Football Previews

September 08, 2000|By Rick Belz

Today

Woodlawn at Howard

When: 7:30 p.m.

Outlook: The defending county co-champion Lions are strong at the skilled positions led by All-County FB Travis Irving, QB Boomer Durham, TE Adam Snyder and transfer RB Gerrick McPhearson, but they have questions to answer defensively. The Warriors graduated All-Metro QB Vince Fuller, but return eight starters, including linemen Jobert Dobson and Jesse Hayes. The Lions must stop WR Alante Harrison. The Lions won last season's game, 19-14.

Glenelg at South Carroll

When: 7 p.m.

Outlook: The Gladiators graduated QB Zach McQuigg, who passed for 371 yards and four touchdowns in last season's 26-14 victory over the Cavaliers, but QB Kevin Ganiscioli is highly touted along with WR Chris Bowen. The Gladiators are still stunned by the death of leading receiver J.T. Smart in an automobile accident last month. They should do well against a rebuilding South Carroll team.

River Hill at Stephen Decatur

When: 7:30 p.m.

Outlook: The Hawks graduated two 1,000-yard rushers yet hope to do well this season because of a veteran line and returning QB Matt Hostettler. TE Chris Kupec scored six touchdowns. The Hawks hope to pass more this season from their wing-T. Stephen Decatur's offense will be led by FB Adrian Manuel, who rushed for 400 yards last season. Most of the skill players have graduated, however, so the Worcester County team will stress defense this season. River Hill won last season, 20-0.

Atholton at Northeast

When: 7 p.m.

Outlook: The Raiders have doubled the size of their squad to 34 and return most of their offensive line, so they are hoping to win more than three games this season. Northeast has its third coach (Mike Cotham) in three seasons, and the state's longest losing streak (31 games) after forfeiting two wins last season. Atholton won a year ago, 14-12.

Tomorrow

Mount Hebron at Dundalk

When: 10 a.m.

Outlook: The Vikings graduated 20 seniors from a 4-6 team and are extremely young with three starting seniors. QB Matt Fallon is back. The offensive line has some experience. Dundalk graduated All-Metro lineman Chad Rogers and RB Esker Mance. Six offensive starters and four defensive starters are back, however. The Vikings need to stop transfer RB Jose Rose and a line that averages 230 pounds.

No. 5 Oakland Mills at No. 4 Mount St. Joseph

When: 1 p.m.

Outlook: QB J.T. Rembert is back along with eight other offensive starters and seven defensive starters, giving the Scorpions a strong team that hopes to compete for a state Class 1A title. St. Joe, coming off a 47-30 victory over Bishop McNamara, returns second-team All-Metro RB Isaac Kufour, QB Joe Peeler and three solid receivers. The Gaels hope to challenge Gilman for MIAA A Conference supremacy. The teams did not play last season.

Aberdeen at Long Reach

When: 2 p.m.

Outlook: The Lightning is taking a low-key approach this season after failing to achieve its goals of a county title and playoff spot last season. Three Division I recruits on the offensive line, Jamie Burckhardt, Eugene Franklin and Mike Zyvoloski, should open some holes. Aberdeen's new coach, Joe Harbert, has a backfield of senior RBs Jai Lewis, Tristan Stanley and Mike Miller and senior QB Alan Holmes. This is the schools' first meeting.

Fallston at Centennial

When: 2 p.m.

Outlook: Eagles QB Pat McKevitt, FB Wyatt Cooper and RB Ryan Pustilnik lead a rebuilt offense that hopes to improve on last season's 2-8 record. Fallston returns leading 1,000-yard rusher Dave Gonano and QB Jake Kuzma, who passed for 800 yards and 10 touchdowns during a 9-1 season that produced the Cougars' first Harford County co-championship.

No. 2 Randallstown at No. 3 Wilde Lake

When: 2 p.m.

Outlook: All-County RB Mario Merrills, who has committed to Maryland, will run behind a huge line, as the Wildecats face a major challenge from opening-day opponent Randallstown. The Wildecats must figure a way to negate three strong Rams linebackers, led by two-time All-Metro Mykle Bouie, a Division I prospect. Both teams have lots of speed. They did not play each other last season.

Hammond at Fort Hill

When: 7 p.m.

Outlook: The Bears have plenty of speed and hope it can be a key factor against its Allegany County opponent. Tai and Taj Murphy at tailback and Jamal Stewart at running back all have exceptional speed for new coach Bill Smith. QB Jason Maxey, a strong passer, returns from an injury that cost him most of last season. The Bears must stop Fort Hill runner Jeremy Trimble and the wing-T offense. Fort Hill won last year's game, 49-12.

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