Weekend walk-through: D.C., privates

By Josh Barr and Alan Goldenbach
Washington Post Staff Writers
Wednesday, September 15, 2010; 9:01 PM

Game to watch: Gonzaga (1-1) at Georgetown Prep (2-0), Saturday, 1 p.m.

Georgetown Prep has kept things relatively simple in winning its first two games, using a dominating running game to handle both its opponents.

Five players have rushed for touchdowns already this season for the Little Hoyas, led by senior Bobby Gribbin, who has rushed for 97 yards and three touchdowns. Junior Tyler Fairbanks is a returning starter at fullback and junior Dominic Bryan, who is 6 feet 1 and 225 pounds, already has scholarship offers from Maryland and Boston College.

"When you're able to run the ball and control it, that makes a big difference," Little Hoyas Coach Dan Paro said. "That's what we did at the end of the year and what we hope to continue to do this year."

That strategy could be especially beneficial Saturday against visiting Gonzaga (1-1) in the Jesuit Gridiron Classic. The Eagles feature standout quarterback Kevin Hogan, a Stanford recruit, and Paro thinks the best defense is a good offense.

"He's going to complete his passes and he's going to move the ball," Paro said. "The only way you can stop him is trying to keep the ball away from him."

Georgetown Prep has a veteran offensive line, led by 6-4, 275-pound senior Scott Mergner, who moved from tackle to center this season. Junior Michael Boland (6-7, 285), a starter on the North Bethesda school's basketball team, is at one tackle and Paro believes that is where his future lies.

"He's been playing very well," Paro said. "He was on the team last year and played a little bit of defense but this is his first year of offense. He's a good basketball player, but I think he's a division I football player. A number of schools have taken a good, solid look at him. They're looking for film, because he didn't have a lot of film a year ago."

Said Gonzaga Coach Aaron Brady: "They're a very physical team. That's something we need to get better at. It's a huge rivalry game."

Around the area

Top-ranked DeMatha plays the Baltimore Sun's top-ranked team, Gilman on Saturday night at Towson University's Johnny Unitas Stadium. Trying to improve defensively after allowing 31.5 points in their first two games, the Stags will be challenged by standout quarterback Darius Jennings, though Gilman is coming off a 33-6 loss to Don Bosco of Ramsey, N.J.. . .

One week after holding the area's leading rusher, junior A.J. Bright of Pallotti , to 13 carries on nine yards, the Bullis defense will be tested by another top rusher on Thursday against Potomac School . Running back Conor McNerney rushed just three times for 31 yards and two touchdowns in a lopsided opening victory, but tallied 1,829 yards rushing and 15 touchdowns last season.. . .

Running back Kevin Thompson has been a bright light for McKinley (0-3). In last week's 47-34 loss at Wheeling (W. Va.) Central Catholic, Thompson rushed for 221 yards and four touchdowns. He leads the Trainers at Coatesville (Pa.) Friday. ... Cardozo is seeking a rare 2-0 start Friday against Spingarn. The Clerks got a pair of touchdown runs apiece from Tyrone Campbell and Marquis Burdeon in last week's 37-0 victory over Anacostia , while wide receiver John Young caught five passes for 178 yards and a touchdown and returned a punt 70 yards for a score. Spingarn , though 0-2, has shown some offensive life in its each of it two losses, including a 50-32 defeat at Mercersburg Academy last week. Quarterback John Perry (540 yards and four touchdown passes) has been particularly impressive.

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