's single-season rushing record holder, must be healthy, however. He sprained an ankle in the opening game. And QB T.J. Welsh must continue to pass as well as he has in the first two games. Thomas Browne has caught five passes two straight weeks. Oakland Mills defeated Centennial last season, 21-8.

Mount Hebron (1-1)

at Hammond (0-2)

When: 1: 30 p.m. tomorrow

Outlook: Mount Hebron RB Jerry Hicks scored five touchdowns and ran for 163 yards against Atholton before Vikings coach Larry Luthe took mercy on the Raiders and pulled Hicks in the third quarter of a 39-6 victory. Hammond wants a win badly and hasn't lost to Mount Hebron since 1986. The Bears have scored just seven points in two games, however, and need an offensive lift. Hammond defeated Mount Hebron last season, 20-7.

Long Reach (1-1)

at No. 7 Wilde Lake (1-1)

When: 1: 30 p.m. tomorrow

Outlook: This is a battle of defending regional champions, and most people thought these teams would be undefeated coming into this showdown. But Class 3A Wilde Lake fell to Bel Air in its opener, and Class 2A Long Reach was stunned by River Hill last week, 10-9, so the game has lost a little luster. The Wildecats slipped past tough Oakland Mills last week, 27-13. They aren't showing the kind of defense they hoped to have. But Long Reach's offense is struggling, and its defense will be hard-pressed to stop Wilde Lake's offense, which is averaging 21 points. Wilde Lake defeated Long Reach last season, 35-13.

Pub Date: 9/18/98

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