Football games

September 21, 2001|By Rich Scherr and Kevin Van Valkenburg

Today

N. Hagerstown (0-2) at Francis Scott Key (1-1)

When: 7 p.m.

Outlook: Key will attempt to cut down significantly on the mistakes that cost it in last week's 45-6 loss to Middletown when it faces North Hagerstown, a team expected to finish near the top of the Monocacy Valley Athletic League standings. The Eagles played especially well early in that game, but had three running plays totaling 155 yards called back for penalties, including an 80-yard touchdown. North Hagerstown, which finished 6-4 a year ago, outplayed Walkersville for much of last week's game before blowing a 10-point lead in a 28-22 loss. The Washington County squad features a balanced attack led by talented skill-position players. Key also will need to find a replacement for guard and defensive back Jeremy Morsell, one of the team's fast players, who is out for the season after tearing ligaments and cartilage in his knee. Morsell has two interceptions in the team's opening win against North Carroll.

No. 12 Liberty (1-1) at Aberdeen (0-2)

When: 7 p.m.

Outlook: The Lions will try to rebound from last week's 13-12 loss to Northeast against Aberdeen, a team coming off close losses to both Frederick and Long Reach. Led by quarterback Erin Henderson, who made his first start last week, the Rams feature a balanced offense with a lot of team speed. Liberty coach Ken Johnson said his team will need to stop the big play on defense, while putting together sustained drives on offense. Linebacker Chris Carley and defensive back Mike Law lead a defensive unit that has allowed an average of 10.5 points a game. Offensively, wide receiver Derek Ruch has caught a pair of touchdown passes.

Westminster (1-1) at C. Milton Wright (0-2)

When: 7 p.m.

Outlook: Coming off an overtime loss to Calvert Hall, Westminster looks to get back in the win column against C. Milton Wright, a team that has yet to score a point. Led by tailback Eric Saunders (41 carries, 404 yards), blocking back Todd Edmondson and quarterback Brad Baer, the Owls will rely mainly on their proficient ground game, which has racked up big yardage in each of their first two games. A concern for coach Scott Tobias is overconfidence, with his team facing a Mustangs unit that has lost to Hereford, 33-0, and South Carroll, 27-0. Wright, Harford County's lone Class 4A school, uses a run-oriented Wing-T offense, focused on its fullback.

St. Mary's (2-0) at North Carroll (1-1)

When: 7 p.m.

Outlook: Coming off a 53-0 win over Sparrows Point, North Carroll will face a much stiffer challenge this week against St. Mary's, a team that finished 6-4 a year ago and is coming off a 21-7 win over St. Paul's. The Saints run the option out of the shotgun, and use multiple receivers to spread the field. The Panthers' main challenge will be to contain the Saints' running game. Defensive end Dean Thompson and defensive back Steve Jordan lead the defense. Offensively, North Carroll again will be without injured running back Erick Busick. In his stead, David Cokey and Alan Walker will take the majority of handoffs. "If we bring our A game, it's a very winnable game," said North Carroll coach Tim Greenwood.

Bel Air (1-1) at South Carroll (1-1)

When: 7 p.m.

Outlook: In its final test before league play, South Carroll will play its second straight game against a Harford County school. Bel Air, which last week lost to Middletown (Del.) after opening its season with a win over Dundalk, will have the advantage in size, and likely will look to run the ball as much as possible. The Cavaliers, coming off a 27-0 win over C. Milton Wright, are led by running back Corey Greene, who had 300 all-purpose yards against the Mustangs, as well as wide receiver Jamie Unger (9 catches, 228 yards). Linebacker Josh Lewis (21 tackles) leads a defense that coach Gene Brown calls "the strength of the team."

No. 8 Wilde Lake (2-0) at Howard (0-2)

When: 7:30 p.m.

Outlook: The Wildecats looked polished and balanced in a win over Hammond last week, running for more than 300 yards and throwing the ball well. Expect the Wildcats to run often, as the Lions gave up big yards on the ground last week. Howard is still searching for consistency on both sides of the ball after sophomore running back Derrick McPhearson went down two weeks ago with a broken leg.

Tomorrow

Glenelg (2-0) at Atholton (0-2)

When: 2 p.m.

Outlook: It looks like a mismatch on paper, as the Gladiators have been impressive through two weeks of the season. But Atholton was one of only three teams to beat Glenelg last season, earning a 21-12 win in week two. The Raiders will need to slow down Kevin Ganascioli, who has rushed for 100 yards in both of Glenelg's wins, including 10 times for 106 yards and two scores last week.

Centennial (2-0) at Hammond (0-2)

When: 2 p.m.

Outlook: The Eagles aren't fancy, but they seem to have the basics figured out this season, at least on defense. Through two games, Centennial has given up only one touchdown, a long run in garbage time in its first game against Hickey.

Mt. Hebron (2-0) at Long Reach (2-0)

When: 2 p.m.

Outlook: Only a handful of people might have expected the Lightning (2-0) to be undefeated two games into the season, but even fewer expected the same to be true of the Vikings (2-0). Long Reach has looked great at times, racking up more than 400 yards of total offense against River Hill last week.

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

When: 2 p.m.

Outlook: For the first time in 35 games, Oakland Mills failed to put points on the scoreboard last week, getting blown out by Glenelg, 35-0. River Hill lost a nail-biter to Long Reach last week after leading by two scores in the fourth quarter.

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