GAME OF THE WEEK

La Plata at Westlake

When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.

Last season's meeting: Westlake, 34-13.

Records: La Plata (3-2, 1-2); Westlake (5-0, 4-0).

Last game: La Plata lost to Patuxent, 49-20; Westlake defeated Northern, 35-7.

Each week, Southern Maryland Extra will go to key players to preview the key game of the week. This week, La Plata senior Dennis Williamson and Westlake senior Jason Tate size up their teams.

Williamson on La Plata

Offense

"Our offensive line has good fundamentals, and the main thing about all four of our running backs--me, Raheem Archer, Titus Green and Marcus Proctor--is that we've all four been playing together for at least two years. We know what each other thinks, what each other will do."

Key stat: Green had more than 200 yards of total offense and scored all three of La Plata's touchdowns last week in a 49-20 loss to Patuxent.

Defense

"I've always thought defense was our strength. Friday, we got a lot of points scored on us by Patuxent, but that was with a lot of people out hurt. When we're all in there, no one can get by us."

Key stat: La Plata held Patuxent, which came in averaging more than 16 points in the first quarter, without an offensive score through the first 15 minutes of play.

Special teams

"Any time we're back to return a ball, no one likes to kick to us because we have Marcus [Proctor] and Titus [Green] back there and both are a real threat."

Key fact: Proctor, who left Friday's game with a dislocated shoulder, will not play against Westlake.

Key to victory:

"We have to get our offense going down and scoring points like I know we can. We can stand up to Westlake's offense with our defense--there's no doubt about that in my mind. But we have to be able to score."

Tate on Westlake

Offense

"Our offense works because of the speed of our running backs--Recardo Evans, Gonzie Gray, Dennis Hicks and Jason Raysor--and because of the holes the offensive line opens. Our running backs are great, but they couldn't do it without the offensive line."

Key stat: After rushing for 138 yards through the first three games of the year, Gray, the defending state track champion in the 200 meters, has 261 yards in the past two games.

Defense

"Everything is good about our defense, from the line to the linebackers to the secondary. What was hurting us at the beginning of the year was not our performance but penalties. But we've worked hard in practice to get rid of those."

Key fact: Gray and DB Leif Gunderson each picked off a pass last week against Northern.

Special teams

"We need to pursue the ball more, especially on kickoff coverage, because we tend to stay in our lanes too much. But our kicking game is solid."

Key fact: Kicker Robbie Paskevich's only field goal this season: a 27-yarder Sept. 17 that gave Westlake a 25-22 double-overtime win over Calvert.

Key to victory:

"La Plata has good linebackers, so as an offensive line we need to stay on our blocks and push the defensive line out of the way for our running backs. If the line blocks, our running backs can definitely do the rest."

BY THE NUMBERS

3

Ways La Plata RB-DB Titus Green scored in a 49-20 loss to Patuxent on Friday. Green, who accounted for all of the Warriors' touchdowns, got into the end zone on a 95-yard interception return, a 53-yard run and a 26-yard pass reception from Tyler McConnell.

67

Combined length, in yards, of McDonough PK Mike Davis's two field goals in the Rams' 25-6 win over Chopticon. Davis connected from 40 yards out in the second quarter and from 27 yards in the third. He has five field goals this season, including a 43-yarder and a 38-yarder.

394

Combined rushing total of Thomas Stone senior RBs Mike Finamore and Marcus Whalen in the Cougars' 42-6 victory over Great Mills. Finamore led the way with 200 yards rushing on 13 carries and Whalen added 194 yards on 11 attempts.

Sneak Peek

Lackey at McDonough

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Last season's meeting: Lackey, 9-7.

Records: Lackey (1-4, 1-2); McDonough (2-3, 2-2).

Last game: Lackey lost to Calvert, 56-12; McDonough defeated Chopticon, 25-6.

Outlook: Lackey's secondary will be tested for the second consecutive week. Last week, Calvert QB Orion Canine--the league's top passer--completed 9 of 12 passes for 108 yards and four touchdowns against the Chargers. This week, Lackey faces the conference's second-leading passer, McDonough junior Travis Peters. Peters's favorite target is Travis Woodland, a speedy wide receiver and running back who is averaging more than 15 yards per catch.

Calvert vs. Great Mills

Where: At Chopticon.

When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.

Last season's meeting: Calvert, 7-0.

Records: Calvert (4-1, 2-1); Great Mills (3-2, 2-2).

Last game: Calvert defeated Lackey, 56-12; Great Mills lost to Thomas Stone, 42-6.

Outlook: Great Mills's defense was yielding an average of 13.5 points per game through the first four weeks of the season before losing to Thomas Stone last Friday. The Hornets' defense will be tested again by the efficient Cavaliers offense. Calvert, led by QB Orion Canine, RB Sean Mizzer and WR-DB Treaven Wills, is averaging 41.4 points per game, second-highest in the SMAC.

Northern at No. 20 Patuxent

When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.

Last season's meeting: Did not play.

Records: Northern (0-5, 0-4); Patuxent (5-0, 3-0).

Last game: Northern lost to Westlake, 35-7; Patuxent defeated La Plata, 49-20.

Outlook: This one looks like a mismatch on paper. Patuxent, with its big offensive line and talented backfield, is averaging a league-best 44.8 points per game. Northern, which has been shut out twice, averages five points per game. The Panthers are led by sophomore TB Terry Caulley, who leads the Washington area in rushing with 997 yards. Caulley rushed for a season-high 246 yards and five touchdowns on 31 carries last week against La Plata.

Wakefield at Thomas Stone

When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.

Last season's meeting: Did not play.

Records: Wakefield (3-2); Thomas Stone (5-0).

Last game: Wakefield defeated Falls Church, 36-12; Thomas Stone defeated Great Mills, 42-6.

Outlook: Thomas Stone, which has outscored its opponents 145-48 this season, proved Friday that All-Met RB Marcus Whalen is not its only threat. RB Mike Finamore rushed 13 times for 200 yards and two touchdowns against Great Mills, while Whalen had 194 yards on 11 carries and scored on a 74-yard kickoff return. RB Marcus Warr also got into the action, scoring twice on short runs and once on a 14-yard fumble return. Still, the Cougars' defense will have to slow Wakefield QB Wayne Hogwood (52 of 71 passing for 804 yards and nine TDs) to defeat the Arlington school.

Leonardtown at Chopticon

When: Saturday, 7:30 p.m.

Last season's meeting: Chopticon, 20-12.

Records: Leonardtown (0-5, 0-3); Chopticon (1-4, 0-3).

Last game: Leonardtown lost to Gwynn Park, 28-22; Chopticon lost to McDonough, 25-6.

Outlook: Leonardtown, led by QB Jason Schacter and RB-WR Tommy Davis, is still searching for its first win of the season. Chopticon, which was stung by early-season injuries, is trying to get back on track. The Braves were without all-SMAC OL-DL Chip Williams (shoulder) and all-SMAC WR Jamie Byroads (hip) last Friday, and both are questionable again this week. Starting RB David Showalter, who also missed the game against McDonough with a sore elbow, is expected to play.