A promising afternoon matchup highlights an eight-game schedule involving county high school football teams today.
Southern (1-0) at Severn School (1-0) at 3:30 p.m. will be followed by seven county games under the lights.
Southern opened with an impressive, 41-0 romp at Hammond of Howard County, and Severn rolled over John Carroll of Harford County, 34-6.
Last fall, Severn defeated the Dawgs, 22-12, with Jim Doyle at the helm. Former Anne Arundel Community College coach Alan Pastrana is now the Admirals coach and will have to deal with a vengeful group of seniors led by quarterback Joe McCafferty and running back Jamar Mullen.
Pastrana will counter with a productive offensive weapon of his own in junior back John Vereen, who ran for 224 yards and two touchdowns on 28 carries.
If you enjoy offense, this is the game to see.
Another promising crowd-pleaser is St. Mary's (1-0) in Edgewater at Joe Papetti Stadium for a 7 p.m. kickoff with South River (0-1).
The Saints of Brad Best are 0-4 against the Seahawks and have been outscored, 86-7, in the four meetings, but they are much improved and South River is very inexperienced. This could be St. Mary's year to end the streak.
Probably the most interesting late game is the 7 p.m. rematch at North County: The Knights (1-0) of coach Chuck Markiewicz play host to state 4A runner-up Crossland (0-1) of Prince George's County. North County opened with a 39-14 rout of Eleanor Roosevelt, and Crossland dropped a 21-12 decision to St. John's of D.C.
Crossland knocked the Knights out of the state playoffs last fall with a 27-0 victory in the 4A semis. Eight guys are back on the Cavaliers defensive unit that stymied the Knights' run-and-shoot last fall. North County came into that game averaging almost 40 points.
Junior center Mike Murphy, who is 5 feet 11, 260 pounds, might have the biggest task tonight. Crossland overwhelmed the Knights offense last year by crashing in over the middle and pressuring quarterback Eric Howard before he could get his arm up.
Senior quarterback Justin Rice is quicker than Howard, and Markiewicz says that Murphy is a good enough athlete to plug the hole. Murphy will have to play well for North County to function offensively.
Annapolis (0-1) will be out to start a repeat of history in its long haul to Westminster to face the Owls (0-1) in a 7:30 game in Carroll County. The Panthers lost their sixth straight season opener, 26-20, in overtime to Largo, and Westminster lost, 14-12, to Woodlawn of Baltimore County.
After dropping their opener last fall, coach Roy Brown's Panthers bounced back with 10 straight wins, taking the county and 4A Region IV titles. This is the first meeting between the two schools since 1986, when Westminster was in the same Region IV with the Anne Arundel teams.
Annapolis is now in the 4A East Region and Westminster in 4A West Region.
Two other 4A schools, Glen Burnie and Arundel, will be playing at 7:30 tonight. Glen Burnie visits Broadneck while Arundel plays host to Queen Anne's of the Eastern Shore.
Class 3A Broadneck opened with a 13-0 victory over 4A Old Mill, as Sean Ryan threw two touchdown passes to Jason Smith. Playing typical Glen Burnie style, the Gophers moved the football (nearly 250 yards total offense), but had trouble scoring in losing to Class 3A DuVal, 13-6.
Queen Anne's was routed, 27-0, in its opener by 4A contender Severna Park. The Falcons of coach Andy Borland play host to Thomas Stone of Charles County. Stone, a perennial Class 3A power, started off by beating Frederick Douglass, 13-0.
Two teams struggling in numbers and experience, Archbishop Spalding and Northeast, meet at 7 p.m. in Pasadena. Spalding, with only six seniors, opened with a 36-6 loss to Catoctin of Frederick, and undermanned Northeast (which dressed only 20 players) was defeated by Atholton, 13-6.
Three county teams are on the road Saturday with one of them looking for its first win -- Class 4A Old Mill, the 13-0 loser to Broadneck. Old Mill visits Calvert Hall (1-0) in Towson for a 1 p.m. kickoff against the Cardinals, who knocked off 4A Perry Hall, 17-13, last week.
Meade and Chesapeake will attempt to extend their winning streaks. Meade, the 4A sleeper and team to watch, opened by edging a tough Laurel team, 20-19, and visits Sherwood in Montgomery County tomorrow. Sherwood opened with a 27-14 triumph over Walt Whitman.
Chesapeake, a 23-6 victor over Class 1A Owings Mills of Baltimore County, plays another small school, but a much tougher one in Montgomery's 2A Rockville. Rockville kicked off the '93 season with a 14-6 win over 4A Montgomery-Blair and will play host to the Cougars at 2 p.m.