Football games to watch

October 09, 1998|By Rick Belz

Long Reach (3-2) at Oakland Mills (4-1)

When: 1: 30 p.m. tomorrow

Outlook: Long Reach's defense has two straight shutouts and has not allowed 100 yards in either game. But four defensive starters will be missing -- three who are injured and out for the season. The offense sputtered through its first three games. But since Stewart Long became quarterback, the Lightning has scored 75 points in two games. Long completed 11 of 22 passes for 130 yards and three TDs last week against Mount Hebron. Devin Conwell has back-to-back, 150-yard-plus rushing games. Despite its youth, the Lightning feels a strong need to make the Class 2A playoffs this season and cannot afford another loss. Oakland Mills' offense is also on a roll, scoring 71 points in its last two games. The Scorpions expect a healthy Vinnie Rubbo, )) who set the all-time single-season school rushing record last year but has had his effectiveness cut by a sprained ankle. Julian Barfield filled in well for Rubbo last week against Atholton with 109 yards rushing and four TDs. The passing game has been the biggest unexpected plus for Oakland Mills this season, with QB T. J. Welsh completing 33 of 63 for 672 yards and six TDs and WR Tom Browne catching 17 passes for 417 yards and four TDs. Long Reach defeated Oakland Mills last season, 7-6, a loss that knocked the Scorpions out of the playoffs.

Centennial (3-2) at Atholton (1-4)

When: 1: 30 p.m. tomorrow

Outlook: After two key players suffered concussions in the first quarter two weeks ago, the Eagles went on to a 38-0 defeat at the hands of Long Reach. Last week, the Eagles regained a little self-respect in defeating Hammond, 35-24. Tim Mitroka's move from TE to FB helped Centennial's offense move well against Hammond. QB Don Swan rushed for 76 yards. And RB Matt Deuchler, a concussion victim against Long Reach, gained 143 yards on 21 carries and scored four TDs last week. He also made 10 tackles. Jeff Plank made 12 tackles. Atholton played hard and had a 14-14 tie before losing to Oakland Mills 35-14 last week. Centennial defeated Atholton last season, 20-14.

Mount Hebron (2-3) at Glenelg (1-4)

When: 1: 30 p.m. tomorrow

fTC Outlook: Glenelg has lost three straight and Mount Hebron two straight. The Gladiators' main offense is its passing game, with QB Zach McQuigg completing 44 of 90 passes for 572 yards and six TDs. Mike Rice has caught 17 passes for 227 yards. J. T. Smart has caught 16 passes for 212 yards. On defense, Clint Furr leads the team with 54 tackles and Rice has 32 tackles. It's Glenelg's homecoming. Glenelg defeated Mount Hebronn last season, 21-13.

Wilde Lake (4-1) at River Hill (3-2)

When: 1: 30 p.m. tomorrow

Outlook: The Wildecats have won four straight since stumbling in their opener against Bel Air. River Hill has lost two straight, to Howard and Oakland Mills. The Hawks still have a strong defensive unit, and it will face the ultimate test against Wilde Lake, which averages a county-high 37 points. Jimmie Levans (72 carries, 612 yards) for Wilde Lake and Jason Fawcett (100 carries, 477 yards) for River Hill are the key RBs to watch. Wilde Lake defeated River Hill last season, 47-0.

Hammond (1-4) at Howard (4-1)

When: 1: 30 p.m. tomorrow

Outlook: This game features the county's two leading rushers, Hammond's Calvin Wilmer (723 yards) against Howard's Gerald Smith (663 yards). Hammond's defense is giving up 20 points a game, even though the Bears have played the weak- est half of their schedule. The Lions, off to their best start since 1993, when they won the county championship and made the playoffs, defeated River Hill last week in a 14-10 defensive battle and will be hoping for more offense this week. A bruised hip slowed Smith last week. Hammond defeated Howard a year ago, 35-18.

Pub Date: 10/09/98

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