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Football previews


Archbishop Spalding (3-3) at Archbishop Curley (1-5)

When: 3: 30 today

Outlook: After their tough three-point loss at John Carroll last week, the Cavs need to get back on track against the struggling Friars, whom they beat, 31-6, in '98. Spalding's Darren "Batman" Johnson became the county's first 1,000-yard rusher this season and takes 1,050 into the game.

No. 14 Severna Park (5-1) at North County (6-0)

When: 7: 15 tonight

Outlook: The visiting Falcons are in a must-win situation to guarantee postseason play after losing, 21-17, to Annapolis last week. The Falcons are the eighth and final seed in the state Class 4A rankings. North County leads the East and has the third seed overall; Westminster is second in the East, four points ahead of Severna Park and sixth overall. It's possible, but unlikely, that an 8-2 record could qualify for the playoffs. Severna Park defeated North County for the first time last year, 21-20. The Knights hold a 6-2 lead in the series that began in 1991 (their other loss was a forfeit in '96 after they won 20-15). North County's no-huddle, pass-crazy offense, led by record-setting QB Mike Pfisterer, a junior, could present problems for the Falcons. If the outstanding Falcons defense has a weakness, it's vulnerability to the pass; superb DB Paul Gillette can't cover everybody. Run-oriented Annapolis scored two of its three TDs last week against the Falcons through the air, including the game-winner with 34 seconds left. Severna Park loves to use seven- and eight-man fronts, which it won't get away with this week. "What gives us problems are teams that have comparable speed and quickness, and that's what concerns me about Severna Park," said Knights coach Chuck Markiewicz.

Old Mill (4-2) at Chesapeake (3-3)

When: 7: 15 tonight

TV: Jones Cable. To be shown on TV 22 at 7: 30 p.m. Monday and on Annapolis TV 15 at 8 p.m. Thursday.

Outlook: Chesapeake is aiming for a rare winning season in Lake Shore, and a victory would go a long way toward that goal. But Old Mill blew out the Cougars, 44-0, last season and its offense is even better now. With left-handed QB Brian Williams having thrown for 1,002 yards and 10 touchdowns and junior RB Kelvin Collins with 933 yards and a county-best 15 TDs, the Patriots are tough. Old Mill, its long-shot Class 4A playoff hopes alive, has won four straight.

Southern (0-6) at No. 5 Annapolis (6-0)

When: 7: 15 tonight

Radio: WNAV (1430 AM)

Outlook: Panthers coach Roy Brown could have a chance to play a lot of players in the first meeting between the two schools in more than 20 years. The Class 2A Bulldogs are having an awful season, and Annapolis is well on its way to another playoff appearance, its third straight although in Class 3A this time. Annapolis is on top of the East region by 63 playoff points, 19 ahead of Wilde Lake (5-1), and has the highest rating of any 3A team. Annapolis has depth at running back with Rayvon Johnson (862 yards, 11 TDs) and Aaron Copeland (599, five), can throw when it has to, has a no-miss kicker in Jagman Chahal and a hard-hitting defense led by Trevon Williams and Brandon Gulley.

Arundel (1-5) at South River (3-3)

When: 7: 15 tonight

Outlook: In a match-up of two teams that like to run, the Seahawks have won three in a row, including last week's 16-12 victory at Meade. South River coach Dave Summey (98-109-1) is just two wins from becoming only the third county coach to win 100 and lose 100. Retired coaches Andy Borland (145-108) of Severna Park and Southern's Buck Gardner (100-113) are the other two.

Northeast (2-4) at Broadneck (3-3)

When: 7: 15 tonight

Outlook: The Eagles have their first winning streak -- two games -- in several years after last week's 28-27 defeat of Glen Burnie. Rookie coach John Runk was excited after his Eagles ended their county-record, 25-game losing streak with RB Rodney Jones piling up the yardage. But this visit to Cape St. Claire pits the Eagles against a pretty good Bruins team that is smarting after last week's 31-20 loss to Old Mill. Broadneck boasts a well-balanced offense and a defense led by junior LBs Brysean Williams and Billy Smith.

St. Paul's (3-2) at Severn (2-3)

When: Noon tomorrow

Outlook: The visiting Crusaders drubbed the Admirals, 41-12. Severn, which broke a three-game losing streak last week with a win over Cardinal Gibbons, needs another big effort from QB Tom Cleaver to get to .500 (3-3).

Meade (0-6) at Glen Burnie (0-6)

When: 1 p.m. tomorrow

Outlook: One team will get its first win as two Meade alumni, coaching each side, meet up at the Gophers' homecoming. Meade's rookie coach Kenny Gray is looking for his first win in his bid to avoid the school's first winless season. Glen Burnie's Brad Wilson has yet to taste victory in his two seasons with the Gophers, who have lost 23 in a row since 1997.

St. Mary's (2-3) at Cardinal Gibbons (2-3)

When: 1 p.m. tomorrow

Outlook: Coach Mike Codd hopes his Saints can bounce back from last week's domination by Loyola. St. Mary's couldn't run or pass against the Dons but should do both with QB Tony Magnolia and RB Dave Donohue (456 yards, 5.8 a play, three TDs) against the Crusaders.

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