No. 4 City (7-0) at No. 1 Patterson (7-0)
Time: 3:30 p.m.
Outlook: Clippers coach Roger Wrenn (132-75-2) has not beaten City in his 21 seasons. Patterson, which clinched its second straight City 4A League crown last week over Lake Clifton, has outscored the opposition, 255-14, with five shutouts. It has outscored common opponents Carver, Northwestern and Walbrook, by 110-6, compared to 78-41 for City. City, winner of 37 its past 38 regular-season games, leads the 3A East Region and is third in the chase for a spot in the eight-team playoff field. The Clippers lead the 4A North Region and rank second for a top-eight spot. City WR Kevin Griffin and WR Warren Smith have a combined six TDs. Patterson will need L Tyrone Bailey (6-3, 278) and top tacklers LB Joe Mechlinski, and LB Wendell Collins and LB Duane Simmons to stop City's RB Taber Small (868 jTC yards, four TDs) and RB Damian Beane (548, eight TDs). Patterson's option-running QB Willie McGirt has rushed for 513 yards and six TDs, with 656 passing yards for eight TDs -- two of which have gone to WR Tim Horky (14 catches, 344 yards). RB Ryan Lewis has 1,031 yards and 21 TDs.
Joppatowne (5-2) at Havre de Grace (6-1)
Time: 7 p.m.
Outlook: This is an important Class 1A North meeting, with both teams still in the running for playoff spots. Joppatowne has the better statistics in total offense and defense. The game features the top two QBs in the county in passing yards, Matt Berger of Joppatowne, with 841 yards, and Billy Jackson of Havre de Grace, with 614. Alonzo McDowell (420 yards, five TDs) of Joppatowne and Havre de Grace's Jack Donaldson (319 yards, three TDs) each has 17 receptions. Mike Wood (616 yards, seven TDs) is the top Havre de Grace runner, although he hobbled out of last week's 14-10 win at John Carroll. Joppatowne, the only team to beat No. 14 Aberdeen, features four who can run, catch and score -- McDowell, Lewis McKisset, Lamar Williams, and Andre Turner. Avion Epps of Joppatowne and Chris Mentzer of (( Havre de Grace are two of the top four county tacklers.
No. 5 Loyola (5-1) at No. 9 Gilman (4-2)
Time: 1 p.m.
Outlook: This Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference game has Loyola riding a five-game winning streak, including last week's 30-8 league victory over St. Mary's in which QB Brian Nichols completed five of 12 passes for 147 yards and one TD and rushed for two more. RB Scott Brown rushed for 102 yards last week. Gilman, coming off last week's 43-39 upset loss to Mount St. Joseph, relies on RB R. C. Kauffman (716 yards, four TDs), QB Lorne Smith (634 passing yards, 10 TDs) and WR James McIntyre (483 receiving yards, eight TDs). Each team has a corps of solid linemen, with Gilman's Alex Mueller and David Payne and Loyola's Justin Flint and Gabe Momoch.
Salesianum, Del. (2-5) at No. 3 Poly (6-1)
Time: 1 p.m.
Outlook: For only the second time in the 35-year history of their rivalry, Salesianum (Del.) is coming to Poly. The game was rained out last year, but the Sals, last year's state champs with a 10-2 record, won, 12-7, two years ago to even the series at 12-12-7. Salesianum has a win over Bethlehem Catholic (Pa.), a team that boasts Dan Kendra, rated the nation's No. 1 QB by USA Today's preseason Super 25. Poly RB Randall Beaman (824 rushing yards, 13 TDs) leads the Engineers on the ground, and Martin Prosper (21 receptions, 423 yards, eight TDs) leads them in the air.
Franklin (7-0) at Towson (5-2)
Time: 1 p.m.
Outlook: Franklin's first big test comes against the Generals, who are led by RB Bradley Eastham (889 yards, four TDs) and WR Paul Swanson (12 receptions, 339 yards, three TDs), the prime target of QB Steve Beck. Franklin, off to its best start in years, relies on QB Chris Demetrakis and RB Kenny Vialva among its 10 returnees, including eight starters, from last year's 5-5 team. Franklin ranks second in the 3A North Region behind C. Milton Wright and presently has the last spot in the race for the eight-team playoff field. Towson ranks fourth in the 2A North Region and must win here to keep its slim playoff hopes alive.