2014 Football preview: Games to watch

August 26

GAMES TO WATCH

Sept. 5

Hylton at Stonewall Jackson, 7:30: The Prince William County schools rekindle their rivalry with Hylton having won the past three meetings. Two of the nation’s top linemen will face off as Hylton blocker Matt Burrell takes on Stonewall Jackson defender Tim Settle in the trenches.

Glenelg at River Hill, 7: Long the top team in Howard County, the Hawks look to start their season with a victory over a Glenelg team that posted the county’s best regular season record in 2013. The Gladiators feature all-state OL David Robbins, who will match up with River Hill all-county lineman Tyler Smith.

Gonzaga at Centreville, 8: The area’s two top-ranked teams face off in a rare public vs. private school matchup that will be televised on ESPNU. The game will feature nine FBS commits, including Alabama recruit Richie Petitbon of Gonzaga and Centreville running back Taylor Boose, who is committed to Cincinnati.

Sept. 12

Old Mill at Arundel, 6:30: The high-octane Wildcats ended the Patriots’ bid for a perfect season by knocking Old Mill out in the first round of the Maryland 4A East playoffs a year ago. Both teams are primed to challenge for Anne Arundel County supremacy yet again.

Sept. 19

Damascus at Quince Orchard, 6:30: The Swarmin’ Hornets lost to the Cougars by a single point last fall, but with Quince Orchard returning only four starters on both sides of the ball, All-Met WR-DB Jalen Christian and Damascus could be poised for a different result.

Broad Run at Stone Bridge, 7:30: The Spartans pulled the upset at Stone Bridge in a Virginia 5A North region quarterfinal — their first win over their Ashburn rivals. Stone Bridge will look to contain QB Brady Reitzel with DT Aaron Crawford (North Carolina) and an aggressive defense.

Lake Braddock at Westfield, 7:30: Scoring drives in the final minute decided each of these teams’ two meetings last season, with Westfield having the last laugh, halting the Bruins’ undefeated run in the Virginia 6A North region semifinals. Expect more fireworks this time.

Sept. 20

Gwynn Park at Douglass, 2: Gwynn Park beat its Prince George’s 2A rival twice last year, including in the playoffs. Since 2004, the Yellow Jackets have a 7-6 edge in the head-to-head series. This could be another Maryland 2A South playoff preview.

Sept. 26

Friendship Collegiate at Bullis, 7: When the schools last met in 2007, the Knights rolled to a 34-0 rout. Led by heralded prospect Dwayne Haskins Jr. at QB, the Bulldogs will look to turn the tables on a graduation-depleted but always tough Friendship squad.

Oct. 2

Avalon at Bullis, 7: This should be the toughest test of Coach Tyree Spinner’s maiden season at Avalon as the transfer-stocked Knights test their mettle against the heavy Interstate Athletic Conference favorite Bulldogs.

Oct. 3

DeMatha at Good Counsel, 7: Both schools have combined to win the last 11 Washington Catholic Athletic Conference titles, and this matchup could go a long way in determining who wins this year’s crown. In last year’s WCAC semifinals, DeMatha squeaked past Good Counsel in overtime, ending the Falcons’ four-year reign as champion.

Oct. 10

Patuxent at Huntingtown, 7: The Hurricanes’ veteran linebacker corps presents an intriguing matchup against the SMAC’s reigning most outstanding player, Patuxent QB Tyler Crounse. Huntingtown had won five straight in the rivalry until the Panthers’ win last fall.

Centreville at Westfield, 7:30: The Virginia Conference 5 rivals have met in two of the past three region finals. While Centreville returns 15 starters from its 6A title team from a year ago, Westfield has again reloaded behind running back Evan Gray and safety James Gibson.

Oct. 11

Wise at Eleanor Roosevelt, 2: Two of the top teams in Prince George’s 4A face off as the Raiders look to prove they are once again ready to challenge for league — and state — supremacy. Perennial power Wise brings back several key players.

Oct. 17

Briar Woods at Broad Run, 7: The Falcons visit their crosstown rivals in a rematch of a Virginia 5A North region semifinal double-overtime thriller. WR-DB Chuck Davis is a spark plug for the Spartans, and Briar Woods has experienced weapons around new QB Jake Maffe.

Oct. 25

H.D. Woodson at Wilson, 2: This could be a Turkey Bowl preview as Tigers RBs Abdul Adams and Larry Frazier look to pierce the shutdown defense that propelled Woodson to DCIAA and DCSAA championshipsast season.

DeMatha at Gonzaga, 2: After dropping four straight matchups, DeMatha has won the past two meetings in this storied WCAC rivalry. The Eagles’ defense, behind highly touted safety Marcus Lewis, will be tested by DeMatha’s rushing game.

Oct. 31

Lake Braddock at South County, 7:30: The Virginia Conference 7 title will likely be on the line in this game between two of the area’s top offenses. The Bruins feature highly touted wide receiver A.J. Alexander, while bruising rusher Robert Avery powers South County’s attack.

Nov. 1

Quince Orchard at Northwest, 6:30: In this rematch of last year’s Md. 4A West region final, DL Adam McLean and Quince Orchard will look to topple the defending state champion Jaguars, led by returning QB Mark Pierce.

Nov. 7

Arundel at Meade, 6:30: This rematch of the 2013 Maryland 4A East final — won by Meade — could have major playoff implications. Quarterback Anthony Messenger leads an experienced Wildcats offense into Fort Meade looking to avenge last November’s defeat.

Patriot at Battlefield, 7:30: The Pioneers have grown into a contender, rallying around three-year starting QB Cody Agnew, while Battlefield boasts its own experienced signal caller in senior Matt Gallagher.

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