It's a short week for Montgomery County teams, one made even shorter for all but two because of last week's inclement weather. Quince Orchard and Watkins Mill finished their game last Friday, but the rest of the teams in Montgomery County had to wait until Saturday. That means only three days of practice before Week 4 games, which are scheduled to be played tonight.
Sherwood (2-1) at
Richard Montgomery (1-2)
Richard Montgomery Coach Mike Bonavia faces his mentor in a game both teams need to win to stay in the thick of the playoff race.
Bonavia coached under Sherwood Coach Al Thomas when the legendary coach was at Seneca Valley and Damascus.
"He's my hero, my mentor," Bonavia said. "Anyone says, 'What do you know about football? How do you do that?' I say, 'Al Thomas.' I have all the respect in the world for him, but I want to make him proud."
Both enter this Montgomery 4A East division clash coming off heartbreaking losses. Last Friday and Saturday, Richard Montgomery took second-ranked Damascus to double overtime but fell, 13-7, while Sherwood lost to Whitman, 3-0.
"We're feeling pretty good that we played them tough, but we'd have been making history here" with a win, Bonavia said. "But we're showing some courage and improvement."
Richard Montgomery has been led by senior Steve Weedon on both sides of the ball. Weedon has rushed for 428 yards and three touchdowns on 48 carries and made 40 tackles.
Seneca Valley (3-0) at Churchill (2-1)
Churchill's quest to return to the postseason for the first time since 1995 hit a speed bump in Week 2, when the Bulldogs lost to Quince Orchard, another Class 4A team jockeying for playoff position. That loss means tonight's matchup against No. 19 Seneca Valley, a Class 3A team, carries increased importance.
"We need someplace to get that one [loss] back," Churchill Coach Jamie Collins said. "And beating Seneca would be huge for us as far as that goes."
It won't be easy. In the last three seasons, Seneca Valley has outscored Churchill 110-7 in three victories. It has been 10 quarters since the Bulldogs have scored on the Screaming Eagles. Seneca has rolled to three straight victories but has yet to beat a team with a winning record.
Paint Branch (2-1) at Blake (2-1)
Another matchup of 3A and 4A teams with playoff aspirations. This game has added significance, however.
"We're big rivals," said Paint Branch Coach Ernie Williams. "Any time you go into a rivalry game, it's a big game no matter what the records are."
The Panthers are coming off a 42-6 loss to fifth-ranked Northwest. Paint Branch trailed 7-0 when the game was interrupted last Friday by lightning midway through the second quarter. But when the teams returned to finish the game, the Jaguars rolled.
"I don't think we were as fired up [on Saturday] as we were Friday," Williams said. "We were so excited, then we had a big layover and a lot of the emotion was gone. To Northwest's credit, their players stayed focused and came out and did what they had to do."
Since losing its opener to second-ranked Damascus, Blake has shut out Springbrook and Magruder.
Wheaton (1-2) at Einstein (1-2)
Einstein, which went 1-27 from 2001 to 2003, will attempt to string two victories together for the first time since 2000 in this Montgomery 3A game. The Titans (1-2, 1-1) snapped an eight-game losing streak with a 28-0 victory over Kennedy last week. Wheaton (1-2, 1-2) lost to Seneca Valley, 21-0, last week.