Last fall, Tyrone Bailey's Patterson squad and Carl Carter's Dunbar team battled for The Sun's No. 1 high school football ranking.
Patterson held that distinction until the final two weeks of the season, when Carter's team moved ahead, ending up 12-0 and becoming Baltimore's first state champion.
But Bailey and Carter, both All-Metro first-teamers, will line up on the same side in tonight's Chesapeake Football Classic. They'll join 33 other out-going seniors from Maryland high schools in the game against Northern Virginia's best before an anticipated crowd of about 20,000 at Byrd Stadium.
Bailey, who had 71 tackles for Patterson last year, is a defensive tackle and will play next to the Morgan State-bound Carter (81 tackles, 19 1/2 sacks), a defensive end. Bailey stands 6 feet 5 and weighs 275, Carter is 6-4, 252.
"It'll be great playing with guys you're normally against," said Bailey, who will attend Temple University. "You come out of your high school thinking you're a superstar. But out here, everybody's the same. And you're teammates."
Said Carter: "Playing alongside Bailey as a starter is going to be great and I think we will do very well. The team is coming together and the feeling is that we'll win."
Joining Bailey and Carter on Team Maryland will be six other Sun All-Metro first-teamers: quarterback Willie McGirt (Patterson), punter-kicker Jason Bloom (Perry Hall), receiver Lou Brown (North County) and defensive backs Keion Carpenter (Woodlawn), DaLawn Parrish (Howard) and Dwayne Stukes (McDonogh).
In the game, each offense is required to pass 40 percent of the time, with only one set-back. There can also be no stunting and no unbalanced lines. The defenses must play out of a 4-3 formation, with the secondaries going man-to-man and the linemen nose-to-nose.
"The rules are going to mean a lot of pressure for the defensive backs. That and the fact that we played a zone at Woodlawn. Plus, I'm playing cornerback, when I was a safety at Woodlawn," said the Virginia Tech-bound Carpenter, who had seven interceptions last season.
In last year's 20-16 Maryland victory, North County's run-and-shoot master, Chuck Markiewicz, was the offensive coordinator, and DeMatha quarterback John Thomas threw for 196 yards and touchdowns of 77, 32 and 69 yards.
"We had Markiewicz out here [Tuesday] and he watched us practice," said Maryland coach Doug Fleetwood, who employed the run-and-shoot at Cambridge. "We talked about last year's game. It's a big-play game each year. The style of ball I coached is a plus, and keeping the streak going is a real big issue with the kids."
Fleetwood, whose Vikings reached the 2A state semifinals in each of the last two seasons, has worked hard with his staff to incorporate the styles of his three quality quarterbacks, "each of whom brings a different piece to the puzzle," according to Fleetwood.
The 6-3, 195-pound McGirt, headed for Virginia Tech, runs a 4.6-second 40-yard --. He accounted for 57 career touchdowns on 253-for-441 passing for 3,429 yards, and rushed 150 times for 1,363 yards in three seasons.
"McGirt's just an outstanding athlete who is especially good on play-action fakes," said Fleetwood, who will allow each quarterback at least 15 plays.
McGirt will split time with two other fine prospects: 6-6, 200-pound Kevin Thompson (Penn State) helped Damascus win two 2A state titles in three seasons, and 6-3, 190-pound Matt Calhoun (Lafayette) passed for 1,059 yards and 12 touchdowns for Fort Hill (12-1), a 30-15 loser to Dunbar in the 2A state final.
The opposition will be coached by Dick Adams, whose Annandale Atoms went 14-0 and were ranked No. 1 in the Washington area. The team will have seven Washington Post first-team All-Metros, including Defensive Player of the Year Maurice Daniels of Annandale, a 6-1, 225-pounder headed for Penn State, and Boston College-bound wide receiver Derrick Crittenden (5-11, 180), also of Annandale.
What: Third Chesapeake Football Classic
Who: Maryland All-Stars vs. Northern Virginia All-Stars (1994-95 high school seniors). Series is tied at 1-1.
When: Tonight, 7
Where: Byrd Stadium, College Park
Radio: WITH (1230 AM)
Tickets: $5 general admission, available at Byrd Stadium beginning at 5:30 p.m. today.