The wait is almost over. Friday evening, top-ranked Gilman School travels to No. 3 Calvert Hall College for the biggest game of the 2010 high school football season. 
Both teams have done their part on the field. This is arguably the biggest contest in several seasons for the rejuvenate Cardinal program while Gilman looks to serve notice in its first local challenge after a difficult non-league schedule. Here’s five key questions. 
1. Will the week off hurt Gilman?

After a grueling three-game stretch with Good Counsel, New Jersey’s Don Bosco Prep and DeMatha Catholic, the Greyhounds may have welcomed the break following a leisurely 42-6 pounding of Georgetown Prep Sept. 25.

On the other hand, momentum can be fleeting and Gilman appeared to be a runaway freight train a couple of weeks ago. It’ll be interesting to see how Gilman comes out against a highly-motivated Cardinal squad. 

2. Can Calvert Hall make Gilman one-dimensional?

Except for Don Bosco Prep, Jennings along with Kenny Goins and Cyrus Jones has run around and through opposing defenses behind a veteran line with Hunter Goodwin, Brian Gaia, Chad Copeland, John Henrich and Charles Cross.

If the Calvert Hall defensive front featuring Dan Yarborough, Stefan Janik and Michael Wade can somehow get penetration and put Gilman in more passing situations than its’ comfortable with, the game will be interesting.

calvert hall football 3. Will Thomas Stuart be able to get shots downfield against Gilman’s secondary?

Stuart, a transfer from Good Counsel, has been solid in his first year as Cardinals’ starter, and has array of skill players to rely on including CJ Williams, Brandon Neverdon and Trevor Williams. Gilman coach Biff Poggi thinks he may have his best secondary with Cyrus Jones, Conor Doyle and Linn Worthington leading the unit.  

Calvert Hall would love to have a balanced attack against a technically-sound Greyhound defense, keeping Jennings and the Gilman offense on the sidelines for large stretches.

4. Who could be the best player on the field Friday not named Darius Jennings?

Slowly emerging out of Jennings’ shadow, Cyrus Jones is one of the area’s most dynamic performers. CJ Williams seemingly comes up with the big third down run or catch for Calvert Hall, and Trevor Williams has become the team’s big-play threat on the outside as well as on special teams as a returner. Goins gives Gilman that edge with his power running and crunching blows at linebacker.

5. Who will win?

The Cardinals have put together three impressive wins against Havre de Grace, Mount St. Joseph, Poly, but Gilman is an entirely different animal. The Greyhounds haven’t been challenged in their four victories including dismantlements of DeMatha and Good Counsel, considered two of the best programs in the mid-Atlantic region. It could be lights out if they come out fast after the week off, and win the battle on both offensive and defensive fronts.

Calvert Hall defeated Gilman, 21-12, last season, so confidence plus a 6-0 mark, won’t be an issue. Playing at home will be a plus as the stands at Russo Stadium should be packed. The Cardinals are the No. 3 team in the area, it’s fair to say they have a puncher’s chance.

But it better be a heck of a punch.