Wilde Lake (5-1) at No. 9 River Hill (5-1)
When: Friday, 7 p.m.
Outlook: This game will have a huge impact on the outcome of both the Howard County league race and the Class 3A East regional standings. River Hill and Wilde Lake are tied for the lead in both standings and the winner will have the leg up going down the stretch.
The Wildecats’ offense has been lights out over the past three weeks. They have defeated their opponents 141-0 in those game including back-to-back 50-0 wins over Mount Hebron and Oakland Mills but the Hawks are a more disciplined defensive team.
Wilde Lake has arguably the top group of skill position players in the league with senior running backs Khalil Viera (481 yards rushing, six touchdowns), A.J. Harris (142, 2), E.J. Gilman (270, five) and Terrell Nickens (230, 1).
River Hill will lean on running backs Aaron Wells, who has rushed for over 700 yards and 12 total touchdowns. Backs Brent Kluge and Jordan Griffin will also get touches. The Hawks defense will have to play disciplined football and create turnovers to slow the Wildecats.
Last year, Kluge ran for 146 yards and a touchdown to River Hill to a 27-0 win over Wilde Lake in the second week of the 2009 season.
No. 10 Franklin (6-0) vs. Perry Hall (5-1)
When: Friday, 7
Outlook: Franklin and Perry Hall enter Friday’s game with identical 3-0 records in the Baltimore County 3A/4A football race along with No. 7 Hereford.
Ian Thomas leads the Indians, who are in second place in the Class 3A North playoff race. Thomas totaled 142 all-purpose yards including a punt returned 64 yards and caught a 60-yard touchdown reception from QB Joey Dorsey in last week’s rout over Dulaney, 47-12. Navassa Brown and Mark Venable are also weapons for Franklin.
On the season, Thomas has 21 receptions for 598 yards and has scored 12 total touchdowns, Dorsey has thrown for 1,113 yards and 13 scores, and Venable has 10 total touchdowns, 435 offensive yards, 862 all-purpose yards.
The Gators, currently sitting in third in 4A North standings, dismantled Woodlawn 42-7 a week ago. QB Mike DeBaugh went 10-for-16 passing for 163 yards and two touchdowns in the win. RBs Pat Clemons and Eric Latham are a powerful one-two punch. The contest marks homecoming for Perry Hall.
Franklin ran over Perry Hall last season 35-3 on its way to the Class 3A North Regional title game. The Gators will have to limit mistakes if they want to slow down the Indians.
No. 19 Boys’ Latin (5-1) at No. 15 Archbishop Spalding (4-3)
When: Friday, 7 p.m.
Outlook: In a rematch of last year’s MIAA B Conference title game; Boys’ Latin and Spalding are both teams are coming off of losses a week ago. The Lakers holds a one game lead over the defending champions in league standings.
Brandon Barnes scored on a two-yard run and Taylor Stothoff drove in a 20-yard field goal to give the Boys’ Latin a 10-6 halftime lead when it traveled to Virginia to face St. Anne’s Belfield but was undone by five turnovers and fell 14-10.
The Cavaliers were shocked last week by unranked Archbishop Curley in a 17-7 upset. Spalding turned the ball over four times in the loss. Julian Washington grabbed a 40-yard touchdown pass from Donnie Abel in the fourth quarter but it was too little too late by then.
K.K. Smith and J.D. Izon, two of the Cavaliers’ top playmakers, will have to make an impact if Spalding wants to remain the B Conference race.
Boys’ Latin bested Spalding, 20-0, in the regular season before losing three weeks later in the B Conference title game, 12-0. Both teams had issues with turnovers a week ago and will have to do a better job hanging on to the football.
No. 20 Loyola Blakefield (3-3) at No. 2 Gilman School (4-2)
When: Saturday, 1 p.m.
Outlook: Gilman is looking to rebound from a last-second, heartbreaking loss to No. 1 Calvert Hall, 26-21, last week.
Highly touted QB Darius Jennings ran for over 200 yards and scored three touchdowns against the Cardinals. RBs C.J. Jones and Kenneth Goins are dangerous players in the backfield for the Greyhounds.
Loyola upset McDonogh last weekend, 35-34. QB Mike Fafaul returned from injury in that contest with the Eagles to throw for 135 yards on 12-for-21 passing and tossed the game-winning touchdown pass to WR Deemer Class with 4:50 left in the game.
Gilman blew out Loyola 56-7 in 2009. With both teams currently at 1-1 in the MIAA A Conference standings, a win will go a long way to remaining in the hunt for the league crown.