This weekend’s high school football schedule features four of the area’s longest-running and most intense rivalries as the regular season comes to an end. Here’s a look at each of them.
Chesapeake-AA (5-3) at Northeast (4-4)
Friday, 6:30 p.m.
Coaches: Rob Elliott, Chesapeake; Brian Baublitz, Northeast
About the rivalry: The annual Dena Bowl between Pasadena schools just six miles apart might get overlooked amid the state’s older rivalries, but before the 2015 season, it was voted the most anticipated Anne Arundel County high school football game of the year in a Capital Gazette poll. Last fall, Northeast ended five years of Cougars dominance with a 28-22 win. The series was tied through 2010, but Chesapeake’s run of five wins from 2011 to 2015 put the Cougars in the lead.
About the game: While the Cougars have clinched a berth in the Class 3A East region playoffs, Northeast needs a win and some help to qualify for the four-team playoff in the same region. Chesapeake is in third place behind Atholton and James M. Bennett, but if it beats Northeast and a few other dominoes fall, the Cougars could be the top seed. Northeast is fifth behind Long Reach and needs a win over the Cougars and a Long Reach loss to Atholton to get in.
Players to watch: Chesapeake junior quarterback Dylan Young has thrown for 1,027 yards and six touchdowns. Northeast senior back Demontay Snowden, who leads the team in all-purpose yards, has run for 999 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Boys’ Latin (5-4) vs. St. Paul’s (3-5)
Friday, 7 p.m.
At Stevenson University
Coaches: Ritchie Schell, Boys’ Latin; Scott Ripley, St. Paul’s
About the rivalry: This rivalry began in 1933, but after seven years, St. Paul’s moved to the A Conference and two years later, Boys’ Latin switched to six-man football causing a 22-year interruption before they resumed play in 1961. St. Paul’s won 33 of the first 47 meetings. Since the turn of the century, however, things have changed. Schell has coached the Lakers to 10 wins since his arrival in 2001. The Lakers have won the past three Alumni Cup Challenges, including 17-7 last season, but St. Paul’s still leads the series 40-22-1.
About the game: Boys’ Latin is 4-1 in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association B Conference and with a win, would advance to next week’s conference championship game. However, if the Lakers lose and St. Mary’s defeats Severn, which is also 4-1, all three teams would be tied at 4-2 and Boy’s Latin would be out because they have a loss to a lower team in the standings than the other two. St. Paul’s is 2-3 in the conference and has been eliminated from playoff contention.
Players to watch: Boys’ Latin senior quarterback Brenden Crouse, who has committed to play lacrosse at Air Force, has thrown for 1,140 yards and 10 touchdowns with three interceptions and has run for 376 yards. St. Paul’s junior quarterback Leo Kelly threw for two touchdowns, including a 60-yard screen pass, and ran for one in a loss to St. Mary’s two weeks ago.
City (4-4) vs. Poly (3-5)
At M&T Bank Stadium
Coaches: Michael Hamilton, City; Dwayne Green, Poly
About the rivalry: Although City has won five straight times, Poly holds a 62-60-6 lead in the series. The Knights and Engineers have the oldest high school football rivalry in Baltimore and it is believed to be the second-longest continuous public-school rivalry in the country. City’s 30-28 double-overtime victory last year gave the Knights the rivalry’s longest winning streak since they won six in a row from 1964 to 1969.
About the game: City has a chance to make the playoffs, sitting at fourth place in Class 3A South, but will need a victory and some help to get there. Poly has been eliminated from playoff contention, but bragging rights in this rivalry are always important.
Players to watch: City senior defensive end Malik Hamm is the Knight’s weapon off the edge — he had 13 sacks, 47 solo tackles and 32 assists through the first seven weeks. Poly senior receiver/defensive back Tyrese Chambers was sidelined with an injury during last year’s game, but has emerged as one of the area’s top wideouts with 1,016 receiving yards and 15 touchdowns.
Gilman (3-6) at No. 4 McDonogh (6-3)
Saturday, 5 p.m.
Coaches: Tim Holley, Gilman; Dom Damico, McDonogh
About the rivalry: Gilman leads the series 60-36-5, but McDonogh has won the Price Trophy three of the past four years. After Gilman’s 35-28 win in the 100th anniversary game in 2015 — when the teams were contending for the MIAA A Conference championship — McDonogh rolled over the Greyhounds, 42-6 last season.
About the game: If the Eagles win, they’re in the A Conference playoffs, but the Greyhounds also have a chance to get in if they win. St. Frances (6-0 in the conference) will be the No. 1 seed, but the rest of the playoff field hinges on two games — McDonogh (3-2) vs. Gilman (2-3) and Archbishop Spalding (3-2) vs. Mount Saint Joseph (2-3). Scenarios vary from a clear-cut four seeds if McDonogh and Spalding win to a five-team tie, including Calvert Hall, for second place if they both lose.
Players to watch: McDonogh defensive lineman-offensive lineman PJ Mustipher, a senior Under Armour All-American committed to Penn State, is the key to the Eagles’ dominance on both sides of the line with 58 tackles, 19 for loss and nine sacks. Gilman defensive end-tight end Thomas Booker, a senior committed to Stanford, leads the Greyhounds defense with 29 tackles, eight for loss and two sacks while doubling as a powerful blocking tight end.