Boys' Latin (5-1, 5-0 MIAA B Conference) at Archbishop Spalding (4-3, 3-1)
Ritchie Schell, Boys' Latin; Mike Whittles, Archbishop Spalding
Spalding, 12-0, in 2009 B Conference final
Key players to watch:
— Michael Turner, Sr., CB (six INTs); Marco Jones, Sr., DE (Virginia recruit has 10 hurries, three sacks, four tackles for losses); Greg Pyke, Jr., OT (6-6, 310-pounder being recruited by several top Div. I programs); Brandon Barnes, Sr., RB (more than 500 yards rushing, six TDs).
— K.K. Smith, Sr., RB (106 carries for 888 yards, nine TDs); J.D. Izon, Sr., RB (46 carries for 474, four TDs); Zach Waller, Sr., LB (54 tackles, three sacks); Shelley White, Sr., DB (three INTs).
Keys to victory
To say these teams are well acquainted would be an understatement. They met twice in the final month of last season, with Boys' Latin taking the nod in the regular season, 20-0, before Archbishop Spalding gained redemption with a 12-0 win in the MIAA B Conference final.
This time, each team will look to use its potent ground attack to keep the chains moving and, perhaps more importantly, keep the other team's offense off the field. Led by Smith, who gained at least 100 yards in his first six games, Spalding is averaging 255 rushing yards and nearly 31 points. In last week's 17-7 loss, however, Archbishop Curley held Smith to 10 yards, while also forcing four turnovers.
The Lakers also committed five turnovers last week in their 14-10 loss to St. Anne's-Belfield (Va.), including three interceptions by sophomore quarterback Andrew Roswell. This time, Barnes will lead an attack that will stress ball control.
Schell believes Spalding is an improved team from a year ago, after playing the likes of A Conference powers Gilman, Calvert Hall and Loyola earlier this season. On homecoming night at Spalding, when the stands will be packed and emotions high, the team making the fewest mistakes likely will come out on top.
Other games to watch:
• Wilde Lake (5-1) at No. 6 River Hill (5-1), Friday, 7
• No. 7 Franklin at Perry Hall (5-1), Friday, 7
• No. 2 Calvert Hall (7-0) at Georgetown Prep (4-2), Saturday, 1
• Loyola (3-3) at No. 3 Gilman (4-2), Saturday, 1