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Football previews



No. 14 Howard (2-0) at No. 3 Wilde Lake (1-1)

Time: 2 p.m.

Outlook: Last season's county co-champions meet in a game that Howard won last season, 33-14. The Lions are looking to prove that last season was no fluke, and that they are still a strong team even without Gerald Smith (Penn State). Gibbons transfer and Maryland-bound Derrick McPhearson rushed 15 times for 176 yards and two TDs in last week's 28-10 win over Mt. Hebron. He also had six tackles and an interception - an all-around performance worthy of a Division I player. Travis Irving contributed 136 yards rushing. Maryland-bound "Super" Mario Merrills rushed 20 times for 192 yards in the Wildecats 37-13 win over Hammond. Christian James carried 17 times for 101 yards. QB Charles Berlin completed six of 10 passes for 125 yards and kicked a 27-yard field goal. Special teams are expected to play a key role.

River Hill (0-2) at No. 7 Oakland Mills (1-1)

Time: 2:00 p.m.

Outlook: River Hill played tough during a 17-15 loss to Long Reach last week, as quarterback Matt Hostetler completed 13 of 23 passes for 151 yards and two touchdowns. The Hawks offense appears one-dimensional at this point, however. as they lack their strong running game of a year ago. Oakland Mills has a two-dimensional offense. TB Gavin Holcomb carried 24 times for 121 yards in last week's 28-6 win over Glenelg. QB J. T. Rembert threw for 121 yards, connecting with Justin Barnes four times for 74 yards. Rembert also ran for 104 yards. Michael Ellis led the Scorpions with 12 tackles. Oakland Mills defeated River Hill last season, 7-6.

Hammond (0-2) at Centennial (1-1)

Time: 2:00 p.m.

Outlook: Centennial took advantage of six turnovers and a couple of broken pass coverages to defeat Atholton last week, 19-14. A 77-yard touchdown pass from QB Pat McKevitt to Brian O'Connor was the longest play. Hammond had its hands full with Wilde Lake, losing 37-13. QB Jason Maxey completed nine of 23 passes for 79 yards and two TDs. Jon Skojec caught five passes. Hammond was held to 62 yards rushing, as it alternated between a run-and-shoot offense and a wing-T. Hammond defeated Centennial last season, 19-7.

Atholton (0-2) at Glenelg (1-1)

Time: 2:00 p.m.

Outlook: The Raiders took Centennial down to the wire before losing 19-14, missing a potential game-winning TD on a fumble late in the game. After trailing 19-0 at halftime, the Raiders dominated the second half. QB Wayne Reed, working from a veer offense, completed 11 of 28 passes for 128 yards and had two interceptions and one TD pass. Joe Silverman caught five passes for 82 yards and had six tackles. Mark Carbone made 10 tackles and had 60 yards rushing. Glenelg came up short against Oakland Mills, 28-6. The Gladiators defeated Atholton last season, 48-0.

Long Reach (2-0) at Mt. Hebron (0-2)

Time: 2:00 p.m.

Outlook: The Lightning prevailed in a hard-hitting game against rival River Hill last week, 17-15, as River Hill's conversion pass with 52 seconds left was slightly overthrown and fell incomplete. Rodney Lightfoot, a transfer from Meade, carried nine times for 126 yards and Travis Poling had 58 yards on 11 carries. The Lightning ran a wishbone attempting to control the second half after employing a spread offense in the first half. Mt. Hebron played Howard tough for three quarters before losing 28-10. The Lightning defeated Mt. Hebron 21-0 last season.

Landon (1-1) at No. 1 Gilman (3-0)

When: 11 a.m.

Outlook: Gilman's defense, led by All-Metro LB Starrett Esworthy, NG Dan Zito, DL Greg Lotz and DL Victor Abiamiri, has shutouts in each of its victories. And the Greyhounds' offense has matched that intensity, having scored 103 points behind WR Napoleon Sykes, RB Malcolm Ruff and QB Ambrose Wooden. Landon, of longtime coach Lowell Davis, lost by 10-7 at Gilman two years ago on a fumble at the Gilman 1-yard line. The Greyhounds handled the Bears easily on the road last season.

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