The game: No. 11 Suitland at No. 12 Eleanor Roosevelt.
Kickoff: Saturday, 3 p.m.
Records: Rams 4-1, 4-0 Prince George's 4A; Raiders 5-0, 3-0.
Last season: Suitland 6, Eleanor Roosevelt 0.
Key players: Suitland QB Duane Smith, OG-LB Sidney Baskins, WR-LB Joe Gaskins; Eleanor Roosevelt RB Edwin Rios, LB Robert Petty, QB Wendall Williams.
Rams' key to victory: Control the ball and limit Roosevelt's big-play ability. Unlike last season, when Suitland had a prolific offense, the Rams have failed to score more than two touchdowns in four of their first five games. But they have scored enough points to win, which is what Coach Nick Lynch cares about.
"Offensively, we have to be able to execute and move the ball, because we have to keep Roosevelt's offense off the field," Lynch said. "We have to take some time off the clock and we have to be able to come up with some points. If you look at what Roosevelt has done putting up points, they're going to score. On defense, we have to make sure we don't give up big plays and get 11 guys running to the ball."
To make up for the loss of TE-LB Anthony Moten (broken leg), Armar Watson moved from running back to tight end and Steve Marsh and Isaac Watson have filled in at linebacker.
"Do we miss Mr. Moten? Of course," Lynch said. "But I think we have kids capable and ready to fill his shoes."
Suitland won the Prince George's 4A title outright in 1997 and shared the title last season with Northwestern. Whoever wins Saturday's game will be in sole possession of first place in the league, with a one-game lead over the loser; every other team has at least two losses in league play.
Raiders' key to victory: Use their speed. Eleanor Roosevelt is the highest-scoring team in the county, averaging 46.6 points per game. Rios rushed for a school-record 181 yards and four touchdowns in last week's 48-0 victory over Laurel. RBs Antoine Beale and Noel Carr also present a threat, as do FBs Ahmez Hammock-El and Robert Metzgar.
"I think this is going to be a real good challenge for our kids," Raiders Coach Rick Houchens said. "I think we match up real well with them. They're the defending champs [and] we have to play our best game in order to be successful. I think our kids are looking forward to it."
Houchens said his team has improved with each game and that he was particularly pleased with the play of his special teams in a 45-9 victory over High Point on Sept. 25 and with his defense in the shutout of Laurel.
"This is a big game in the 4A," Houchens said. "I know you don't have to do too much to get both teams ready for this one."
Directions: Beltway to Baltimore-Washington Parkway north. Take first exit, Greenbelt Road (Route 193) and make a left at the bottom of the ramp. Make left at first traffic light onto Hanover Parkway. School is on the right.
BY THE NUMBERS
Seasons since Suitland Coach Nick Lynch was a starting wide receiver for Eleanor Roosevelt, which went 17-3 in his two seasons on the varsity but failed to make the playoffs.
Roosevelt's scoring average this season. The Raiders have scored at least 44 points every game.
Suitland's opponents' scoring average this season. The Rams have yielded six touchdowns in five games.
Other Games of Note
Central at Forestville, Saturday, 3 p.m.: Although it is the Prince George's 2A/1A opener for both teams, this one could be the game of the season. The Falcons (5-0) are off to what is believed to be the best start in school history. RB Amir Davis (sprained ankle) has missed Central's past two games but is expected to play against Forestville, assistant coach Roy Jones said. The Knights (4-1), the defending Maryland 1A champion, have rolled over four of their opponents by an average margin of 43.5 points per game, stumbling only in a 13-9 loss to DuVal.
Northwestern at Bowie, Saturday, 3 p.m.: Since winning its first three games, Bowie has struggled the past two weeks, losing to Suitland, 14-8, and to High Point, 7-6. Still, many coaches believe the Bulldogs are much improved. RB Jarrett Randall is Bowie's top offensive player. After going 10-2 last season and making the playoffs for the first time in school history, Northwestern (3-2) cannot afford to lose if it wants to make another playoff appearance.
Surrattsville at Fairmont Heights, Saturday, 3 p.m.: Surrattsville is coming off a 19-8 victory over Friendly despite not scoring an offensive touchdown. Alex Koroma and Richard Burns had interception returns for touchdowns and Avery Thompson returned a blocked punt for a score. While Surrattsville is 3-2, it has yet to beat a team with a winning record; a victory over Fairmont Heights would be a significant step. Fairmont Heights has won four straight since an opening loss to Northwestern.
LAST WEEK'S GAMES
Prince George's 4A
E. Roosevelt 48, Laurel 0
High Point 7, Bowie 6
Oxon Hill 28, Parkdale 8
Suitland 16, Largo 12
Prince George's Nonleague
Central 31, Bladensburg 6
Fairmont Heights 7, DuVal 6 (OT)
Northwestern 54, Crossland 0
Potomac 32, Douglass 28
Surrattsville 19, Friendly 8
DeMatha 35, St. John's 0
Paul VI Catholic 33, McNamara 0
Forestville 44, Victor Cullen 0
Gwynn Park 27, Leonardtown 22
Pallotti 42, Fairfield (Pa.) 13
Riverdale Baptist 28, Spingarn 20
THIS WEEK'S GAMES
Prince George's 4A
High Point at Oxon Hill, 3
Laurel at Largo, 3
Northwestern at Bowie, 3
Suitland at E. Roosevelt, 3
Prince George's 3A
DuVal at Douglass, 3
Friendly at Bladensburg, 3
Prince George's 2A/1A
Central at Forestville, 3
Gwynn Park at Potomac, 3
Surrattsville at Fairmont Hgts., 3
Prince George's Nonleague
Crossland at Parkdale, 3
DeMatha at McNamara, 1:30
CAPTION: Forestville's Lakai Poteat, left, downs a Victor Cullen player during Knights' 44-0 win last week. Forestville (4-1) hosts Central (5-0) Saturday in teams' league opener.