Football Games To Watch

September 08, 2006|By PAT O'MALLEY

ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY

TOP MATCHUP

(Last year's record in parentheses)

No. 1 Gilman (9-0) vs. DeMatha (11-1)

Where -- FedEx Field, Landover

WHEN -- Tonight at 7:30

OUTLOOK -- This is a matchup of the No. 1-ranked teams in Baltimore and Washington. Gilman puts its 17-game winning streak on the line; its last loss was to DeMatha in 2004. The Greyhounds overcame a 12-point halftime deficit at Gilman last season to defeat the Stags, 22-19. The victory ended the Stags' two-game winning streak in the series, which they lead, 4-3. Both teams have quality and quantity. Gilman is led on defense by senior linebackers Ben Eaton, a returning All-Metro selection, and Sam Poggi, son of Gilman coach Biff Poggi. Offensive linemen Ned Lundvall, Zach Parkinson and David Jablonski will try to create space for running back John Pagliaro against a Stags defense that returns eight starters, including linebacker Ian Thomas. The DeMatha offense is doing some rebuilding, but wide receiver Kenny Tate is a playmaker.

WHO -- No. 10 Arundel (9-3) at Old Mill (10-2)

WHEN -- Tonight at 6:30

OUTLOOK -- The Wildcats have lost to the Patriots four straight times over the past two years, including twice in the Class 4A East regional playoffs. The game matches two outstanding quarterbacks in Old Mill's Kelian Stevens and Arundel's Nick Elko.

BALTIMORE CITY

WHO -- No. 2 Loyola (8-3) vs. No. 8 Dunbar (10-3)

WHERE -- Poly

WHEN -- Tomorrow at 1 p.m.

OUTLOOK -- Experience and speed are assets for both teams in this matchup of MIAA A Conference powers. Dunbar defensive backs Kendall Jamison, Tavon Austin and Maurice Porter could be busy against the Dons' talented receivers, led by Devin Gordon and Tim Donovan.

BALTIMORE COUNTY

WHO -- Perry Hall (11-1) at No. 13 Hereford (5-5)

WHEN -- Tonight at 7

OUTLOOK -- Coming off only their second non-winning season in 12 years, the three-time state champion Bulls are looking to regain their status as Baltimore County's best. Lonnie Liggins and Nick Narango will run behind a big Hereford line along with Jon Pugh, who also anchors the defense at linebacker. The Gators were hit hard by graduation after a playoff season in which their seniors carried them to the Class 4A North regional final.

CARROLL COUNTY

WHO -- South Carroll (10-4) at Westminster (12-2)

WHEN -- Tonight at 7

OUTLOOK -- Both teams lost in the state finals last season - South Carroll in 2A and Westminster in 3A. This game should show which team was hit hardest by graduation.

HARFORD COUNTY

WHO -- North East-Cecil (6-4) at No. 14 North Harford (8-3)

WHEN -- Tonight at 7

OUTLOOK -- The Hawks are Harford County's highest-ranked team, with a solid nucleus from last season's first playoff team in 32 years. Defensive lineman Corey Jubb (6 feet 4, 315 pounds), quarterback Dan Griffin and running back-defensive back Bryan Wolfson return with hopes of getting back to the playoffs and making up for last season's 21-0 loss at Severna Park in the 3A East regional semifinals.

HOWARD COUNTY

WHO -- Wilde Lake (5-5) at Atholton (8-4)

WHEN -- Tonight at 7

OUTLOOK -- Led by Zach Brown, a state champion sprinter and All-County linebacker-running back, the Wildecats should challenge No. 4 Long Reach and No. 5 River Hill in Howard County. The Raiders are coming off their first playoff season since 1985 and return quarterback Brett McQuilkin.

MIAA

WHO -- Cardinal Gibbons (7-4) at No. 6 Mount St. Joseph (3-7)

WHEN -- Tomorrow at 1 p.m.

OUTLOOK -- The schools are close to each other and their teams are strong rivals in multiple sports. Both teams have talented running backs in Keiro Small of Gibbons and Jarred Ricks of Mount St. Joseph.

Pat O'Malley

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