Football previews


South Hagerstown (0-5) at Francis Scott Key (1-4)

When: 7 tonight

Outlook: The Eagles would appear to have the upper hand in this matchup of two struggling teams. South Hagerstown's I-formation offense has posed little threat to opponents, and defenses have focused on stopping running back Alberto Valentin to force the Rebels to pass the ball. The Eagles, who beat South Hagerstown, 26-14, last year, seemed to be on the verge of securing their second win of the season last weekend, but Boonsboro turned a 14-13 deficit at halftime into a 21-14 win. Key was inside the red zone twice in the second half but came up empty. Eagles coach Mike Coons said the battle with South Hagerstown could be the county's best. "Everyone's going to be real itchy for a win," he said.

South Carroll (1-4) at Liberty (3-2)

When: 7 tonight

Outlook: Perhaps nothing boils a fan's blood more than a good, old-fashioned neighborhood rivalry, such as this one between these schools, which are separated by only five miles. Both teams boast strong defenses. The Lions are led by the linebacker trio of Tommy Maholchic, Joe Pugliese, and Ryan Sargent, who are 1-2-3 in tackles. Liberty held Urbana to a 10-7 lead at halftime but could not sustain the defensive effort. Linebacker Chris Currence led the Cavaliers with eight tackles and also scored two touchdowns as a running back in South Carroll's 21-14 loss to Linganore last week. "I think the key is going to be who can move the ball," said Cavaliers coach Gene Brown. The Lions beat South Carroll, 27-14, last year.

Urbana (5-0) at North Carroll (2-3)

When: 7 tonight

Outlook: Winless since a 28-6 rout of South River Sept. 9, the Panthers face the unenviable task of upending the defending Class 2A state champion. Urbana hasn't lost since 1997 and crushed Liberty, 31-7, last week. North Carroll coach Bill Rumbaugh said the key will be to pressure Urbana quarterback Zach Mills, who will play at Penn State next fall. The Panthers will rely on star running back Steve Suter, who gained 238 yards and scored two touchdowns on 18 carries in a 48-12 loss to Frederick last week. Suter, who will play for Maryland next season, has gained 1,018 yards and scored 11 touchdowns.

Frederick (2-3)

at Westminster (4-1)

When: 7 tonight

Outlook: The Owls are coming off an uplifting 10-3, four-overtime defeat of nemesis Thomas Johnson last week. Defensive end Greg Tindale made 13 tackles, sacked the Thomas Johnson quarterback twice, and blocked a field-goal attempt in one of the overtime periods. Running back Brad Durden scored the game-winning touchdown on a 10-yard scamper. Frederick runs a dangerous option offense, but hasn't beaten Westminster since 1995.

Bowling Brook (3-0)

at Riverdale Baptist (2-3)

When: 1: 30 p.m. tomorrow

Outlook: Can anyone stop the Thoroughbreds? Bowling Brook demolished Turkey Foot, 43-12, last week with inspired performances on both sides of the football. Running back Tristen Scott rushed for 162 yards and scored four touchdowns, and the offensive line helped contribute to 371 yards of total offense. The defense pounced on three fumbles and snatched three interceptions, including a 15-yard return for a touchdown by cornerback Sam Lee.

Pub Date: 10/08/99

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