Tonight's top two high school football games are set for 7:30 in Severna Park and Annapolis.
Both games match teams coming off surprising losses against teams coming off big wins.
The two games present a big decision for high school football fans who have no particular allegiance and enjoy taking in a Friday night game. I know I would love to be both places tonight.
At Severna Park, the 12th-ranked Falcons (4-1) play host to homecoming night and the No. 10 North County Knights (4-1). Severna Park rolled over Chesapeake, 35-14, last week while North County was the victim of the season's most shocking upset, a 20-14 loss to Arundel.
It will be interesting to see if Falcons coach Andy Borland employs some of the defensive tactics used by Arundel's Bill Zucco in stopping North County's vaunted run-and-shoot offense. The Knights mustered only a season-low 225 yards of total offense, and just 128 passing.
Certainly a change of defensive schemes seems to be in order for the Falcons, who are vulnerable to the pass. North County blew out the Falcons, 48-19, last fall and in the only other meeting between the two schools, the Knights prevailed, 28-20, in 1991.
Arundel was successful by rushing only three men and flooding the secondary. The defense took away the run (less than 100 yards rushing for North County) and when the Knights were forced to pass, they had problems.
North County had successfully set up the run with the pass until the Arundel game.
As great a player as Severna Park defensive lineman Ronnie Green (nine sacks) is, he will need help mainly from the secondary. Severna Park's deep running game with four outstanding backs also could play a major role by keeping the ball away from the Knights.
No. 8 Annapolis (4-1) is gunning for its fifth in a row against dangerous but unpredictable Meade (2-3). While Annapolis was taking advantage of Glen Burnie turnovers for a 34-8 victory last week, the Mustangs were being upset by previously winless Old Mill, 27-21.
This game matches the county's top two backs in Annapolis' Kenny Boyd (639 yards, nine touchdowns) and Meade's Kenny Walker (628 yards, eight touchdowns).
Walker rambled for 126 yards and two touchdowns in the Mustangs' loss to Old Mill, and Boyd tore it up in the second half with touchdown runs of 59 and 47 yards and finished with 172 yards rushing.
Not to take anything away from Glen Burnie's Ricky Graves, who ran for 140 yards against Annapolis as the Gophers amassed 224 rushing, but if Walker runs for that many yards, Annapolis could get upset.
County coaches and those from outside the county who have seen him say that Walker is the best back in the area, and if he gets that many yards, it will be tough for the Panthers to keep him from scoring.
Last week Glen Burnie shot itself in the foot with fumbles and interceptions, and as a result scored only one touchdown despite a total offense of nearly 250 yards.
In dealing with the explosive Walker, Annapolis might not be as fortunate to come away with a victory. Meade is the only team to knock off Severna Park, 35-28, in overtime and Roy Brown's Panthers won't be taking the Mustangs lightly.
Tomorrow at Broadneck, the Bruins (3-2) will have their homecoming at 1 p.m. against Laurel (4-1). A reception for Bruins football alumni is scheduled at noon at Lawrence Knight Stadium.