The game: Douglass at Friendly.

Kickoff: Saturday, 4 p.m.

Records: Eagles 7-2, 3-0 Prince George's 3A; Patriots 3-6, 3-0.

Last season: Friendly 27, Douglass 8.

Key players: Douglass QB Alonzo Coley, RB Lambert Watts, DE Eric Garrison, LB Shawne Merriman, S Jason Grey; Friendly RB B.J. Lane, MLB Brandon Crumpler, WR-OLB Rodrick Bryant, DE Aaron Robinson.

Eagles' key to victory: Defense. Douglass has recorded four shutouts this season and has surrendered 76 points in nine games (8.4 per game). Another solid defensive effort should push the Eagles to victory in a game that will decide the Prince George's 3A league title.

Garrison (6-foot-4, 230 pounds) is the biggest presence for Douglass and Merriman (6-2, 175 pounds) leads the Eagles with 102 tackles.

"We've given up some yards and sometimes it's not pretty, but we've played with a great deal of intensity," Douglass Coach Bill Johnson said. "We have to, because we're not big."

Coley, a senior, will make his fourth straight start at quarterback since Aaron Butler was injured in Week 6. Douglass will try to grind it out with Watts, who has rushed for more than 800 yards this season.

"When we play well we secure the ball, run well and take time off the clock," Johnson said. "The games we've had problems, we turned the ball over and put the defense on a short field."

Douglass, which enters the game 11th in the Maryland 3A postseason standings, can make the eight-team Class 3A playoffs with a win but will need a lot of help from other teams.

Patriots' key to victory: Run successfully. Starting quarterback Moriah Anderson injured his knee in Friendly's 34-0 victory over Crossland on Saturday and is doubtful, Coach George Earley said. He will be replaced by either sophomore Chris Evans or junior Jovon Powell, each of whom have never started. That means the workload will fall to Lane, a junior who rushed for 135 yards and two touchdowns last week and has gained more than 800 this season.

"We're going to run the ball," Earley said. "We're not going to chance throwing a whole lot of interceptions. B.J. will see the ball. He's our tailback, so we're going to use him."

The Patriots have won three of their last four since opening with five consecutive defeats. Friendly had a tough non-county schedule this season, facing Maryland 4A champion Seneca Valley, Virginia AAA Division 6 champion Hylton and Glen Mills (Pa.).

"The caliber of teams we've played has helped us tremendously," Earley said. "Our conference isn't anywhere near what we've seen. We've seen it all."

Directions: Take the Beltway to Exit 7 (Branch Avenue) South. Follow Branch Avenue to Allentown Road and take a right. The school is on the left.

--Nathan Max

Other Games of Note

No. 18 Suitland vs. Northwestern at High Point, Saturday, 2:30 p.m.: Suitland (7-2, 7-0) can clinch its third straight Prince George's 4A title with a victory. The Rams, who are sixth in the Maryland 4A playoff race, must win to secure a postseason bid. "Our main objective is to win the county championship," Suitland Coach Nick Lynch said.

The Rams rely on 5-foot-5, 130-pound sophomore quarterback Dwayne Smith to run the offense. Running back Herschel Walker rushed for 95 yards last week in a 26-14 victory over Oxon Hill and has 861 for the season.

Northwestern (6-3, 4-3) also must win to have a shot at the playoffs. The Wildcats, who fell 32-14 last week to Eleanor Roosevelt, are ninth in the 4A points standings. Eight teams qualify.

Fairmont Heights at Potomac, Saturday, 2:30 p.m.: Fairmont Heights (7-2, 3-1) kept its playoff hopes alive last week when Labilow Conteh kicked a 20-yard field goal with 28 seconds remaining to give the Hornets a 17-14 victory over Gwynn Park. The Hornets, who are eighth in the Maryland 2A playoff race, most likely must win to get in. Potomac (7-2, 3-1) dropped to 12th in 2A after losing, 48-12, to Forestville.

No. 10 Eleanor Roosevelt at Parkdale, Saturday, 2:30 p.m.: Another game with playoff implications. Eleanor Roosevelt (8-1, 6-1) is fourth in the Maryland 4A points standings and is playing for home-field advantage. A win would give Parkdale (6-3, 4-3) a lot of points and could push the Panthers from 11th into the top eight.

--Nathan Max

BY THE NUMBERS

6,249

Rushing total for the five Prince George's running backs who have eclipsed 1,000 yards this season. DeMatha's Anthony Riley leads the county with 1,666 rushing yards, followed by Parkdale's Jason Crawford (1,310), Surrattsville's Jerod Void (1,203), Eleanor Roosevelt's Edwin Rios (1,052) and High Point's Ray Hines (1,018).

31

Regular season games without a loss for No. 3 DeMatha. The Stags' last regular season defeat came in 1996, 28-26, to Good Counsel. DeMatha also holds a 21-game overall unbeaten streak, dating from a 14-7 loss to Gonzaga in the 1997 Washington Catholic Athletic Conference championship game.

3

Victories Friendly has this season. However, the Patriots are still playing for the Prince George's 3A title Saturday, because all three victories--and no losses--have come in league play.

LAST WEEK'S GAMES

Friday

Prince George's 4A

High Point 39, Laurel 12

Nonleague

Largo 25, Riverdale Baptist 0

Saturday

Prince George's 4A

E. Roosevelt 32, Northwestern 14

Parkdale 18, Bowie 9

Suitland 26, Oxon Hill 14

Prince George's 3A

Douglass 20, Bladensburg 0

Friendly 34, Crossland 0

Prince George's 2A/1A

Central 14, Surrattsville 13

Fairmont Heights 17, Gwynn Park 14

Forestville 48, Potomac 12

WCAC

DeMatha 41, O'Connell 14

McNamara 29, Carroll 28

Nonleague

DuVal 19, Wheaton 8

Spalding 37, Pallotti 11

THIS WEEK'S GAMES

Friday

Prince George's Nonleague

Bladensburg at High Point, 7:30

Saturday

Prince George's 4A

Bowie at Largo, 3

E. Roosevelt at Parkdale, 2:30

Oxon Hill at Laurel, 2:30

Suitland vs. Northwestern at High Point, 2:30

Prince George's 3A

Crossland at DuVal, 2:30

Douglass at Friendly, 4

Prince George's 2A/1A

Central at Gwynn Park, 2:30

Fairmont Heights at Potomac, 2:30

Forestville at Surrattsville, 2:30

WCAC

DeMatha at Carroll, 1:30

Good Counsel at McNamara, 2:30

Pallotti at Ireton, 2

Nonleague

Riverdale Baptist at Blake, 2:30

CAPTION: Douglass's Eric Wedge scores during Eagles' 20-0 win over Bladensburg Saturday.