Football games to watch

September 25, 1998|By Rick Belz

Glenelg (1-2) at Howard (2-1)

When: 7: 30 tonight

Outlook: Glenelg's wing-T offense, which had averaged 26 points, was clipped last week by River Hill's tough defense, 22-7. It hopes to bounce back under QB Zach McQuigg, but Howard's defense is giving up just 10 points a game and recorded a 36-0 shutout against Atholton last week. RB Gerald Smith rushed 17 times for 127 yards and two TDs against Atholton. Lions QB Jon LaRoche ran for a TD and passed for a TD. These teams, from two of the oldest county high schools, are developing a competitive rivalry. Last season, Howard defeated Glenelg, 33-31.

Centennial (2-1) at Long Reach (1-2)

When: 2 p.m. tomorrow

Outlook: Even though QB Don Swan completed seven of 15 passes for 143 yards, the Eagles lacked the breakaway speed among their wide receivers that could have helped open up the running game. The result was a 12-7 loss to Oakland Mills' tough defense. Long Reach also has an imposing defense but was unable to stop Wilde Lake's speed last week, losing 28-7. Lightning RB Devin Conwell had 94 yards on just 12 carries. Long Reach is averaging just 10 points, and is yielding about 13. The game is pivotal for both teams, with only the winner having playoff possibilities. Long Reach won last season, 28-0.

River Hill (3-0) at Oakland Mills (2-1)

When: 2 p.m. tomorrow

Outlook: River Hill's defensive line impresses opposing coaches; does RB Jason Fawcett, who ran 134 yards last week in a 21-6 triumph over Glenelg. The third-year Hawks, an amazing turnaround story after winning one game each of the last two seasons, made four sacks and four tackles behind the line of scrimmage. Scorpions coach Ken Hovet foresaw the Hawks as a formidable foe even during the pre-season and hasn't changed his opinion. Pass defense is the biggest concern, because the tough Scorpions defense excels mainly against the run. Oakland Mills has developed a dangerous passing attack behind QB T.J. Welsh and receiver Tom Browne (15 catches). A healthy RB Vinnie Rubbo would help. This game -- Oakland Mills' homecoming -- has playoff implications for the Hawks in Class 2A and the Scorps in Class 1A. Oakland Mills won last season, 35-12.

Wilde Lake (2-1) at Mount Hebron (2-1)

When: 2 p.m. tomorrow

Outlook: Even though these teams are tied with River Hill for the league lead with 2-0 records, this is still a David vs. Goliath match-up. Wilde Lake is the defending Class 3A state champion and appears to have its high-powered running game in gear. Mount Hebron has defeated two teams that have one win -- combined. The Wildecats are finished with the toughest part of their schedule until the playoffs. The Vikings are just beginning their toughest part. Mount Hebron has not beaten Wilde Lake since 1982, the last time the Vikings went to the state playoffs. Vikings coach Larry Luthe was a senior on that team. Wilde Lake defeated Mount Hebron last season, 39-0.

Atholton (1-2) at Hammond (0-3)

When: 2 p.m. tomorrow

Outlook: Both teams smell a potential victory during twin downturn seasons in which wins may be rare. Atholton is coming off a 36-0 loss to Howard. And Hammond lost last week to Mount Hebron, 26-13, its first loss to the Vikings since 1986. Hammond has scored just 20 points in three games. Atholton has scored just six points in its last two games. Atholton defeated Hammond last season, 18-12.

Pub Date: 9/25/98

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