Lake Clifton (5-1) at No. 9 Patterson (6-0)
Time: 3:30 p.m.
Outlook: Patterson (4-0 in Baltimore's 4A league) and Lake Clifton (5-0 in 4A) enter the playoff hunt, which fields the state's top eight 4A teams. Patterson's Clippers rank third in the statewide race, and Lake Clifton eighth, but an automatic bid for Prince George's County's South Region champ would eliminate the Lakers. The Clippers, led by QB Willie McGirt (573 passing yards, 11 touchdowns) and WR Stacey Plater (22 catches, 257 yards, seven touchdowns), are first in 4A North Region, with No. 13 Perry Hall and Lake Clifton at second and third, respectively. Lakers QB Kevin Estep (455 passing yards) and alternate Greate White target WR Dennis Harding (25 catches, 468 yards, three touchdowns), and RBs Ricky Matthews (349 yards) and Kenny Williams each have five touchdowns.
No. 11 Dunbar (5-1) at Forest Park (3-3)
Time: 3:30 p.m.
Outlook: Forest Park RB Robert Arthur (625 rushing yards, 129 receiving, five touchdowns) will battle second-team All-Metro lineman Derrick Player (6 feet 5, 325 pounds), second-team All-City LB Tommy Polley (35 solo tackles) and DB Sean Lipscomb from a Poets defense with two shutouts that hasn't allowed double-figure scoring. Were the eight-team 2A state playoff field chosen today, Dunbar (0-0 in the city 2A league) would get the last spot; Forest Park (1-0 league) would stay home. Both the Foresters (fourth in the East region) and the Poets (third region) need to keep winning.
Bel Air (3-3) at No. 6 C. Milton Wright (6-0)
Time: 7 p.m.
Outlook: Bel Air could present Wright, winner of 39 regular-season games in a row, with its most formidable challenge of the season. Bel Air came from behind to win twice earlier this year and has an offense that can grind out yardage and run time off the clock. Wright's Jason Tharpe (5-11, 185) has scored 15 touchdowns (sharing the metro lead) for 90 points, second in the area. Bel Air, the last team to beat the Mustangs in the regular season (October 1989), started slowly under new coach Bruce Riley, losing its first three. Since then, there have been three straight wins, with point totals of 26, 40 and 41. Crunching FB Dick Barwick (230 pounds) and speedster Terry Vail provide an inside-outside running threat and QB Tony Belcastro has 600 passing yards and nine touchdowns.
No. 7 Calvert Hall (4-0) at No. 3 Gilman (4-0)
Time: 1 p.m.
Outlook: Calvert Hall enters its first Maryland Scholastic Association A Conference game, and Gilman (1-0) comes off an 18-16 conference win over St. Mary's. Gilman has outscored its opponents 116-16 and has three shutouts. Calvert Hall RB Kevin Tyler (666 yard rushing, 56 receiving, eight touchdowns) and QB Dennis Grinestaff (303 passing yards, four touchdowns) lead the offense against Gilman's All-Metro LB Jamie Biddison, ILB Than'l Badder (leading tackler), S y Peter Bogue (6-3, 180) and two-way lineman Dylan Schlott. Gilman RBs David Biddison, Mike Allan (8-for-8 on extra-point kicks), R. C. Kauffman, Jimmy Zimmerman and QB Mark Cornes combined for 11 touchdowns.
Chesapeake-BC (6-0) at No. 4 Overlea (6-0)
Time: 1 p.m.
Outlook: Each team is 4-0 with two shutouts in the Baltimore County 2A-1A league. Chesapeake's Bayhawks have outscored opponents 240-44, compared to 237-32 for Overlea's Falcons, who lead 2A North Region, followed by Fallston and the Bayhawks. Overlea ranks third in the race for the top eight playoff spots, and the Bayhawks seventh. Overlea won last year's contest and was a state semifinalist. Chesapeake has do-it-all Division I prospect Lamar King (6-4, 240).
No. 5 McDonogh (5-0) at Loyola (1-3)
Time: 2 p.m.
Outlook: McDonogh QB Bobby Sabelhaus (916 passing yards, six touchdowns) threw two touchdowns, scored another and kicked a 29-yard field goal in last week's 31-15 win at Mount St. Joseph -- a team Loyola beat, 18-13, on a last-minute touchdown by Reggie Boyce. Loyola coach Joe Brune scouted last week's game and should pressure Sabelhaus with linemen Faraji Mason and Rodell Phaire -- each at 6-4, 245. McDonogh's Dwayne Stukes (224 yards receiving, 368 rushing, seven touchdowns) is a big-play man, as is second-team All-Metro WR Dennis Badham (15 catches, 355 yards, three touchdowns).
No. 14 St. Paul's (5-1) at Severn (2-3)
Time: 3 p.m.
Outlook: St. Paul's Mitch Tullai goes for career victory No. 208 against 125 losses. His Crusaders (2-0 in the MSA B Conference) have outscored their opponents 212-7, with shutouts in all of its victories. A 7-6 loss to No. 5 McDonogh ended a 17-game winning streak for the Crusaders, who -- minus 802-yard rusher John Solter (broken leg) -- face tough opponents in St. Mary's of the A Conference, and B Conference rivals Severn and Gibbons over three straight weeks. Severn (1-1 conference) is led by RB John Vereen (517 yards, seven touchdowns).