Football previews

November 05, 1999|By Rick Belz

No. 7 Howard (8-1) at River Hill (7-2)

When: 2 p.m. tomorrow

Outlook: Howard hasn't won a state title since 1974 or played in a state championship game since 1975. The Lions have participated in just one playoff game since 1975. That was in 1994 when the Lions had DaLawn Parish who is now a standout at Wake Forest. Howard built a big early lead and then held on to defeat up-and-coming Centennial last week, 29-23. Gerald Smith carried 16 times for 93 yards, and Travis Irving made 14 carries for 94 yards. Antuan Jones carried six times for 42 yards and two TDs. Joey Tortella made 10 tackles and had an interception. Meanwhile, River Hill squandered its first shot at a playoff spot and first county title by losing to upstart Mount Hebron, 21-12, in the season's biggest upset. The Hawks still hope that Mount Hebron can knock off Wilde Lake this week. Then, if River Hill defeats Howard, it would create a three- or four-way tie for the county title, with the Wildecats, River Hill, Howard and possibly Long Reach. Howard defeated River Hill, 14-10, last season.

Glenelg (6-3) at Long Reach (6-3)

When: 2 p.m. tomorrow

Outlook: Long Reach still has an outside shot at a county title -- if Mount Hebron upsets Wilde Lake and River Hill defeats Howard. The Lightning defeated Atholton last week, 35-0. Glenelg's lack of comparable size and depth hurt the Gladiators last week in a 28-13 loss against Wilde Lake, and Long Reach is even bigger and deeper than the Wildecats. The Gladiators still have an outside chance at making the playoffs but need to win. Glenelg QB Zack McQuigg trails Urbana QB Zack Mills by 55 yards in the race to set a new career yardage passing record. Mills has 4,818 yards, breaking the old mark of 4,763 yards. Glenelg defeated Long Reach last fall, 14-10.

Oakland Mills (1-8) at Centennial (2-7)

When: 2 p.m. tomorrow

Outlook: The Eagles are playing much better, losing by just one touchdown to both Wilde Lake and Howard in their last two games. Oakland Mills, which has forfeited five wins, romped over Hammond last week, 41-13, as QB J. T. Rembert passed for two TDs and ran for another. The Scorpions, normally an especially tough foe for Centennial, defeated the Eagles last season, 12-7.

Mount Hebron (4-5) at No. 8 Wilde Lake (8-1)

When: 2 p.m. tomorrow

Outlook: The Vikings have won three of their last five games and narrowly lost the other two. Sophomore QB Matt Fallon threw for 111 yards last week in a stunning 21-12 upset of River Hill. Mount Hebron will be feeling no pressure with nothing to lose but a game. Wilde Lake, however, faces a must-win situation to make the playoffs and capture at least a share of the county title. QB Chad Fawcett passed for 94 yards and Mario Merrills ran 35 times for 136 yards in last week's 28-13 win over Glenelg. Wilde Lake defeated Mount Hebron last season, 47-14.

Atholton (2-7) at Hammond (1-8)

When: 2 p.m. tomorrow

Outlook: In league play, Hammond has defeated Centennial, while Atholton owns a forfeit win against Oakland Mills. So this game is to see which team escapes the bottom of the county standings. Atholton has been beaten soundly the last two weeks by Wilde Lake and Howard after losing a 21-20 heart-breaker to Mount Hebron. Hammond has been soundly defeated its last five games since losing a 14-13 decision to Mount Hebron. Off those one-point Hebron losses, this may be a close one. But Hammond beat Atholton last fall, 32-6.

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