Football previews



Woodlawn at Howard

When: 7:30 p.m.

Outlook: The defending county co-champion Lions are strong at the skilled positions led by All-County FB Travis Irving, QB Boomer Durham, TE Adam Snyder and transfer RB Gerrick McPhearson, but they have questions to answer defensively. The Warriors graduated All-Metro QB Vince Fuller, but return eight starters, including linemen Jobert Dobson and Jesse Hayes. The Lions must stop WR Alante Harrison. The Lions won last season's game, 19-14.

No. 7 Annapolis at No. 9 Old Mill

When: 7:15 p.m.

Outlook: The offensive machines of both teams were running on empty at the end of last year's season opener, with host Annapolis holding on for a wild 41-34 victory. The talent, size and speed are there to stage a fan-thrilling, re-run. Two-time county Offensive Player of the Year Rayvon Johnson graduated, but Kevan Simms should be an adequate replacement in the Panthers' Wing-T. Simms can break it from anywhere on the field as he showed on kick returns last season, and will be running the patented Annapolis quick trap behind a veteran line. Up front are returning All-County performers, G Brandon Gulley (6-3, 210) and C Kion Mackell (5-11, 230) and second-team All-County tackles Nick Good-Malloy (6-4, 220) and James Forrester (6-2, 265). Old Mill counters with the county's top returning rusher in Kelvin Collins (1,656, 23 TDs), and this season he has quite a sidekick in the backfield in mammoth but quick junior FB Kerry Blake (6-3, 250). Look for nasty hits on defense by DL Blake, DE Aaron Dada (6-3, 205) and MLB Adam Dayton (6-0, 195), with Panthers jolts by DE Gulley and NG Forrester. Old Mill last defeated Annapolis, 10-6, in 1996.


Mount Hebron at Dundalk

When: 10 a.m.

Outlook: The Vikings graduated 20 seniors from a 4-6 team and are extremely young with three starting seniors. QB Matt Fallon is back. The offensive line has some experience. Dundalk graduated All-Metro lineman Chad Rogers and RB Esker Mance. Six offensive starters and four defensive starters are back, however. The Vikings need to stop transfer RB Jose Rose and a line that averages 230 pounds.

No. 2 Randallstown at No. 3 Wilde Lake

When: 2 p.m.

Outlook: All-County RB Mario Merrills, who has committed to Maryland, will run behind a huge line, as the Wildecats face a major challenge from opening-day opponent Randallstown. The Wildecats must figure a way to negate three strong Rams linebackers, led by two-time All-Metro Mykle Bouie, a Division I prospect. Both teams have lots of speed. They did not play each other last season.

No. 5 Oakland Mills at No. 4 Mount St. Joseph

When: 1 p.m.

Outlook: QB J.T. Rembert is back along with eight other offensive starters and seven defensive starters, giving the Scorpions a strong team that hopes to compete for a state Class 1A title. St. Joe, coming off a 47-30 victory over Bishop McNamara, returns second-team All-Metro RB Isaac Kufour, QB Joe Peeler and three solid receivers. The Gaels hope to challenge Gilman for MIAA A Conference supremacy. The teams did not play last season.

Fallston at Centennial

When: 2 p.m.

Outlook: Eagles QB Pat McKevitt, FB Wyatt Cooper and RB Ryan Pustilnik lead a rebuilt offense that hopes to improve on last season's 2-8 record. Fallston returns leading 1,000-yard rusher Dave Gonano and QB Jake Kuzma, who passed for 800 yards and 10 touchdowns during a 9-1 season that produced the Cougars' first Harford County co-championship.

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